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Jean-Claude Duvalier Fails to Attend Haiti Rights Trial


World  (tags: 'HUMANRIGHTS!', crime, corruption, freedoms, ethics, government, HumanRights, humanrights, politics, society, UnitedNations, unitednations, violence, world )

JL
- 753 days ago - bbc.co.uk
The former ruler of Haiti Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier has failed to attend a hearing in Port-au-Prince on allegations of crimes against humanity.



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JL A. (275)
Friday February 8, 2013, 9:24 am

BBC News Latin America & Caribbean
7 February 2013 Last updated at 18:48 ET
Jean-Claude Duvalier fails to attend Haiti rights trial

The former ruler of Haiti Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier has failed to attend a hearing in Port-au-Prince on allegations of crimes against humanity.

His lawyer called it "careless" for the court to schedule the appeal audience on 7 February the 27th anniversary of Mr Duvalier's flight into exile.

A judge agreed to postpone the former ruler's appearance to 21 February, and has not punished him for his absence.

This was the second time Mr Duvalier failed to appear at a court hearing.

Earlier, international human rights groups urged authorities not to drop the case against Mr Duvalier.

A number of activists, students and relatives of victims gathered outside the court, expecting the former ruler's appearance.

One of Mr Duvalier's lawyers says the case should be thrown out.

"Duvalier has been trialled in France, in Haiti and in Switzerland. He can't be trialled once again," Frizto Canton told AFP news agency.

However, Amnesty International and the Open Society Justice Initiative said Mr Duvalier "must not evade justice" for alleged crimes against humanity.

In January 2012, a court ruled that the alleged abuses had expired under Haiti's statute of limitations.

Mr Duvalier unexpectedly returned to Haiti in 2011 after 25 years in exile, prompting the Haitian authorities to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed during his 1971-86 rule.
Embezzling, murder, torture

He denies all the accusations against him.

A judge decided that he should stand trial for embezzling public funds but ruled that the statute of limitations had run out on charges of murder, arbitrary arrest, torture and disappearances.

Alleged victims and their relatives have appealed against this ruling.

A first hearing was postponed when Mr Duvalier failed to appear in court on 31 January.

He was then ordered to attend Thursday's hearing, but was absent again.

International law requires that he should stand trial for alleged crimes against humanity, the Open Society Justice Initiative said.

Amnesty International has also argued that such crimes are not subject to a statute of limitations.

"With the case of Jean-Claude Duvalier, it is the whole credibility of the Haitian justice system which is at stake," Amnesty said.

Jean-Claude Duvalier was just 19 when he inherited the title of president-for-life from his father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, who had ruled Haiti since 1957.

Like his father, he relied on a brutal militia known as the Tontons Macoutes to control the country.

In 1986 he was forced from power by a popular uprising and US diplomatic pressure, and went into exile in France.
 

Ellen G. (340)
Friday February 8, 2013, 5:54 pm
Another crook on the run
 

JL A. (275)
Friday February 8, 2013, 6:12 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Ellen because you have done so within the last week.
 

Ro H. (0)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 8:14 am
ty
 

Birgit W. (157)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 12:47 pm
Shame on him.
 

Winn Adams (209)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 1:00 pm
This isn't right. Is there no way to force him to Haiti?
 

. (0)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 1:42 pm
I think it is careless for Duvalier to not appear. He is telling his homeland that he cares for nothing for them and only cares about himself. He is an ignorant @$$. All of his money and assets should be taken from him and divided up amongst the families that he brutalized. I am just so sick of the world letting most of these horrible leaders go after they have looted, torture and murdered innocent people. They should be held to a much harsher standard than the common man. They should also be punished accordingly. And that goes for all world leaders without exception.
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 3:04 pm
Thank you for your analysis on this issue Hugh-star headed your way!
You are welcome Ro.
You cannot currently send a star to Birgit because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Winn because you have done so within the last week.
 

Colleen L. (2)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 7:15 pm
Amazes me how these criminals get away with what they do. I pray that he gets what he deserves and pays for it royally for the rest of his life. Thanks J.L.
 

Stuart Thomas (519)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 10:12 pm
Noted.

Thank you, J.L.
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 10:24 pm
You are welcome Stuart.
 

Lynn Squance (222)
Monday February 11, 2013, 11:55 pm
Hugh, you summed up so well what I was thinking. Such idots cannot get away with murder, both figuratively and lierally with impunity. There must be real justice.

Sorry Hugh, I can't give you another green star yet.
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday February 12, 2013, 7:41 am
I was able to send Hugh one Lynn. You cannot currently send a star to Lynn because you have done so within the last week.
 
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