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Haiti: Duvalier Arrest Imminent?

Categories: Caribbean, Haiti, Breaking News, Human Rights, International Relations, Law, Media & Journalism, Migration & Immigration, Politics, Protest, Technology

UPDATE: 7:23 pm AST – @kiskeacity tweets [1] that ‘Baby Doc’¬†#Duvalier [2] charged with corruption in Haiti¬†http://ht.ly/3G5s4 [3]#BabyDoc [4]

UPDATE: 4:15 pmDuvalier is en route back to his hotel; will apparently address the media later. [5]

UPDATE: 2:05 pmThe motorcade has reportedly arrived at the “Parquet” [6].

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 [7], may be in the process of being placed under arrest.

@emilytroutman [8] started the ball rolling when she tweeted:

BREAKING: Radio Caraibes reporting #Babydoc will be arrested today. Security at hotel locked down. #Haiti [9]

Soon after that, @kiskeacity [10], a diaspora netizen, began re-tweeting updates from @jacquiecharles [11], a correspondent for the Miami Herald, whom @RAMHaiti has accused of not always checking her facts [12]. Still, @jacquiecharles has been updating her tweets regularly:

Five HNP officers just showed up at Karibe. Headed to Duvalier's room. #haiti #elections [13]

Are they here to make an arrest? That is the word. #haiti #elections [14]

Two heavily armed HNP just mounted the staircase after the final officer came down. #haiti #elections [15]

Six heavily armed Haitian SWAT just jumped in back of a pick-up. We feel this is a diversion, but where to? #haiti #elections [16]

The chief prosecutor just arrived and the justice of peace. #haiti #elections [17]

Neither Judge Gabriel Ambroise nor Chief Prosecutor Aristides would say if they have an arrest warrant. Many more police. #haiti #elections [18]

HNP won't say if there is an actual arrest warrant, only they were asked to send police to secure hotel. #haiti #elections [19]

Soon afterward, it appeared that Duvalier put out a call for legal representation [20]:

@jacquiecharles [11]: #Haiti attorney Reynold Georges just arrived. Says Gervais Charles en route. Charles hasn't represented JCD for years. #haiti #elections [21]

Thus far, no-one can confirm [22] whether Duvalier has indeed been arrested [23]. It now appears, as of 1:10 pm, that he is coming out [24] of the hotel that has been surrounded by police for the past couple of hours, perhaps for the reason that @carelpedre [25] tweeted:

Jean Claude Duvalier and His Lawyers will go to the Court of Port-au-Prince to continue with the hearing. #babydoc [26]

@carelpedre seems convinced that:

Jean Claude Duvalier's arrest becomes increasingly likely after his 1st meeting with the Haitian justice [27]

Even as Duvalier supporters appear to be “mobilizing protests against his arrest” [28], 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. [29]

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