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5345: Dominicans refuse to extradite Haitian police... (fwd)

From: nozier@tradewind.net

Dominicans refuse to extradite Haitian police accused of plotting coup
October 24, 2000 Web posted at: 11:10 PM EDT (0310 GMT)

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- Dominican officials on
Tuesday rejected Haiti's request to extradite seven high-ranking Haitian
police officials accused of plotting a coup.The announcement came as two
other Haitian officers sought asylum in the Dominican Embassy in Haiti,
Dominican Foreign Minister Hugo Tolentino Dipp said.  "We are looking
for a way out that will let the Haitians live here or go to a third
country," Tolentino said after meeting with his Haitian counterpart,
Fritz  Longchamps, and Dominican President Hipolito Mejia. The Dominican
Republic and Haiti share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Last      
week, seven police officers arrived legally in a Dominican border town
and asked officials there for protection. They have been detained in the
Dominican Republic since. Some of the seven Haitians have said they want
asylum in Ecuador, where they were trained, Dominican officials say. 
Tensions in Haiti have mounted ahead of November 26 presidential
elections expected to return former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to
power. Major opposition parties are boycotting the contest, alleging
that legislative and local elections earlier this year were rigged to
favor Aristide candidates, who won more than 80 percent of the contested
posts. Aristide's Lavalas Family party has denied those allegations. 
Last week, the Haitian government said it was investigating a coup
allegedly planned by members of the police force. Aristide created the
force to replace the army that ousted him in a 1991 coup. U.S. troops
invaded to chase out the soldiers three years later.