Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby Doc Duvalier Being Questioned In Advance Of Possible Arrest; UPDATE: Charged and Taken Into Custody

The Haitian government has threatened former Haitian despot Baby Doc Duvalier with arrest ever since he went into exile 25 years ago should he return to the country he plundered. At this point, government officials are just questioning him in advance of whether they will bring charges against him for looting the Haitian treasury for years.
Haitian authorities will question former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier to determine whether he should be prosecuted for stealing from the treasury during his rule, a senior government official said Tuesday.

"He will be questioned and he will remain at the disposal of the judicial system," the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

The statement came as senior police officials and a judge were holding a private meeting with Duvalier.

The officials would not tell journalists the purpose of the meeting at the high-end hotel where the former leader has been staying since his surprise return to the country. Haiti's chief prosecutor was also at the meeting in the Hotel Karibe.
Now it will be interesting to see what Duvalier's supporters will do - since they were in a position to benefit from Duvalier's appearance and resurgence.

Duvalier was nothing but bad jobu for the Haitian people, and he's the last thing the country needed a year after suffering from a devastating earthquake that claimed nearly 300,000 lives. Much of the capital remains uncleared of debris and lacks the wherewithal to rebuild. 95% of the city debris has yet to be cleared, and millions remain in tent cities around the city and countryside.

Duvalier has been charged with multiple crimes and is now in custody of the government.
A Haitian prosecutor Tuesday formally charged former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier with corruption, theft, misappropriation of funds and other alleged crimes committed during his 1971-1986 rule.

"His fate is now in the hands of the investigating judge. We have brought charges against him," Port-au-Prince Chief Prosecutor Aristidas Auguste told Reuters.

The charges must now be investigated by the judge who will decide whether a judicial case should go ahead. Earlier, Haitian police detained the former dictator. Armed police escorted Duvalier, 59, from the luxury hotel in Port-au-Prince where he had been staying since his surprise return on Sunday to his poor, earthquake-battered Caribbean homeland after 25 years in exile in France. Officers put him in a police SUV with tinted windows which drove away.

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