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Duvalier: Sorry for alleged abuses

Jan. 22, 2011 at 9:18 AM   |   Comments

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Former Haitian president Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier says he returned to Haiti after 25 years in exile because he wants to help rebuild the country.

Duvalier arrived in Port-au-Prince Sunday from France and in his most extensive speech since returning, he called for national reconciliation, the BBC said Saturday.

Duvalier said he wanted "to express deep sorrow for all those who say they were victims of my government."

Duvalier has been accused of corruption and rights abuses that caused more than 100,000 Haitians to flee the country. Duvalier fled to France in 1986 after uprisings in Haiti.

He is being sued for torture and other crimes against humanity and state prosecutors have charged him with theft and misappropriation of funds during his time in office.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday by former United Nations spokeswoman Michele Montas and three Haitians who were jailed during his 1971-1986 regime allege torture, among other things.

Montas sued Duvalier for arbitrary detention, exile, and destruction of private property, torture and moral violation of civil and political rights.

An attorney for Duvalier said he would remain in Haiti despite the charges and that he might get involved in politics again.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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