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
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
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
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,"
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
Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.