Haiti’s top prosecutor on Friday denied reports that charges have been dropped against nine of the 10 American missionaries accused of kidnapping children after a devastating earthquake hit the nation in January.
Attorney General Joseph Manes was responding to news from the office of U.S. Sen Jim Risch, R-Idaho, whose staff on Thursday said the charges had been dropped against all but one of the Baptist missionaries. Group leader Laura Silsby remains in a Haitian jail. Risch spokesman Kyle Hines said the senator had been contacted by officials at the U.S. State Department, confirming that the kidnapping charges against the other nine were dropped.
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However, Manes said that information was “absolutely incorrect.” He said that under Haitian law, all charges against the 10 Americans stand until the examining judge, Bernard Saint-Vil, renders his final decision on whether to proceed to trial.
Risch’s communications director, Brad Hoaglun, said: “We are standing by what we were orginally told by the State Department. We did, however, ask the State Department to reconfirm for us, and we are waiting that response.”