Haiti - US

US missionary Silsby escapes kidnapping charges


The leader of the American missionaries who aimed to take 33 Haitian children out of the earthquake-hit country in January is to escape trial on kidnapping charges. Instead Laura Silsby is to face charges of arranging illegal travel.


Judge Bernard Saint-Vil has decided not to press kidnapping charges against Silsby and nine other Baptists who were stopped at the Dominican border on 31 January.

Although the children were not orphans, as the group claimed, he says, they had been handed over voluntarily by their parents.

But Silsby will face the lesser charge because she had no right to take the children out of the country.

She chould face up to three years in jail.

Saint-Vil has dropped all charges against the other nine, who are no longer in detention in Port-au-Prince, because he says that Silsby told them she had the necessary documents.

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