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#1116: Brother of Haiti Strongman Released (fwd)
Brother of Haiti Strongman Released
.c The Associated Press
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - After more than three years in prison without
trial, the brother of former army coup strongman Michel Francois has been
released along with 21 other prisoners, a news report said Friday.
Evans Francois was arrested in April 1996 on subversion charges. His brother,
Michel, had been police chief of Port-au-Prince during the 1991-94
military-backed regime that ended when U.S. troops intervened in Haiti to
restore its democratically elected government.
Evans Francois was released Tuesday with 21 other prisoners held in the
capital's national penitentiary for long periods without trial, private Radio
In 1995, Michel Francois was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment. He
was later expelled from the neighboring Dominican Republic and deported to
Left-wing militant Patrick Moise, who was arrested on subversion charges in
May 1996, also was among those released.
The prisoners, who had been on a hunger strike, were released for
humanitarian reasons, said government prosecutor Florence Mathieu.
``They were in critical condition,'' she said.
Francois was unable to speak or recognize people, she said. Some of the
prisoners were feverish and had tuberculosis. ``It was a veritable
hospital,'' she said.
Some of the prisoners had been held even though release orders had been
Last month, eight soldiers who had been arrested on subversion charges in
1996 also were released after going on a hunger strike.
More than 1,500 prisoners are incarcerated in the crowded downtown
penitentiary. Fewer than 500 have been tried.
Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP
news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise
distributed without prior written authority of The Associated Press.