Former Haitian Prime Minister Neptune reported close to death

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Location of Haiti

Former Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune has been weakened by a hunger strike and is believed to be in critical condition. He has refused medical care unless all charges against him have been dropped.

The secretary of the Dominican Armed Forces, Gen. Sigfrido Pared Perez, is reported by the Associated Press as saying Mr. Neptune would be flown to the Dominican Republic on Monday, and immediately to a hospital in Santo Domingo, the capital, but this plan was rejected by Mr. Neptune.

The former Prime Minister has been held for 10 months under house arrest without being charged with any crime. Lawyer Mario Joseph claims Haitian law requires that an accused be brought before a judge within 48 hours of arrest.

The Haitian interim government of Prime Minister Gerard Latortue accuse Mr. Neptune of coordinating the killing of Aristide supporters in St. Marc during the rebellion.