Judge in Haiti frees eight accused of kidnapping
Thursday 18 February 2010
A Haitian judge said yesterday that he would order the release of eight of 10 American missionaries accused of kidnapping children. Laura Silsby, the group's leader, and Charisa Coulter were being detained, investigating judge Bernard Sainvil said.
The 10 Americans, mostly members of an Idaho-based Baptist church, were arrested last month on charges that they tried to take 33 Haitian children out of the country without proper documentation after the 12 January earthquake. The missionaries denied any wrongdoing, saying they had only wanted to help orphans left destitute by the disaster.
They had no Haitian identity or exit papers for the minors, many of whom had living parents who acknowledged handing over their children in the belief they would be given better care.
Judge Sainvil said: "I have prepared the draft to order the release of eight of the Americans but as far as Mrs Silsby and Mrs Coulter are concerned, I need to ask further questions," he said.
A judicial source said the two were detained because both had visited Haiti before, inquiring about orphanages.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Bloody attack brings terror to capital’s streets
German chancellor Angela Merkel named most powerful woman in the world by Forbes - again
World news in pictures
Eyewitness gives extraordinary account of her confrontation with Woolwich attackers
- 1 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Bloody attack brings terror to capital’s streets
- 2 Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
- 3 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
- 4 Eyewitness gives extraordinary account of her confrontation with Woolwich attackers
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL might have a sinister plan as a soldier is murdered in suspected Islamic terrorist attack
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.