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Duvalier taken by police


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Duvalier taken by police

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Former Haitian leader Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier has been questioned by judicial officials and was later led out of his hotel by police.
He was questioned over claims he stole from the country’s treasury. It is not clear whether he has been arrested.
Haiti’s chief prosecutor and a judge were seen arriving at his hotel in Port-au-Prince earlier today.
Mr Duvalier, who ruled the country for 15 years before being ousted in 1986, made a surprise return to Haiti Sunday.
“He will be questioned and he will remain at the disposal of the judicial system,” a senior government official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters news agency earlier.
There have been growing calls for Mr Duvalier to be prosecuted for the alleged torture and murder of thousands of people during his rule in the 1970s and 80s.
Upon his return, Mr Duvalier said he had “come to help” after last year’s earthquake.
He returned on the day Haiti was supposed to hold the second round of elections to choose a successor to outgoing President Rene Preval.
But the vote has been postponed because of a dispute over which candidates should be on the ballot paper.
Provisional results from the first round on 28 November provoked violent demonstrations when they were announced in December, and most observers said there was widespread fraud and intimidation.
Mr Duvalier is staying in a hotel in the hills above the centre of the capital, Port-au-Prince. The building has been sealed off by police.
He was just 19 when he inherited the title of “president-for-life” from his father, the notorious Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, who had ruled Haiti since 1957.
Critics allege he embezzled millions of dollars from the impoverished Caribbean nation, a charge he denies.
Like his father, he relied on a brutal private militia known as the “Tontons Macoutes”, which controlled Haiti through violence and intimidation.
Haiti is struggling to recover from the massive earthquake a year ago which killed more than 250,000 people and left Port-au-Prince in ruins.

Are you in Haiti? What’s your reaction to this latest development? You can send us your comments using the form below. (BBC)

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