Monday, January 24, 2011
Haiti: President Préval wants Duvalier for its actions
PORT-AU-PRINCE - Former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier must answer for their acts before justice, "said Haitian President Rene Preval during a surprise visit to neighboring Dominican Republic, when Haiti was plunged into a serious political crisis.
"The constitution (Haiti) said that everyone must answer for their acts before justice. The government has already done what he should do, now we are waiting for justice to do its job," said the Haitian president, expected to leave power on February 7.
A lawyer for Mr. Duvalier, Mr. Reynold Georges, responded by assuring Mr. Duvalier had every intention to "respond to questions of justice." But "this does not mean he is guilty," he said during a telephone conversation with AFP.
Mr. Duvalier, 59, chased after fifteen years of dictatorial power by a popular uprising in 1986, unexpectedly landed in Haiti on Jan. 16.
Six individual complaints of violations of human rights have been filed against him. In addition, he is pursued by the Haitian justice for corruption, embezzlement and conspiracy.
George assured me that Mr. Preval was "behind (the) conspiracy screws (have) to traumatize" his client. "Préval has to go to jail for all his misdeeds, for the millions vanished. And he knows very well."
Mr. Duvalier, who declared himself "president for life," said returning the country to "help" Haiti, but it seems mostly to want to recover its assets frozen in Switzerland. "What (Duvalier) wants to make it with Swiss funds to help rebuild the country," he admitted on Friday another of his lawyers, Mr. Edwin Marger. "This is one reason why he came back (...). It does not ask him anything personal visit."
According to experts and associations defending human rights, Mr. Duvalier, aka "Baby Doc", would be returned to Haiti as part of a maneuver that would allow him to retrieve some 5.7 million dollars deposited by his family on Swiss bank accounts.
But the Haitian justice this week banned him from leaving the country.
"It's not my role to say whether I agree (with the return of Duvalier)," said Mr Preval, recalling that the Constitution "prohibits exile and establishes that every Haitian has the right return to his country. "
Mr. Préval visited Saturday with his Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive in St. Domingo, where he met his Dominican counterpart Leonel Fernandez to discuss the political crisis in Haiti.
The court records since Friday Haitian electoral disputes arising from the first round of presidential elections on 28 November.
A fact-finding mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) concluded that fraud had distorted the results and recommended to exclude the second round the candidate of power Jude Celestine and singer Michel Martelly qualify for a duel with Former first lady Mirlande Manigat topped.
The Haitian Electoral Council would announce the final results of the first round on Jan. 31.
On Sunday, a demonstration called a dozen unsuccessful presidential candidate called for the outright cancellation of the first round.
"We want elections without fraud," "Down with corruption, we are tired!" Could be read on the placards brandished by a big hundred protesters marching through the streets of the capital Port-au-Prince.