Deposed Haitian President Wants Freedom To Roam
PARIS (AP) _ A Paris court heard a demand Monday by deposed Haitian President Jean- Claude Duvalier to be allowed to leave the hotel to which he has been confined since arriving in France Feb. 7.
Judge Yves Monnet said he would decide Wednesday.
Duvalier’s case is against the Interior Ministry and local authorities in the Haute Savoie region controlling the village of Talloires.
Duvalier, his wife Michele, six children and members of his family have been restricted to the Hotel de l’Abbaye in Talloires, on the Lac d’Annecy near Geneva, since arriving on a U.S. plane which evacuated them from Haiti.
France had said they could stay a week, but no other country will accept them. The United States refused to let them enter after their week in France was up, saying they had no visas.
Duvalier’s French lawyer, Sauveur Vaisse, said authorities were imposing ″illegal restraints on his freedom, notably the right to come and go, and to speak freely.″ No one from the Duvalier family attended the hearing.
Vaisse argued that because of the strong police guard around the hotel, the Duvaliers were put in a situation of civic and personal isolation.
He said Duvalier voluntarily gave up power in Haiti to avoid violence, and sought to show that Duvalier had not been the tyrant some commentators depicted.
Duvalier has property in France and has said he wants to live here.
For the government, lawyer Georges Kiejman noted in his arguments that France agreed Duvalier could spent a brief period in France to facilitate his departure from Haiti, and that the Duvaliers are now living in a four-star hotel with a large park.