Detained Americans questioned by Haitian judge
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti. - Ten Americans arrested in Haiti while trying to bring a busload of children across the border are being questioned by a judge.
The investigating magistrate queried the women for several hours Tuesday and will follow up with the men on Wednesday, according to the Haiti's communications minister. No lawyers were present, and the Americans have yet to be charged.
Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue says the evidence will be presented to a Haitian district attorney to decide whether to file charges.
The Baptists from Idaho say they were only trying to help orphans survive the earthquake. But legal experts say taking children across a border without documents or government permission can be considered child trafficking.
Story continues below...
Haiti's prime minister says it's clear to him that the U.S. Baptists who
tried to take 33 Haitian children out of the quake-ravaged country
"knew what they were doing was wrong."
Idaho church calls for release of detainees
Church leaders affiliated with the 10 Americans detained in Haiti for trying to take a busload of children out of the country are calling for their immediate release.
Central Valley Baptist Church officials claim the detainees have been interrogated by the Haitian government without an attorney or witness present, a move church officials say violates the Haitian Constitution.
Assistant Pastor Drew Ham also points to a clause in Haiti's constitution preventing anyone from being arrested more than 48 hours without appearing before a judge. They have not yet been charged by the Haitian government.
The 10 Americans, including nine from Idaho, were arrested Friday after trying to take 33 undocumented children across the border. The Americans insist they were only trying to rescue child victims of the January 12 earthquake.
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