Haiti judge frees 8 missionaries, keeps 2(Read article summary)
A Haiti judge decided today to continue detaining two American missionaries, while releasing the other eight in the group held since Jan. 29 on accusations of kidnapping 33 children.
A Haitian judge decided today to continue detaining two American missionaries, while freeing the other eight in the group held since Jan. 29 on accusations they kidnapped 33 children in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.
“I am extremely disturbed that two of the missionaries are being left behind,” says Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, which has been lobbying the Haitian government on the missionaries’ behalf. “They operated as a group, they worked as a group – it almost seems punitive or some kind of a payback to hold two and release the eight.”
Charisa Coulter and Laura Silsby, the financially troubled leader of the group, are being kept for further investigation, Judge Bernard Sainvil said. It was unclear if they still faced charges of child abduction and criminal conspiracy, which can carry prison terms of up to 15 years.
“Eight of my clients will be set free,” lawyer Aviol Fleurant told AFP. “The judge wants to question two of my clients because they were in Haiti before the earthquake.”