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a358: Haiti-Coup-Release (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jan 14 (AP) -- A U.S. citizen detained for more than
three weeks in connection with an attack on Haiti's National Palace was
freed by a judge's order Monday.
"I'm a free man now," Antoine Saati said in a telephone interview from
an unspecified location.
Investigating judge Bernard Sainvil ordered Saati's release Monday
afternoon. He briefly questioned Saati on Friday. Saati was never charged.
Saati, 47, the Haitian-born president of the Miami import-export firm
One World, denied involvement in the Dec. 17 attack, which the government
described as a coup attempt. That day, about two dozen armed men stormed
the presidential palace and remained there for about seven hours before
Aristide and other officials were unharmed, but 10 others were killed
and nine were wounded in the attack and violence that followed.
Saati, one of six men detained in connection to the attack, was detained
in the capital, Port-au-Prince, on Dec. 20. Saati accused a former business
associate of pulling strings to have him arrested over a separate dispute.
The United States had formally protested Saati's arrest in a diplomatic
note to the Haitian government.