Haiti charges returned ex-dictator Duvalier

Haiti on Tuesday briefly detained former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, back from exile in France, and charged him with corruption, theft and abuses of power allegedly committed during his 15-year rule.

While a noisy crowd of his supporters protested outside the prosecutor's office, Duvalier, 59, was questioned over accusations that he stole public funds and committed human rights abuses after taking over as president in 1971.

Port-au-Prince Chief Prosecutor Aristidas Auguste said his office had filed charges against Duvalier of corruption, theft, misappropriation of funds and other alleged crimes committed during the former president's 1971-1986 period in power.

"His fate is now in the hands of the investigating judge. We have brought charges against him," Auguste told Reuters.

The charges must now be investigated by the judge who will decide whether a criminal case should go ahead.

After several hours of questioning, he left the prosecutor's office but was ordered to remain in the country at the disposition of judicial authorities. "He doesn't have the right to go anywhere," investigating judge Carves Jean said.

Duvalier, who fled Haiti in 1986 during a popular uprising, was earlier escorted by heavily armed police from the luxury hotel where he had stayed since his unexpected arrival on Sunday from France, after a quarter century in exile.

[Source: By Joseph Guyler Delva, Reuters, Port-Au-Prince, 18Jan11]

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