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#946: Panama rejects call to extradite Haiti coup leaders (fwd)


Panama rejects call to extradite Haiti coup leaders 

 PANAMA CITY, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Panama's government on Friday rejected
calls by a human rights group to extradite two former Haitian military
leaders sought in Haiti to answer human rights abuse charges. Panama's
foreign ministry said the country could not go back on a decision to
grant exile to the former Haitian leaders. ``It would establish a
prejudicial precedent to award exile to resolve the political problems
of a neighbouring country, and then rescind it,'' Panama's Foreign
Ministry said in a statement. In a letter to President Mireya Moscoso on
Thursday, U.S.-based rights group Human Rights Watch called for the    
prosecution or extradition of former Haitian military junta leaders
Raoul Cedras and Phillipe Biamby, who have lived in  exile in Panama
since October 1994. Cedras, who led the junta that ousted President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1992, and his former Chief-of-Staff Biamby,
were recently charged by a Haitian court with involvement in the
massacre of 20 civilians in the island's capital, Port-au-Prince.