“Ten American missionaries arrested in Haiti for trying to take 33 children out of the country after last month’s earthquake were charged today with child kidnapping and criminal association. The group, most of whom are members of an Idaho-based church group, were sent back to jail today after a closed court hearing in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. Their lawyer, Edwin Coq, said that the judge had found sufficient evidence to file charges against his clients, who were arrested last Friday at Haiti’s border with the Dominican Republic while trying to take the busload of children out of the country without documents or permission. He said that under Haiti’s legal system, there will not be an open trial, but that a judge will consider the evidence. It could take the judge three months to render a verdict, he added. Each of the kidnapping counts carries a possible sentence of five to 15 years in prison. One of missionaries, Laura Silsby, told reporters as she entered the court: ‘We expect God’s will be done. And we will be released.’ The group, who were being held at the headquarters of Haiti’s judicial police, deny they were engaged in child trafficking and said they were just trying to help some of the thousands of orphans left destitute and abandoned by the 12 January earthquake.”
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