Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

French papers pay tribute to Christophe de Margerie

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Anti-IS group fighters: When foreigners join the fight against jihadists

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Pistorius and the lone walk to prison

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Armed clowns terrify the north of France

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Stability still a struggle ahead of 2015 elections

Read more

DEBATE

Oscar Pistorius sentenced: Does the punishment fit the crime? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Oscar Pistorius sentenced: Does the punishment fit the crime?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Provocative sculpture "unplugged"

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

'Flying coffins' in Ivory Coast and a rich Maltese couple rescuing migrants

Read more

Americas

Haitian ex-leader 'Baby Doc' Duvalier appears in court

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-02-28

Jean-Claude Duvalier, the former Haitian dictator also known as “Baby Doc”, appeared in a Port-au-Prince court on Thursday for a hearing that will determine whether he can be charged with crimes against humanity.

Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier appeared in court Thursday after three times shunning a summons for a hearing on whether he should be charged with human rights abuses during his brutal 1971-1986 regime.

Dozens of supporters cheered as Duvalier emerged wearing a navy blue suit and gray tie and sat facing the three-judge panel. Next to him sat his defense attorneys and his longtime partner, who did not remove her sunglasses during the proceedings.

Those seeking to have Duvalier prosecuted smiled as they saw him finally arrive for the session, and some applauded.

Reed Brody, counsel and a spokesman for Human Rights Watch, said the session “is an important victory for Duvalier’s victims, who never gave up hope of seeing him in court, and for the Haitian people who have the right to know what happened during the dark years of the Duvalier dictatorship,” Brody said.

The hearing began with arguments over legal proceedings, with Duvalier’s defense attorneys requesting a closed-door hearing, which the judges granted. However, the hearing was still publicly under way early Thursday afternoon.

The steamy courtroom was packed with journalists, observers and Duvalier supporters. The crowd, however, remained quiet overall, unlike the two hearings that Duvalier did not attend, which became raucous and sometimes volatile.

The former dictator known as “Baby Doc” had previously ignored the court summons three times.

The Duvalier case seemed to have vanished until it went before Haiti’s Court of Appeal in January. A lower court judge had ruled in January 2012 that Duvalier should only face charges on alleged financial crimes.

Duvalier returned to Haiti in early 2011 after spending 25 years in exile. While in exile, Duvalier remained quiet except for a September 2007 radio address in which he apologized for wrongs committed under his rule and urged supporters to rally around his fringe political party.

(AP)

Date created : 2013-02-28

  • HAITI

    Duvalier should be tried for corruption but not rights abuses, judge says

    Read more

  • HAITI

    Swiss banks block Duvalier's millions as part of new restitution law

    Read more

  • HAITI

    Former dictator Duvalier breaks silence, asks Haitians for forgiveness

    Read more

COMMENT(S)