Haiti: Jean-Claude Duvalier to be Tried for Corruption

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Monday, 30 January 2012 13:52

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - The former dictator Jean Claude Duvalier will be tried for embezzlement, but not for human rights abuses according to the order of Judge Jean Carves.

The judge's order sent to the Prosecutor of Port-au-Prince says the former president for life would have engaged in corruption and embezzlement of public funds during his 15-year reign.

Switzerland confiscated assets valued at $6.7 million [US] from Duvalier. The Swiss have said that they want to return the funds to Haiti.

The order does not include charges for murder, disappearances, torture and other rights of abuses that are being alleged by members of Haitian society.

"Duvalier will be tried for misappropriation of public funds, not for any other criminal charges," an official told Reuters, adding that the former dictator would face up to five years in prison if convicted. No trial date has yet been set.

At least 19 victims have filed complaints with the government prosecutor for crimes of humanity committed under Duvalier.

An official told Reuters, "...these charges have been dropped... unfortunately, that's what the law says."

The President Martelly, after telling to the international press that he intended to pardon Duvalier, reversed his statement last week and expressed his wish to let justice decide the fate of the former dictator.

"Only the court can decide the case Duvalier," said the Haitian president.

"The problem is that the Haitians tear each other. So I expressed my desire they reconcile, not to pardon Duvalier," he added.