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Jailed Haitian Priest Flown to US to Seek Medical Treatment


A politically influential Roman Catholic priest has arrived in the United States after Haiti's government granted him temporary release from prison to be treated for leukemia in Florida.

Reverend Gerard Jean-Juste arrived Sunday for treatment at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital. The popular ally of Haiti's ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide had been accused in connection with the murder of a journalist.

A Haitian judge dropped those charges, but the 59-year old still faces weapons and criminal conspiracy charges that supporters say are politically motivated.

His release followed weeks of pressure on Haiti's unelected interim government to free Jean-Juste, who is considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

Supporters had tried to register him as a presidential candidate for the upcoming February 7 elections, but his candidacy was barred by electoral authorities because of his detention.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.