Duvalier must face justice – Other Views –

logomhThe judge’s questions reveal that he understands international law much more than the previous judge who ruled that Duvalier could not be prosecuted because he did not commit any crimes himself and that, even if he did, Haiti’s statute of limitations has long expired. Yet both these principles must yield to binding international law.

The assassinations and torture sessions conducted by Haitian officers under Duvalier’s command and control were not occasional or rogue acts but part of a widespread and systematic campaign to terrorize Haitians, constituting what are now called “crimes against humanity.”

These crimes are not subject to any statute of limitations, so it is never too late to prosecute. Moreover, “disappearances” are crimes that do not end until the person has been found, dead or alive. Hubert Legros, an eminent Haitian jurist was abducted from his home in January 1973. His daughter, Gloria, later learned that he had been taken to Fort Dimanche. A fellow prisoner later told her that her father was killed in December 1975, but his remains have never been found. For Gloria Legros and the many relatives of those whose fate remains unknown, the crime continues and cannot be barred by statutory time limits. via –



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