The Haitian courts summoned Duvalier today for questioning, as the three-month investigation period into his crimes involving corruption and embezzling Haitian funds is still underway. No charges have been filed, and during this period, the court can summon him as many times as they like in an effort to gather evidence to build a case against him. Outside the gates to the court, a throng of Duvalier supporters crowded the entrance cheering about the return of the ex-dictator, and calling for the end of the Preval presidency.
A large red pick-up truck pulled up to the gate and the crowd went wild. Dozens of journalists and supporters crowded around the car expecting to see Duvalier in the passenger seat, but to everyone’s disappointment it was simply his lawyer, Reynold Georges, coming with a message for the court.
Duvalier had employed the oldest trick in the book, one we all have used to get the chance to stay home from school when we’re not feeling up to going: He got a doctor’s note saying he was sick. According to his lawyer, Duvalier had a bout of high blood pressure and was feeling light-headed. He was brought to the hospital and a doctor made the assessment that he needed to rest. The doctor’s note asked the judge for permission to allow him to rest for 15 days,
so he could study some more for his final exam so he could get back in good health and then return to the court for questioning. The judge granted his wish, so the questioning will have to wait for another two weeks.
The lawyer walked out, all while joking with reporters (“No, he does not have Cholera! Haha!”), and then met with the group of Duvalier supporters who were still chanting outside. They posed for another round of pictures with the press corp who now, after Duvalier was a no-show, had nothing to show for their trip to the court, and then left. For now, we can rest knowing that Duvalier is safely holed up in his home, hopefully getting the necessary treatments he needs for his newly diagnosed hypertension, and in 15 days, we’ll do this all over again.