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Last Updated: Monday, 2 May, 2005, 19:06 GMT 20:06 UK
Former PM refuses to leave Haiti
Former Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune. Archive picture
Mr Neptune says the case against him is politically motivated
Haiti's detained ex-Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, who is on a hunger strike, has refused to go to the Dominican Republic for treatment, the government says.

Its statement said Mr Neptune demanded his unconditional release instead.

Mr Neptune, 58, is protesting against his 10-month detention without charge in connection with political killings during last year's rebellion.

Reports say the hunger strike - the second in three months - has left Mr Neptune in critical condition.

"Yvon Neptune said he won't accept the medical evacuation unless all the charges levelled against him have been withdrawn," said the government statement, obtained by the Associated Press news agency.

"Such a demand is absolutely unacceptable. Mr Yvon Neptune remains at the disposal of the judicial system for the pursuit of the investigation."

Mr Neptune is accused by Haiti's interim government of masterminding the killings in the western town of St Marc in February 2004 during the armed revolt that drove President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power.

The former prime minister denies the charges, saying the case against him is politically motivated.

He started his hunger strike on 20 February, but began eating again on 10 March after his transfer to a hospital in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince.

Mr Neptune resumed the hunger strike 13 days ago.

He was scheduled to be taken to a hospital in the neighbouring Dominican Republic on Monday.


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