'Baby Doc' Charged With Corruption

Supporters show up to cheer at court house
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2011 8:04 AM CST
Police officers take ex-dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, center, out of his hotel as his longtime companion Veronique Roy, right, looks on in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
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(Newser) – Haitian police officially charged Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier with corruption and embezzlement yesterday, putting a damper on his surprise return from exile. Groups of supporters lined the road to scream in outrage as police drove him from his hotel to the courtroom—some even hurled chunks of concrete or garbage containers into the road to try to stop the procession, the New York Times reports.

The judge released Duvalier, but ordered the ex-dictator to remain in Haiti while he ponders whether there is enough evidence to bring him to trial. Duvalier’s lawyer dismissed the affair as a “political show,” saying, “Jean-Claude came into this country at the wrong time. That’s what this is about, not the law.” Prosecutors say Duvalier embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars from the Haitian government—charges that seem pretty modest given the murder, torture, and kidnapping he’s been widely accused of.

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