Complaint filed against Duvalier for illegal residence
PARIS -- (AP) -- A French citizen has filed a complaint against former
dictator Jean-Claude ``Baby Doc'' Duvalier for illegal residence on French
The complaint, filed by a leftist former regional council member in the
region, demands that Duvalier -- widely believed to be in France -- be legally
compelled to appear in court in March, judicial officials said. If he didn't, he could
be judged in absentia.
Jacques Samyn said he filed the complaint as a citizen, ``to compel the
state to come out in the open'' about Duvalier's whereabouts.
``While we expel illegal immigrants, we leave `Baby Doc' in peace, Samyn
quoted as saying in Thursday's France-Soir newspaper.
Although police sources have confirmed to The Associated Press that Duvalier
in France, the Interior Ministry said recently it has lost track of the former dictator,
and that he probably has left French territory.
Named president-for-life at age 19 following the death of his father in
Duvalier, 47, has lived in France since February 1986, when a popular uprising
forced him into exile.
Recently, a Haitian-born photographer, Gerard Bloncourt, encouraged by
arrest in Britain of former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, started a
committee in Paris to bring Duvalier to trial for crimes committed during his regime.
Samyn's move came after he learned Duvalier never had the proper papers
reside in France.
Duvalier, who has recently given several media interviews without revealing
whereabouts, has admitted living in France without proper papers, but with special
permission from the Foreign Ministry.
Samyn's lawyer says that if Duvalier refuses to appear before a court on
14, the date cited in the complaint, he could be judged in absentia. But first
prosecutors have to decide whether to accept Samyn's complaint.
Illegal residence is punishable by a maximum one year in prison and a $4,500
as well as expulsion.