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23796: (pub) Chamberlain: Arrest warrant sought for Aristide (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>


   PORT-AU-PRINCE, Nov 12 (AP) -- Haiti's interim prime minister said
Friday that he is seeking a warrant against ousted President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide amid allegations of corruption.
   Interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue said he asked Justice Minister
Bernard Gousse to "issue a warrant against Aristide."
   "It's something that should have been done a long time ago," Latortue
told reporters at a news conference announcing the opening of the
commission to investigate corruption.
   It wasn't immediately clear whether officials planned to arrest Aristide
on possible charges or detain him for questioning. It also was unclear
whether such a warrant would be viable in South Africa, where Aristide is
   Aristide, who was ousted Feb. 29 amid a bloody revolt, was accused by
his opponents of running a corrupt administration, profiting from cocaine
smuggling and using police to suppress critics.
   After his ouster, Aristide accused the U.S. government of kidnapping him
when he was flown out of the country on a U.S.-chartered plane. But
Washington has denied it, saying Aristide agreed to leave of his own free
   Since Aristide's departure, many of his supporters have been jailed on
suspicion of involvement in violence. The Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, a priest
and vocal supporter of Aristide, was questioned Friday on accusations of
links to violence, facing a judge who will decide whether there is enough
evidence for a trial.
   Haiti's interim government has accused Aristide of orchestrating recent
acts of violence from exile. He has denied it.