'Baby Doc' Duvalier held by Haiti police

Former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier escorted by officers from hotel in Port-au-Prince but still unclear if he's under arrest

Haitian police have escorted former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier from the hotel in Port-au-Prince where has been staying since his surprise return from exile on Sunday.

A senior government official told Reuters Duvalier, 59, would be questioned by judicial authorities to determine whether he should be prosecuted for stealing from the treasury during his rule.

A contingent of police led the former dictator through the hotel and to a waiting SUV, Associated Press reported.

Duvalier was calm and did not say anything. Asked by journalists if he was being arrested, his longtime companion Veronique Roy, laughed but said nothing.

Mona Bernadeau, a senate candidate from the Duvalierist party, said the former dictator was being taken to court but said she does not know why.

The move came after he met in private with senior Haitian judicial officials inside his hotel room amid calls by human rights groups and other for his arrest.

The country's top prosecutor and a judge were among those meeting the former leader in the high-end hotel where he has been ensconced since his surprise return to Haiti on Sunday.

Dozens of Haitian national police officers were posted inside and around the hotel, some of them in riot gear or guarding the stairwells. A police vehicle for transporting prisoners was parked in front of the hotel's main door and all non-police traffic was halted at the driveway.

Henry Robert Sterlin, a former ambassador under Duvalier who has said in recent days that he was speaking as a spokesman for the former dictator, told reporters at the scene he was shocked by the developments. "Let's see if they put him in prison," he said.

Staff and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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