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a159: Miami Herald: Authorities detain Miami businessman (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Authorities detain Miami businessman following attack on Dec. 17

A Miami businessman with U.S. citizenship has been detained by Haitian 
police in connection with last week's coup d'etat attempt.

Haitian authorities say Antoine ``Tony'' Saati, 47, is being questioned 
about the Dec. 17 attack on the National Palace by more than 20 armed men.

But Gina Saati, who lives in Miami-Dade, said her brother is a 
Haitian-American businessman who went to the island nation about three weeks 
ago to file an official report on a former employee whom he sued for patent 

Saati -- CEO and president of Miami-based One World Corporation, a U.S. 
resident since 1978 and naturalized citizen since 1999 -- was taken into 
custody by Haitian police Dec. 20, three days after armed men rushed the 
presidential palace in what is painted as a failed attempt by the opposition 
to overthrow Jean Bertrand Aristide's government.

Haitian National Police spokesman Jean-Dady Simeon confirmed that Saati was 
being held for questioning in connection with the Dec. 17 attack, but he 
would not give further information about what role police believe he played.

``My brother has nothing to do with the coup,'' said Gina Saati, vice 
president of One World, which produces bouillon cubes, candy, notebooks, 
light bulbs and toothbrushes, among other items. ``He's an American citizen 
who went to take care of his business matters.''

She said Antoine Saati was arrested and beaten by police because he had 
filed a lawsuit against two brothers -- including the former employee -- who 
she said have ties to the Aristide government.

On Wednesday, Saati was under heavy police guard at a Port-au-Prince 
hospital. He was taken there from his jail cell early Sunday, his sister 
said, after he drank from a bottle of pine-scented cleaning fluid he grabbed 
from the spot where his water should have been. She's not so sure it was a 
case of human error.

``Somehow, the bottle of water got switched with the Pine Sol? How? When? At 
3 o'clock in the morning?''

She said she believes the former employee was a threat to her brother.

The former employee ``would do anything to eliminate Mr. Saati so Mr. Saati 
does not take him to court,'' she said.

Jak Rust, a One World employee, and Gina Saati said Antoine Saati had been 
accompanied to the former employee's office in Haiti -- where he was to 
serve papers for the January appearance -- by police and his attorney.

Her brother was arrested, she said, while he was meeting with the former 

Gina Saati said she has been at the One World corporate office on the 42nd 
floor of the Bank of America building in downtown Miami since, calling 
embassy officials and the international media, trying to get her brother 

``I have not left the company since Thursday afternoon,. I have spent 24 
hours in the office since then, including the 24th and Christmas, trying to 
save my brother's life,'' she said.

But U.S. officials have not helped, Gina Saati said. ``Everybody is giving 
me the same excuse: `It's a holiday. There's nothing we can do now. You have 
to wait.'

``We are very disappointed with our consulate. America needs to know that 
when you are abroad, they do not really help you.''

Gina Saati said someone with the U.S. consulate in Haiti went to see her 
brother at the hospital on Sunday and that Haitian Minister of Justice Gary 
Lissard -- who had previously consulted with her brother as a private 
attorney -- had ordered police to release her brother. But as of Wednesday 
night, he was still guarded by police.

There have been three other confirmed detentions related to the coup 
investigation: suspected attacker Pierre Richardson, alleged coup plotter 
Guy Francois and Jean Dumel, the caretaker of a house where police say 
attackers stayed before the incident.

Dumel, 36, may be charged with complicity, said Simeon, who would not say 
how many people had been detained in connection with the plot.

Police were seeking the owner of the house, Albert Dorelien -- who has 
another South Florida connection: His brother Carl Dorelien, a colonel in 
Haiti's disbanded army, is being held for alleged human rights abuses at the 
Krome Detention Center.

Herald staff writer Nancy San Martin contributed to this report, which was 
supplemented by The Associated Press.

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