Groups send monitors to Haiti for Duvalier hearing

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Associated Press

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 11:04 PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — International human rights groups are sending monitors to a court hearing in Haiti concerning Jean-Claude Duvalier.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said Tuesday they are both sending observers for the Thursday hearing against the former dictator known as "Baby Doc."

The former "president-for-life" returned to Haiti in January 2011 following 25 years in exile. He was charged with embezzlement of public funds and human rights abuses upon his return. But a judge decided that Duvalier should be prosecuted only for the alleged financial crimes.

Plaintiffs have since appealed that decision. They say Duvalier should also faces the abuse charges because there's no statute of limitation.

The defense says Duvalier is innocent and the statute of limitations has expired.

A judge ordered Duvalier's arrest if he doesn't appear in court.

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