Former Haitian dictator charged with corruption

A Haitian prosecutor has charged  former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier with corruption, theft and misappropriation of funds — all crimes he’s accused of committing during his 15-year rule.

A large contingent of police took custody of Duvalier while his supporters protested. Duvalier made a surprise return to the country on Sunday after 25 years in exile.

Duvalier, also known as Baby Doc, went quietly with police as his supporters chanted his name and ran through the streets. Outside the justice center where he was detained and questioned, his supporters protested and burned tires. They called for his release and the arrest of the current President Rene Preval.

Protester Yves Chery said Baby Doc was young when he took office. Chery said it was his father and his cronies who brutalized the country, not the young Jean-Claude, who should not be blamed.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Camille Leblanc was a minister of justice under former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Leblanc says the Haitian police had no authority to arrest him.

“It’s against the law, it’s something very against the law, but, let’s see,” Leblanc said.

Duvalier will likely face more questioning. It will be up to an investigative judge to decide if the charges go forward.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal