Aristide to sue French ambassador

Ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide plans to take legal action against the French ambassador in Haiti for allegedly helping in his abduction.

    Aristide's (L) accusations have irritated his Central African hosts

    Aristide's lawyer, Gilbert Collard, told the French Inter station on Wednesday the White House wanted to push the president out, and France gave its help in illegally expelling the president from his own country.
      
    "President Aristide would like legal action to be taken against the person who made his kidnapping happen - that is to say, the French ambassador in Haiti." 
      
    Aristide was taken out of Haiti to Africa on 29 February after being ousted amid widespread unrest in the Caribbean country.
      
    He has since been in the Central African Republic, a former French colony.

    Call for resistance

    On Monday, the ex-president appealed for peaceful resistance to what he called the occupation and insisted he had been abducted by US forces as well.

    Aristide said he still regarded himself as Haiti's legitimate leader.

    "I am the elected president and I remain the elected president, I am pleading for the restoration of democracy.

    "The fact is there was a political abduction. This unfortunately has paved the way for occupation and we launch an appeal for peaceful resistance."

    Denial

    Washington had flatly denied allegations of kidnapping, saying it helped him leave Haiti, but the decision to go was his own.

    "The fact is there was a political abduction. This unfortunately has paved the way for occupation and we launch an appeal for peaceful resistance"

    Jean-Bertrand Aristide,
    ousted Haitian president

    But his supporters had alleged that a resignation letter he signed was invalid as he wrote it under duress.

    US marines are now leading an international peace mission in Haiti, approved by the United Nations to restore order after days of looting and shooting after his flight into exile.

    More litigation

    Collard told journalists on Sunday he and an American colleague would file lawsuits in the US as well in the next few days, once they received full authorisation from Aristide.

    "The suits will target the Bush administration and the French government. If we get support from some African states, we will also appeal to the relevant commission of the United Nations."

    Central African authorities have expressed annoyance over Aristide's repeated accusations against Washington.

    Foreign Minister Charles Wenezoui told him at the news conference it would be better if he did not talk about the situation in Haiti.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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