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'Baby Doc' Duvalier Charged With Corruption

Wednesday, 19 January 2011 07:49 AM

PORT-AU-PRINCE -- Haiti filed embezzlement and corruption charges against former dictator Jean-Claude ``Baby Doc'' Duvalier, who is accused of torturing thousands of Haitians and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars during his 15-year reign, The Miami Herald reports.

Haiti's top prosecutor brought the charges against Duvalier in a day of high drama surrounding the ailing one-time despot, who stunned Haitians on Sunday when he stepped off an Air France flight at the international airport.

After a hearing that lasted more than five hours, complaints of corruption, misappropriation of public funds and criminal conspiracy were filed. The charges could be dismissed or sustained by a judge who will now investigate whether there's sufficient evidence to go to trial. The process could take months.

Duvalier, 59, was picked up by police early Tuesday amid a flurry of activity at the posh Karibe Hotel in PĂ©tionville, where he has been staying.

Judge Gabriel Ambroise and Haitian attorney Reynold Georges arrived at the hotel about 10:30 a.m., as Haitian police officers were asked to secure the premises. A helicopter buzzed overhead.

Duvalier said nothing as police, guns in hand, escorted him out the back of the building. Scores of journalists trailed the convoy as he was transported to the courthouse.

Duvalier has been mum about his reasons for returning to Haiti, and neither prosecutors nor the minister of justice made public statements about the charges or what comes next.

Read the entire story at miamiherald.com

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Wednesday, 19 January 2011 07:49 AM
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