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'Baby Doc' scheduled for court today

Thursday, February 28, 2013 | 10:50 AM    

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) – Former Haitian President Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier is scheduled to appear in court today to face allegations of crimes against humanity and corruption.

Fighting efforts to put him on trial, Duvalier, 61, has failed to show up in court on three previous occasions. 

After he was a no-show in court last Thursday, an appeal court panel ordered that he be escorted to court by the police .

Duvalier was ousted in a revolt in 1986 then he fled to France, where he remained in exile for 25 years. He returned to his earthquake-ravaged homeland in 2011. 

Shortly after returning, he issued a rare public apology “to those countrymen who rightly feel they were victims of my government.” 

Last year, the investigative judge assigned to the case ruled that Duvalier should be tried only on embezzlement charges and that the statute of limitations had run out on the human rights abuses allegations. 

But the alleged victims of Duvalier’s rule are appealing the court’s decision. Duvalier is also appealing the decision to be tried on corruption charges. 

Earlier this week, human rights watchdog Amnesty International expressed concern about Haiti’s judicial system.

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