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Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Judge Releases Eight Americans in Haiti

(CN) - Eight Americans were released from a Haitian jail Wednesday, three weeks after they were charged with kidnapping for trying to take 33 kids out of the quake-ravaged island country. Haitian Judge Bernard Saint-Vil approved their release, but decided that the group's leader and her nanny should remain in jail for questioning.

St.-Vil told The Associated Press that the missionaries were free to leave without bail or other conditions after parents testified that they willingly gave over their children.

"The parents of the kids made statements proving that they can be released," Saint-Vil told the AP.

The missionaries were accused of trying to take the children to the Dominican Republic without proper paperwork. They say they were on a humanitarian mission to rescue children after the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Saint-Vil said he still wants to question group leader Laura Silsby and nanny Charisa Coulter about why they were in Haiti a month before the quake.

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