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Haiti: Duvalier Arrest Imminent?

UPDATE: 7:23 pm AST – @kiskeacity tweets that ‘Baby Doc’ #Duvalier charged with corruption in Haiti http://ht.ly/3G5s4#BabyDoc

UPDATE: 4:15 pmDuvalier is en route back to his hotel; will apparently address the media later.

UPDATE: 2:05 pmThe motorcade has reportedly arrived at the “Parquet”.

From just before eleven o'clock this morning, Twitter has been rife with speculation that Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, the banished former dictator who has been living in exile in France and who made a surprise return to his homeland on Sunday evening, may be in the process of being placed under arrest.

@emilytroutman started the ball rolling when she tweeted:

BREAKING: Radio Caraibes reporting #Babydoc will be arrested today. Security at hotel locked down. #Haiti

Soon after that, @kiskeacity, a diaspora netizen, began re-tweeting updates from @jacquiecharles, a correspondent for the Miami Herald, whom @RAMHaiti has accused of not always checking her facts. Still, @jacquiecharles has been updating her tweets regularly:

Five HNP officers just showed up at Karibe. Headed to Duvalier's room. #haiti #elections

Are they here to make an arrest? That is the word. #haiti #elections

Two heavily armed HNP just mounted the staircase after the final officer came down. #haiti #elections

Six heavily armed Haitian SWAT just jumped in back of a pick-up. We feel this is a diversion, but where to? #haiti #elections

The chief prosecutor just arrived and the justice of peace. #haiti #elections

Neither Judge Gabriel Ambroise nor Chief Prosecutor Aristides would say if they have an arrest warrant. Many more police. #haiti #elections

HNP won't say if there is an actual arrest warrant, only they were asked to send police to secure hotel. #haiti #elections

Soon afterward, it appeared that Duvalier put out a call for legal representation:

@jacquiecharles: #Haiti attorney Reynold Georges just arrived. Says Gervais Charles en route. Charles hasn't represented JCD for years. #haiti #elections

Thus far, no-one can confirm whether Duvalier has indeed been arrested. It now appears, as of 1:10 pm, that he is coming out of the hotel that has been surrounded by police for the past couple of hours, perhaps for the reason that @carelpedre tweeted:

Jean Claude Duvalier and His Lawyers will go to the Court of Port-au-Prince to continue with the hearing. #babydoc

@carelpedre seems convinced that:

Jean Claude Duvalier's arrest becomes increasingly likely after his 1st meeting with the Haitian justice

Even as Duvalier supporters appear to be “mobilizing protests against his arrest”, the actual details of his apparent detainment remain sketchy.

@carelpredre just confirmed that:

Jean Claude Duvalier, his staff & his lawyers r leaving the Karibe Hotel now. He's going to the “Parquet” for further questioning.

Global Voices will continue to follow developments and post updates as they become available.

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