By TRENTON DANIEL, Associated Press | February 21, 2013 | Updated: February 21, 2013 1:59pm
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier defied a judge's order Thursday and refused to attend a hearing to determine whether he will again face charges for human rights abuses committed during the nearly 15 years of his brutal regime.
Duvalier defense attorney Reynold Georges showed up 90 minutes after the hearing was scheduled to start and announced that he had filed an appeal of the judge's order. The session then began in a courtroom crowded with reporters and observers.
Georges, a brash former senator, said he was confident that the Supreme Court would not only overturn the order to compel Duvalier's presence in court but also block the effort by victims of the Duvalier regime from getting the court to reinstate the charges.
Attorneys for people who filed complaints alleging they were tortured by agents of Duvalier's regime urged the judge to go forward with the case and to arrest the former leader for not showing up in court.