Haitian Police Take 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Into Custody A Haitian judge will decide whether former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier will be tried on corruption charges. Duvalier returned to Haiti on Sunday after 25 years in exile. Host Robert Siegel speaks to NPR's Jason Beaubien for the latest on the strongman's return and what might be in store for him.
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Haitian Police Take 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Into Custody

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Haitian Police Take 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Into Custody

Haitian Police Take 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Into Custody

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ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

And Jason, what have you learned about the charges filed today?

JASON BEAUBIEN: So he has not yet been arrested. And the state of this is that this investigating judge is investigating. And in the days, possibly weeks, to come we will find out whether Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier is actually going to be arrested on these charges.

SIEGEL: Now Duvalier was questioned by that investigating judge earlier today. I want you to describe how he arrived at the courthouse.

BEAUBIEN: Police - Haitian national police swarmed into the hotel that he was staying in. All morning, judges, prosecutors were going in and out of his room. In the end, it was more than a dozen heavily-armed police in riot gear, went to his room, escorted him out. He was not in handcuffs. He came out with his longtime companion. He waved to the crowd. And then they bustled him into several SUVs with tinted windows and moves through the streets and brought him to the courthouse.

SIEGEL: Now, here is something confusing to those of us hearing this: Duvalier was picked up by the police - you mentioned his passport. He returned to Haiti on a diplomatic passport, and that suggests that he made the trip with the approval of the government. Do you know anything further about his reasons for making this surprise return trip to Haiti?

BEAUBIEN: We have not heard from him directly as to why he's come back. But people close to him have come out and spoken to the press, and they say that he's come back as a private citizen to help with the earthquake recovery, and the he doesn't want to get involved in politics.

SIEGEL: And Jason, just briefly, how would describe the reaction to Duvalier's return to Haiti?

BEAUBIEN: Certainly, there's some people who are hard core Duvalier supporters. They came out very loud, supporting him in the streets. But other people are quite concerned about having a man who was so powerful, who inflicted a reign of terror on this country, back on his home soil.

SIEGEL: Thank you, Jason.

BEAUBIEN: You're welcome.

SIEGEL: That's NPR's Jason Beaubien, speaking to us from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

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