Swiss Seek to Return Duvalier Funds to Haiti

August 21st, 2010

The Wall Street Journal

By Deborah Ball

ZURICH—Weeks after the overthrow of Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier in 1986, Haiti asked Switzerland to freeze $5 million it alleged Mr. Duvalier had stolen and stashed in Swiss bank accounts.

Switzerland has been trying to give the money back to Haiti for nearly 24 years. But the simple act of returning allegedly ill-gotten gains has proven harder than it sounds. The money sits frozen in Swiss banks, held up by Haiti’s inability to mount a case against Mr. Duvalier and the former dictator’s own drive to reclaim the money.

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