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5434: American Charged in Haiti (fwd)

From: nozier@tradewind.net

Friday November 3 10:11 PM ET American Charged in Haiti 
 By MICHAEL NORTON, Associated Press Writer 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - An American has been jailed in Haiti
on charges of aiding in the escape of six police officers accused of
plotting a coup, justice officials said Friday. The officers claim they
fled Haiti because they feared reprisals for revealing election fraud.
 Roger Alteri, 31, drove six high-ranking officers across the border to
the Dominican Republic on Oct.18, authorities said. A seventh fled a few
days later. Alteri was charged with ``complicity in the flight of
police officers accused of fomenting a coup d'etat,'' Justice Minister
Camille Leblanc said. The officers are suspected of plotting to kill
President Rene Preval, Premier Jacques-Edouard Alexis and former
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, said Gerald Gilles, a senator close to
Preval. Aristide is expected to win the Nov. 26 presidential election in
a landslide. Tensions have mounted in Haiti ahead of the election, which
all major opposition parties are boycotting. The officers deny plotting
a coup. Two of the officers told Dominican newspapers they feared
reprisals for revealing Aristide's party's plans to steal legislative
and local elections held this year and to undermine the elections with
violent attacks. Aristide's party, which won 80 percent of all offices,
has denied opposition charges of election fraud.The Dominican government
last week refused Haiti's request to extradite the seven officers. They
left this week for Ecuador, Dominican officials said.
One of the accused officers, Jean-Jacques Nau, is a brother-in-law of
Alteri. Alteri, a Haiti-born naturalized U.S. citizen, returned to his
homeland in 1995 to work as a special investigator for a U.S.
government security contractor.The U.S. Embassy declined to comment on
Alteri's arrest.