Members of Idaho-based church group charged with child kidnapping - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Members of Idaho-based church group charged with child kidnapping

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BOISE, Idaho. - Idaho congressional leaders say they will work with officials at home and in Haiti to ensure that 10 Americans charged with child kidnapping are treated fairly and their legal cases resolved quickly.
     
The Haitian government filed the criminal charges Thursday against the Americans, including eight from Idaho. They were arrested last week after trying to bus 33 undocumented Haitian children across the border to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.
     
Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, along with Reps. Mike Simpson and Walt Minnick, say despite the bad news, they will work to see that the detainees are treated humanely until their legal cases are resolved.
     
The congressional leaders say their top priority is to ensure each of the detainees have their physical and medical needs met and access to legal counsel.

Attorney says US Baptists charged in child case

A Haitian attorney says 10 Americans detained in Haiti for trying to take 33 children out of the country after the Jan. 12 earthquake have been charged with child kidnapping.
     
Edwin Coq says the Americans also are charged with criminal association. The 10 appeared in court Thursday and were whisked away to a jail in Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince.
     
Coq attended the session and has represented the group here.

Just minutes earlier, an attorney for the Americans in the neighboring Dominican Republic had said he expected nine of the 10 members of an Idaho-based church group were going to be released.     

Thursday's session was being held behind closed doors.
     
As she entered the court, mission organizer Laura Silsby told reporters, "We expect God's will be done and we will be released."
     
The group says it was trying to rescue orphaned and abandoned child victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake. Haitian officials say many of the 33 children found with them at Haiti's border still had parents, though they may have handed over the children willingly.

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