Thursday, February 4, 2010

American Baptist Missionaries to be Prosecuted for Kidnapping: Nine Idaho Missionaries Sent Home?

The ten Baptist missionaries from Idaho, who tried to take 33 children out of Haiti and into the Dominican Republic, may be prosecuted for kidnapping. Video link below. See an update below.

In the overwhelming disaster of Haiti, apparently the courts there have time to try these Americas and perhaps issue a verdict in three months:

Coq [Haitian lawyer for Americans] said that under Haiti's legal system, there won't be an open trial, but a judge will consider the evidence and could render a verdict in about three months....
Each kidnapping count carries a possible sentence of five to 15 years in prison. Each criminal association count has a potential sentence of three to nine years. 
However, there are rumblings that only one person from the New Life Children's Refuge may be held responsible, and the group's Dominican lawyer said just minutes after the following statement that he is arranging a charter flight to send 9 of the Americans home today. 
Coq said that nine of the 10 knew nothing about the alleged scheme, or that paperwork for the children was not in order.

"I'm going to do everything I can to get the nine out," Coq said. That would still leave mission leader Laura Silsby facing charges.
Just minutes after Coq's above comments, the group's Dominican lawyer said he already has a chartered flight-out for 9 Americans as soon as approval is given:
Only minutes earlier, the Americans' Dominican lawyer, Jorge Puello, had said he expected at least nine of the 10 to be released Thursday, and said he was arranging a charter flight for them from Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital.
"I'm at the airport [in Santo Domingo] and we're getting the plane ready. We're just waiting for the green light," Puello said. "I spoke to a source inside the jail — a government official — who said nine would be released but one would be held for further investigation." 
View an AP video with a young man who served as the contact between the Americans and some family of the children or orphanage personnel. It appears these children were willingly sent with the missionaries.

Update 1-4-10:
Apparently, no one left Haiti today and all ten missionaries were charged.

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton