Baby Doc arrested

Jean-Claude “Baby Doc”
Duvalier has been charged with corruption, theft, misappropriation of funds and other
alleged crimes committed during his 1971-1986 rule after the former Haitian
dictator was hauled before a judge in Port-au Prince.

“His fate is now in the hands
of the investigating judge”, Port-au-Prince chief prosecutor, Aristidas
Auguste, said.

The charges must now be
investigated by the judge who will decide whether a judicial case should go
ahead.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, among
others, have urged the authorities to prosecute the 59-year-old former dictator
for jailing, torturing and murdering thousands of people during his 15-year
rule.

His long-time companion, Veronique
Roy, when asked whether Duvalier was being arrested, laughed and said nothing.

The scene evoked memories of 7
February 1986 when crowds danced in the streets after widespread revolts and
international pressure led to his departure.

His Swiss banked fortune long used
up in divorce and tax disputes, Duvalier returned to Haiti after 25 years in
exile without warning on Sunday on a flight from Paris, saying he wanted to
help. “I’m not here for politics. I’m here for the reconstruction of
Haiti.”

A spokesman for the UN high
commissioner for human rights said it should be easier to prosecute Duvalier in
Haiti because it was where atrocities took place but that the judicial system
was fragile.

It remained unclear why he returned
and what impact it would have on the year-long post-quake crisis which has left
a leadership vacuum and a country in ferment, with near daily street
demonstrations by rival factions

 

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