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Saturday, February 6, 2010
Attorney says U.S. Baptists charged in Haitian child case
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Ten Americans detained in Haiti for trying to take 33 children out of the country after the earthquake were charged with child kidnapping and criminal association on Thursday, their Haitian lawyer said.
Edwin Coq said that a judge found sufficient evidence to file charges against the Americans, who were arrested Friday at Haiti's border with the Dominican Republic. Coq attended Thursday's hearing and has represented the entire group in Haiti.
The U.S. citizens, most of them members of an Idaho-based church group, were whisked away from the closed court hearing to jail in Port-au-Prince, the capital. One of them, Laura Silsby, waved and smiled faintly to reporters but declined to answer questions.
Coq said that under Haiti's legal system, there won't be an open trial, but a judge will consider the evidence. It could take the judge three months to render a verdict, Coq said.