Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

Haitian authorities urged to bring Duvalier to court or arrest him
Published on February 23, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- Former president of Haiti, Jean-Claude Duvalier, must either face a court hearing over charges of human rights abuses or be arrested, Amnesty International said, amid fears he may flee the country using a newly-granted diplomatic passport.

On Thursday, Duvalier -- also known as “Baby Doc” – refused, for the third time, to face court. The judge of the Court of Appeal has rescheduled for 28 February and instructed the public prosecutor to bring him to that hearing.

Thursday’s hearing was due to examine an appeal brought by victims of human rights violations against the January 2012 decision by an investigative judge not to put Duvalier on trial for violations of human rights so serious they amount to crimes against humanity – including torture, killings and disappearances committed during his time in office.

“Jean-Claude Duvalier cannot be beyond the reach of justice,” said Béatrice Vaugrante, an Amnesty International delegate who was present at the hearing. “The authorities in Haiti have the duty to do all they can to ensure he faces the courts for the systematic abuses that took place during his time in office. If he continues to avoid the hearing, he must be arrested.”

Duvalier’s lawyers tried to further delay the proceedings in the Court of Appeal by reportedly appealing last Monday to the Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) against the Court of Appeal’s decision on 7 February to recognize the plaintiffs as civil parties. However, the Court of Appeal refused to suspend the proceeding.

“The court of appeal has taken a very important step by ignoring Duvalier’s lawyers delaying tactics and by issuing a summons for Duvalier to appear in court next week. It is now the obligation of the public prosecutor to execute this warrant and the duty of all Haitian authorities to ensure that the victims’ appeal is finally heard,” said Vaugrante.

“As the Public Prosecutor’s Office falls under the executive, there are risks that the court’s warrant might not be implemented,” she added.

Besides the delays and the lack of independence of the public prosecutor’s office, Amnesty International is concerned that the court of appeal does not seem to be in possession of the complete file, which had been previously in the hands of the investigative judge.

It is also extremely worrying that the families of victims of extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances and the survivors of torture committed during Duvalier’s time in power have not yet had a chance to be heard by the court of appeal.

“The testimonies of the victims and their families are extremely powerful and compelling. It is essential that all the evidence which has been gathered is made available to the Court and that the voices of the victims are heard,” said Vaugrante.

Jean-Claude Duvalier returned to Haiti after 25 years exile in France in January 2011. He was then indicted by the then Haitian authorities for embezzlement and theft of public funds during his presidency and, later, for crimes against humanity – including torture, executions, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances carried out between 1971 and 1986.

In January 2012, the judge assigned to the case decided to try the former leader only for embezzlement of public funds, on the apparently spurious basis that the crimes against humanity for which he was accused had expired under a statute of limitations in Haitian law.
Reads: 3740

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Lots of Baby Doc's:

Really now, aren't there a lot of Baby Doc's throughout the world? Especially power hungry 3rd & 4th world rulers drunk on their own power & their attempts to hold on to that power as long as possible. A sad state of affairs in Haiti. He needs to be brought to trial and face the accusations against him. For years he's been hiding & living the life of a king. Wonder where all that money came from??? Most intelligent individuals can figure that one out. A criminal walking free among the very people he committed crimes against. Where is the shout of the citizens against him. He's seems to be able to thumb his nose at the law. Sort of like he's back in power again.


As a result of our comments feature being overtaken in recent weeks by spammers using fake email addresses, producing a large number of bounced verification emails each day, we have reluctantly decided to suspend the comments section until further notice.

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: