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Americas

"Baby Doc" Duvalier questioned by Haitian authorities

media L'ex-président haïtien Jean-Claude Duvalier à son arrivée à l'hôtel Caribe à Port-au-Prince, le 16 janvier 2011. AFP / Hector Retamal

Haitian officials have taken former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier to court, two days after his surprise return to Haiti following years of exile.

Duvalier, who ruled Haiti with an iron fist in the 1970s and 1980s, was questioned by the nation's chief prosecutor and a judge in his hotel at Port-au-Prince.

Human rights groups have long pressed for Duvalier to face justice over the alleged torture and killings committed during his rule. Officials however have declined to say what charges he might face.

It is not clear whether he has been arrested.

Although he was not handcuffed, Duvalier was led away in a convoy of armored vehicles bristling with swat police.

"He is being taken to the prosecutors' office to notify him of the file against him," the head of the Port-au-Prince bar association, Gervais Charles, told AFP.

Duvalier fled the country in 1986 after a popular uprising, having allegedly siphoned away millions of euros from Haiti.

Groups of followers of the former dictator gathered outside his hotel to show their support.

The United States have denounced Duvalier's return to Haiti, saying it only added to the country's "burden," and insisted Washington had played no part.
 

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