Ousted president Duvalier returning to Haiti: diplomat

By The Associated Press

Haitian former president Jean-Claude Duvalier, ousted from power by a popular revolt in the 1980s, is heading back to Haiti where he is expected to arrive later Sunday, a diplomatic source in Paris said.

“He is on board an Air France flight” going to Port-au-Prince, the diplomat who requested anonymity told AFP.

The plane is scheduled to land in the Haitian capital around 5:30 pm (2230 GMT).

The 59-year-old ex-dictator, known as “Baby Doc”, has been living in exile in France for nearly 25 years.

Duvalier’s unexpected return comes while Haiti is marking the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 people, and as the Caribbean island nation is mired in a political impasse following disputed elections.

Duvalier, who ruled Haiti from 1971 to 1986, asked during an interview on Haitian radio in 2007 for “the pardon of the Haitian people for the errors committed during [his] regime”.

Incumbent President Rene Preval, whose term expires in three weeks, has said that if there was a pardon, there would also be “justice”, as the former dictator is accused of corruption during his years in power.