Asset Recovery Watch

ARW-88
Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier (United Kingdom)
Haiti
President (1971-1986)
United Kingdom
Location of Recovery Effort
1988
1990
Art.17, Art.23
Yes
Private Civil Action
No
NA
A United Kingdom court granted a worldwide Mareva freezing order even though, as it noted, the Duvaliers were not in England and there was no evidence that they had assets in the UK. However, the Court pointed out that the Duvaliers had used English solicitors in connection with dealings with the assets and all of the documentary evidence in relation to such dealings was therefore located in England which was adjudged a sufficient connection with England. (Source: New Law Journal, "Disarming litigation terrorists John Fordham explains how devastating freezing injunctions can be," May 9, 2008 [Discussion of Republic of Haiti v Duvalier [1990] 1 QB 202, [1989] 1 All ER 456], accessed at http://www.venezlon.co.uk/old/pdf/disarming_litigation.pdf; Republic of Haiti v Duvalier [1990] 1 QB 202, [1989] 1 All ER 456.)
Completed
Final Judgment (No Appeal)
$0
No
NA

On October 4, 2014, Mr. Duvalier passed away. Prior to his death, the charges against him in Haiti had been voided on grounds of expiration of statute of limitations. (Source: The Economist, "Obituary: Baby Doc Duvalier," October 11, 2014). On January18, 2013, Haitian prosecutors charged Mr. Duvalier with corruption and embezzlement, and he was taken into police custody (Source:  New York Times, Jean-Cluade Duvalier, accessed at http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/jeanclaude_...)  According to an Amnesty International press release, after three failures to appear to court hearings, the latest on February 21, 2013,  the Court of Appeal asked the Public Prosecutor to issue a warrant ordering the former president to appear before the court on February 28, 2013.  Mr. Duvalier appeared in court on February 28, 2013 and entered a plea of not guilty. (Sources: Amnesty International press release, "Haiti: Jean-Claude Duvalier’s presence in Court brings hope to victims,"  March 1, 2013 accessed at http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/haiti-jean-claude-duvalier-s-presence-cou... NBCnews.com, "Ex-Haiti dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier faces corruption charges for first time since revolt," February 28, 2013, accessed at  http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/28/17136615-ex-haiti-dictator.... According to an April 2011 report by Human Rights Watch, criminal proceedings had been instituted in Haiti against Mr. Duvalier on charges of financial crimes, after he left Haiti in 1986. These pending proceedings were reinstituted when Mr. Duvalier returned to Haiti in January 2011. (Source: Haiti's Rendezvous with History, "The proceedings against Duvalier," Human Rights Watch, April 14, 2011, accessed at http://www.hrw.org/en/node/97889/section/4.)

On January 18, 2013, Haitian prosecutors charged Mr. Duvalier with corruption and embezzlement, and he was taken into police custody (Source:  New York Times, Jean-Cluade Duvalier, accessed at http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/jeanclaude_...)  According to an Amnesty International press release, after three failures to appear to court hearings, the latest on February 21, 2013,  the Court of Appeal asked the Public Prosecutor to issue a warrant ordering the former president to appear before the court on February 28, 2013.  Mr. Duvalier appeared in court on February 28, 2013 and entered a plea of not guilty. (Sources: Amnesty International press release, "Haiti: Jean-Claude Duvalier’s presence in Court brings hope to victims,"  March 1, 2013 accessed at http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/haiti-jean-claude-duvalier-s-presence-cou... NBCnews.com, "Ex-Haiti dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier faces corruption charges for first time since revolt," February 28, 2013, accessed at  http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/28/17136615-ex-haiti-dictator.... The trial is still ongoing.  According to an April 2011 report by Human Rights Watch, criminal proceedings had been instituted in Haiti against Mr. Duvalier on charges of financial crimes, after he left Haiti in 1986. These pending proceedings were reinstituted when Mr. Duvalier returned to Haiti in January 2011. (Source: Haiti's Rendezvous with History, "The proceedings against Duvalier," Human Rights Watch, April 14, 2011, accessed at http://www.hrw.org/en/node/97889/section/4.)

Unspecified
Unspecified
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Watson, Farley & Williams; Slaughter & May
Queens Bench