Haiti’s president, Michel Martelly, suggested Thursday that he might pardon former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, saying reconciliation for his nation is more important than making the ex-dictator pay for the mistreatment of his people.
Martelly pledged to respect the independence of the judge expected to rule within days whether Duvalier, commonly known as “Baby Doc,” should face trial on corruption and human rights violations. Duvalier was driven into exile in 1986 and returned to Haiti last year.
But Martelly expressed he has little tolerance for a trial that could be explosive for a nation recovering from decades of political turmoil and a devastating earthquake in 2010.
“My way of thinking is to create a situation where we rally everyone together and create peace and pardon people, to not forget about the past — because we need to learn from it — but to mainly think about the future,” he said. He added: “You cannot forget those who suffered in that time, but I do believe that we need that reconciliation in Haiti.”