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Government to return Duvalier funds to Haiti

The justice ministry will authorise the return to Haiti of unclaimed funds linked to the former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier.

This content was published on July 2, 2008 - 15:57

In a statement, the authorities announced they had given account holders three months to prove the money was not illegally acquired. If they do not comply, the assets – estimated at SFr7.6 million – will be returned to the Caribbean state.

The funds only represent a fraction of the $100 million fortune Duvalier and his entourage are accused of embezzling from Haiti. Duvalier who held power from 1971 to 1986, now lives in France.

The Swiss Duvalier accounts have been frozen since 2002. Port-au-Prince first requested legal assistance from Switzerland in 1986 but the application was only completed last May, opening the way for the return of the assets.

The unclaimed funds will be returned after the end of September.

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