Haiti’s Duvalier faces trial for corruption, not abuses

By Joseph Guyler Delva

(Reuters) – Former Haitian dictator Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier will face trial for corruption during his 15-year rule, but not for human rights abuses, the judge handling the case said on Monday.

….Duvalier is alleged to have embezzled between $300 million and $800 million of assets during his presidency.

….Last week, President Michel Martelly was quoted as favoring a pardon for Duvalier though he later retracted his remarks.

….The judge’s ruling will be challenged by lawyers for the victims, said Mario Joseph, who heads the Bureau of International Lawyers in Haiti. “The judge cannot decide only on the financial crimes committed by Duvalier. He should also be tried and sentenced for rapes, torture, disappearances, assassinations and crimes against humanity his regime has been responsible for,” he said.

Reed Brody, a lawyer with Human Rights Watch who has worked with the victims in the case, said that if they exhaust their appeal options in the Haitian system, they could take the Haitian state to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/30/us-haiti-duvalier-idUSTRE80T13020120130?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FworldNews+%28News+%2F+US+%2F+International%29

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