Detained American Baptists questioned by Haitian judge

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A Haitian judge on Tuesday questioned the 10 U.S. Baptist missionaries arrested Friday trying to leave Haiti with a busload of children they gathered after the Jan. 12 earthquake.

The investigating magistrate queried the five women for several hours and is scheduled to follow up with the five men today, according to the Haiti's communications minister. No lawyers were present.

Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue says the evidence will be presented to a Haitian district attorney to decide whether to file charges.

The Americans apparently enlisted a clergyman who asked people if they wanted to give away their children, the director of Haiti's social welfare agency, Jeanne Bernard Pierre, told the Associated Press.

"One child said to me, 'When they came knocking on our door asking for children, my mom decided to give me away because we are six children and by giving me away she would have only five kids to care for,' " Pierre said.

Detained American Baptists questioned by Haitian judge 02/02/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 11:06pm]

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