PORT-AU-PRINCE, (Reuters) – A prosecutor questioned former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Wednesday over accusations he used homeless children to elicit donations that were later used to help fund his political career.
Aristide, who has not been charged with a crime, answered questions from prosecutor Lucmane Delille at his home on the outskirts of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Several thousand Aristide supporters marched to his residence in a show of support for the ex-leader. Some said the investigation was politically motivated.
A small group of people have filed a complaint against Aristide alleging they are former street children who were rescued by Fanmi se Lavi, an organization Aristide created in the late 1980s to house and educate homeless orphans. They claim they were physically abused and used to raise money.
Neither Aristide or his lawyer, Mario Joseph, have publicly commented on the accusations.
Under Haiti’s judicial system, once a prosecutor has completed the questioning, the case will either be dismissed or assigned to a judge who will decide whether to file any formal charges.