Haiti's 'Baby Doc' summoned to court after no-show

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Associated Press

Posted on February 22, 2013 at 12:01 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 22 at 12:30 AM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A Haitian judge has summoned Jean-Claude Duvalier to appear in court after the former dictator defied an order to attend a hearing Thursday to determine whether he should again face charges for human rights abuses committed during the nearly 15 years of his brutal regime.

Magistrate Jean Joseph Lebrun also dismissed an appeal filed by the defense team that sought to take the case to the Supreme Court.

A prosecutor says the judge's order requires Duvalier to appear in court next Thursday.

The rulings in Haiti's Court of Appeal provided some hope to a group of plaintiffs who are seeking to have the former dictator better known as "Baby Doc" prosecuted for alleged rights abuses.

Duvalier ruled Haiti from 1971-1986, a time when thousands were imprisoned, tortured and killed for opposing the government.

He was ousted in a popular revolt.

He made a surprise return to Haiti in January 2011 from 25 years in exile and was charged with embezzlement and human rights abuses. A court threw out all but the embezzlement charge. He skipped two previous court hearings without penalty.

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