Four Americans expelled from Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) _ Four Americans released from prison in a general amnesty were expelled from this Caribbean island Thursday, the U.S. Embassy said. They were arrested last June on narcotics possession charges.
Embassy spokesman Jeffrey Lite said police had found several hundred pounds of cocaine in their possession. All four left on a flight to the United States, Lite said, but he did not know their final destinations or hometowns.
He identified them as William Bateman, 34; Joseph Alaimo, 22; Christine Cieri, 25, and Linda June McInveille, 26.
Five other Amerians were among 200 prisoners released from national prison Wednesday in an amnesty decreed by the military-civilian council that took over after dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier and his retinue fled the country for France on Feb. 7.
Lite said he could supply no information about the other five because they had not given their permission.
A guard at the prison said Thursday there were no prisoners left at the facility, which is Haiti’s largest penal institution.
The newspaper Le Nouvelliste quoted Justice Minister Gerard Gourgue on Thursday as saying prisoners in other jails around the country also would be freed. An Information Ministry spokeswoman said Gourgue intended to have the cases reviewed before more prisoners were released.
Prisoners at the National Penitentiary were freed without review because many were arrested by the Tonton Macoutes, Duvalier’s private militia, and had not been tried, said the spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The amnesty followed rioting at the prison Tuesday, in which 59 prisoners escaped and a guard was slightly inured.