Haitian Court courageously challenged impunity in Duvalier Case
With his return came the memory of what he is accused of--not to the victims of those crimes, but to the forefront of the law and the news. Many in the nation became greatly incensed when, upon his return, the polarizing man was seemingly greeted with open arms by the current president, who even renewed Duvalier's diplomatic passport.
But Duvalier was also met with charges of financial criminal activity and violent crimes. A newly-appointed magistrate judge, at the beginning of 2012, upheld the financial criminal charges, but threw out political violence crime charges, upon the recommendation of the government prosecutor, for being past the statute of limitation (ten years).
With the might of the National Palace and the still-present clout of the Duvalier name behind him, Baby Doc seemed primed for a strong comeback. Then, out of the ashes of the 2011 failed attempt, the Appellate Court cited the international law that binds Haiti which says that there can be no statute of limitation applied to crimes against humanity.
It can be hoped that, after this hallmark step of the Haitian courts, future rulers may think twice before attempting to hold the country hostage through fear again.
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