(Photo: AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Switzerland has started legal proceedings to give Haiti more than $6 million in assets back from the frozen accounts of former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.
After 25 years in exile in France, Duvalier made a surprise return to the nation in January, some speculate, to show that he wasn’t wanted on any charges in Haiti which would enable him to access the money in the account.
But in February, Switzerland enacted a new law that will make the process of returning funds, acquired illegally, to the nation where it belonged much easier. The law would prevent Duvalier and family members from reclaiming the $6.7 million (5.8 million Swiss francs) in assets that were frozen when he was ousted from power in 1986, the Associated Press reports.
If the Swiss Finance Department prevails in court, the money will be used to fund aid projects in the Haiti. The Caribbean nation is still struggling to rebuild following last year’s massive earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands.