A jury on Tuesday acquitted a leader of a paramilitary group blamed for killing some 3,000 people, after a 14-hour murder trial that angered human rights groups and provoked criticism of the new US-backed government. \nLouis-Jodel Chamblain was acquitted of the murder of Antoine Izmery, an importer who bankrolled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's presidential bid in 1990, the year before he was ousted in a coup. During the military regime that followed, Chamblain led the paramilitary Front for the Advancement and Progress of the Haitian People, or FRAPH, a group blamed for killing some 3,000 regime opponents from 1991 to 1994. \n"It was a true trial, just and equitable," Chamblain told reporters at a jail in Petionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, where he was receiving guests outside his cell. \nChamblain, a former army sergeant, returned from exile in the Dominican Republic this year to lead rebels in a three-week revolt that ended with Aristide's ouster Feb. 29. \nIn the quick trial, eight witnesses were called by the prosecution, but only one showed and that witness said he knew nothing about the case, according to Viles Alizar of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights. Two defense witnesses showed up but offered few details, he said. \n"It is shameful, though not surprising, that this acquittal came without any apparent regard to fair trial standards," said Wende Gozan, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International in New York. \nJury selection began late Monday morning and journalists were told the day would likely be devoted to selecting a jury. But the trial began at 4pm and stretched into the evening. A verdict was announced at 6am Tuesday. \nChamblain's co-defendant -- Jackson Joanis, a former Port-au-Prince police chief -- was also acquitted. Joanis remains jailed on murder charges for a 1994 killing. \n"I already knew everything had to go well," Joanis told reporters from jail, "because the accusation against me was nothing but political." His second trial date has not been set. \nRemanded on charges he ordered the 1994 killings of several people in an Aristide stronghold, it could be another month before Chamblain's next trial. \nChamblain said he was asleep when Izmery was dragged from a church service, forced to kneel and shot in the head. He also denied being near Gonaives when several of Aristide's supporters were killed. He said he was convicted in 1995 because of a grudge with Aristide. \n"It's political demagoguery," Chamblain said. \nIn the late 1980s, during the dictatorship of Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, Chamblain left the Haitian army and allegedly ran death squads aimed at terrorizing supporters of Aristide's Lavalas Family party. \nChamblain believes Aristide ordered his henchmen to kill his pregnant wife in 1991, the same year Aristide was first overthrown.
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A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
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