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Haiti - Duvalier : The mysterious money of "Baby Doc" for the reconstruction...
24/01/2011 13:32:48

Haiti - Duvalier : The mysterious money of
Jean Claude Duvalier has confirmed last week, for being surrounded by three lawyers acting as advisers and spokesmen and that they are not involved in his legal problems. They are two lawyers of Georgia: Ed Marger and Mike Puglisi and former U.S. Republican Senator, the lawyer Bob Barr, Representative of the 7th District of Georgia at the U.S. Congress between 1995 and 2003 [presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party in 2008]. Barr is considered as a hardline conservative, who was one of the leaders of the impeachment proceedings launched against former President Bill Clinton. Barr said he had returned to Port-au-Prince for the first time in nearly 30 years because he believes that "Duvalier is truly interested in relieving the suffering of Haiti"...

After the call for the reconciliation made by Jean Claude Duvalier, in a short speech Friday, January 21, 2011, during a press conference at his residence in Montagne Noire, https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-2181-haiti-duvalier-full-speech-of-duvalier.html Me Ed Marger said that "Duvalier has no intention of returning to politics, and will support no candidate for the Presidency" adding that the former President is interested in putting in place a transparent structure that will collect [transfer?] funds [blocked?] that are coming into Haiti, "an independent, acceptable entity that everybody can agree on" mentioning to illustrate his point Ernst & Young and Deloitte as two possibilities. "He [Duvalier] doesn't want the funds for himself" declared Me Marger on CNN last Saturday.

Me Marger, responding to a reporter who asked him if that meant he did not trust Bill Clinton who co-chaired with Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive, a joint commission (IHRC) designed precisely to make this work with billions of dollars pledged by the international community, answered "Listen, I was in Port au Prince when Bill Clinton sent in bombers to bomb Port au Prince. I have no further comment on that."

What are the funds in question? CNN recalls that in the past, Duvalier had personally tried to claim the millions of dollars blocked by Switzerland in the Duvalier family foundation. This is +/- 7.5 million, a paltry sum when we talk about reconstruction...

However, the Switzerland "track", for undisclosed amounts, remains a possibility. Indeed, the Swiss law, adopted by the State Council on the eve of the earthquake of January 12, 2010, paves the way for the recovery of these funds. This law states that the return of assets may be achieved through the funding of programs of public interest. The terms may be subject of an agreement between Switzerland and the State of origin or failing that, the Federal Council shall determine how the money will be returned. It may go through "international organizations" or non-governmental organizations. https://www.haitilibre.com/article-376-haiti-politique-fonds-de-duvalier-la-loi-suisse-est-adoptee.html (in french)

Although that the 7.6 million Swiss francs (+/- U.S. $ 7.5 million) represents a modest sum compared to the amounts of funds embezzled by the Duvalier regime, the outcome of this case in Switzerland could have, according the Federal Council, a ripple effect in other countries where illicit assets of the dictator are. The return of funds identified on the account of UBS to the Haitian State is therefore a symbolic issue.

According to a study published in March 2007 by the Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development (CCFD), in which there are two estimates of the value of stolen assets by "Baby Doc". Transparency International estimates the diversions, between 300 and 800 million dollars while the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime, estimates between 500 million and $2 billion. https://www.haitilibre.com/article-305-haiti-justice-haiti-va-t-il-enfin-recuperer-l-argent-de-bebe-doc.html (in french)

In addition, Laura Howe, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross has denied rumors that her organization had received a donation in 2010 of Mr. Duvalier, adding that the Red Cross was not disposed to accept money from Duvalier.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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