U.N. says Duvalier must be tried for Haiti abuses

Former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier leaves the courthouse with his longtime companion Veronique Roy, right, after attending a closed hearing in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Jan. 20, 2012.
AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa
AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N.’s human rights office has sharply criticized a Haitian judge’s recommendation against trying former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier for alleged crimes against humanity and other rights abuses.

A spokesman for the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights says Duvalier must be tried for “very serious human rights violations” during his 15-year reign that were “extensively documented.”

Rupert Colville said Tuesday the U.N. is “extremely disappointed” by Investigative Magistrate Carves Jean’s decision Monday to recommend that the ruler once known as “Baby Doc” face trial only on corruption charges.

He says that under international law there is no statute of limitations for crimes such as torture, false imprisonment and murder.

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