December 16, 1998

Haiti's Duvalier still in France, police sources say

                  PARIS (AP) -- Ousted Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier has been
                  spotted recently in both Paris and Cannes, police sources said, challenging
                  the official French line that the government has lost track of him and he may
                  have left the country.

                  Circulating under different pseudonyms, the former dictator regularly
                  changes dwellings, staying with friends, the sources said Tuesday on
                  condition of anonymity.

                  Named president for life at age 19 following the death of his father in 1971,
                  Duvalier has lived in France since February 1986, when a popular uprising
                  forced him into exile.

                  But the French Interior Ministry said recently it had lost track of him and that
                  he "probably" had left the country.

                  Encouraged by the arrest in Britain of former Chilean military ruler Augusto
                  Pinochet, Haitian-born photographer Gerald Bloncourt has created a
                  committee in Paris aimed at bringing Duvalier to trial for crimes against

                  On Tuesday, he said he had gathered "the necessary elements" for a lawsuit
                  and would announce legal action at a news conference on Friday.

                  The Haitian government has encouraged Haitians to file lawsuits in Haiti
                  against the 47-year-old former dictator, but until now no one has filed a
                  criminal suit. However, if the French victims file suit, Duvalier could be tried
                  in France.

                  Duvalier spoke out in a radio interview Monday, saying his conscience was
                  clear and denying he was a fugitive.

                  "I am not afraid," Duvalier told a New York City reporter for the private
                  Radio Galaxie in Haiti, speaking by telephone. "My conscience is clear."

                  "I have not been convicted," he said. "No suit has been filed against me," he

                  Duvalier's father, Francois, known as "Papa Doc," ruled Haiti with an iron
                  hand since 1957 with the help of the Tontons Macoutes, his private militia.
                  Tens of thousands of people were killed and tortured during the 31-year
                  father-and-son dynasty.

                  Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.