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Feb-08-2010 23:30printcommentsVideo

Five of Ten Americans on Child Abduction Charges Taken to Port-au-Prince Court

Court hearing includes main figure in alleged child abduction scandal.

Laura Silsby, leader of the group charged with attempting to take 33 Haitian children out of the country.
Laura Silsby, leader of the group charged with attempting to take 33 Haitian children out of the country. Video/Photo courtesy: UN and MINUSTAH

(PORT-AU-PRINCE/SALEM) - Five of the ten Americans held on child abduction charges were in a Port-au-Prince court today for hearings.

The Americans were accused of trying to take 33 Haitian children out of the country to the Dominican Republic last month.

Laura Silsby, the leader of the group, was among the five Americans in court.

There were reports over the weekend of eight of the ten admitting they came here as volunteers and were misled by Silsby.

The other five will be examined tomorrow (9 Feb) and all ten will be together for a hearing on Wednesday.

Officials said they hoped to interview most of the parents of the children before the end of the week.

The judge will have three months to examine the case and then make a final decision.

Special thanks to The United Nations and MINUSTAH for the video in this report.


Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

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Claire February 10, 2010 12:23 am (Pacific time)

No matter what happens, this will be one heck of a learning experience for people thinking they can skate on paperwork, or rationalize forging documents. Kids should be saved, don't get me wrong, but this could have been done by the book instead of cutting corners and ruining their chances of success. The kids are really the losers. Had this been on the up and up, they would have enjoyed a healthy dinner, bathed, and tucked into clean beds that night. How disappointed the parents must have been that they weren't 'saved', and probably returned hungry.

Natalie February 9, 2010 12:39 am (Pacific time)

strangest case ever...

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