Haiti Judge Recommends Freeing Americans

Prosecutor has chance to agree or object
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 11, 2010 10:22 AM CST
Haiti Judge Recommends Freeing Americans
Steve McMullin of Idaho, one of the 10 Americans arrested while trying to bus children out of Haiti, is escorted back to jail by a Haitian police officer after a hearing, Feb. 10, 2010.    (Javier Galeano)

The Haitian judge deciding whether 10 US missionaries should face trial on charges of trying to take a busload of children out of the country says he will recommend they be released. Judge Bernard Saint-Vil finished questioning the Americans yesterday. He now must send his recommendation to the prosecutor, who may agree or object. But the judge has the final authority to decide whether they stay in custody or go free.

Saint-Vil says he will recommend that all 10 be released. He would not elaborate, and it was not clear whether that recommendation means the charges will be dropped. The Americans, most from an Idaho Baptist group, were charged last week with child kidnapping and criminal association after being arrested Jan. 29. (Read more Haiti stories.)

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