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Archive for Friday, February 12, 2010

Judge poised to release U.S. missionaries

February 12, 2010

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— The 10 U.S. missionaries charged with kidnapping for trying to take a busload of children out of Haiti should be released from jail while an investigation continues, a Haitian judge said Thursday, giving the Americans their best news since their arrests nearly two weeks ago.

Judge Bernard Saint-Vil has the final word on whether to free the missionaries, though he gave the prosecutor-general the opportunity to raise objections. He said he was accepting defense attorneys’ request to provisionally free the Americans while an investigation of the case continues.

It is unclear when the missionaries, most from an Idaho Baptist church group and one man from Topeka, Kan., might be released, and Saint-Vil said it was too early to say whether they would be able to leave this earthquake-crippled Caribbean nation if granted provisional freedom. It is also unclear what bearing releasing the missionaries might have on whether they go to trial.

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