US missionary to face trial in Haiti: Attorney

The US woman at the center of a major scandal here after she and several fellow missionaries tried to spirit dozens of Haitian children into the Dominican Republic is to be tried in Haiti, her attorney has said to a news agency.

Updated: Apr 27, 2010, 20:13 PM IST

Port-au-Prince: The US woman at the center of a major scandal here after she and several fellow missionaries tried to spirit dozens of Haitian children into the Dominican Republic is to be tried in Haiti, her attorney has said to a news agency.
Laura Silsby, one of a group of missionaries from the western US state of Idaho, was detained at the border with the Dominican Republic on kidnapping charges following the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

She now will stand trial on the charge of arranging "irregular travel," according to her attorney, Louis Ricardo Chachoutte, who spoke to reporters following a court hearing Monday.

Silsby and her fellow Baptist missionaries were arrested on January 29 as they tried to take the children into the neighboring Dominican Republic by bus without the necessary documentation.

Haitian authorities later determined that all 33 children that the US missionaries tried to remove from the country illegally had parents, with whom they were eventually reunited.

The members of the New Life Children`s Refuge missionary group denied wrongdoing, saying they were only trying to help orphans in the wake of Haiti`s devastating January 12 earthquake that killed more than 220,000 people.

The other nine missionaries were all released and allowed to return to the United States, but Silsby, the leader of the group, remained detained in Port-au-Prince.

Bureau Report