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Ex-Haiti dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier faces trial for corruption, not rights abuses

Port-au-Prince, Tue, 31 Jan 2012 ANI

Port-au-Prince (Haiti), Jan 31 (ANI): Haiti's former leader Jean-Claude 'Baby Doc' Duvalier will face trial for corruption and embezzlement charges, but not for widespread human rights abuses, a court has ruled.


A Haitian judge said that torture and murder committed during Duvalier's 1971-86 rule fell outside Haiti's statute of limitations.


Duvalier, 60, has denied allegations that he was responsible for the torture and murder of thousands of people and embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars from the impoverished nation.


According to The BBC, the judge said the statute of limitations had run out on charges of human rights abuses, but not for the alleged misappropriation of public funds, but gave no further explanation.


The court's decision outraged human rights groups, which claimed that the judge had wrongly ignored testimony detailing torture and murder, and added that they would appeal.


"Those who were tortured under Duvalier, those whose families were killed or simply disappeared, deserve better than this," Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch said.


Jean-Claude Duvalier was 19-years-old when he inherited the title of president-for-life from his father, Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier, who had ruled Haiti since 1957.


Like his father, he relied on a brutal militia known as the Tontons Macoutes to control the country. (ANI)


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