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Published: Wednesday, 2/17/2010

Haiti judge says 8 of 10 missionaries to be freed


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A Haitian judge says he decided to free 8 of 10 Americans charged with child kidnapping after their parents testified they voluntarily handed their children over to the missionaries.

Judge Bernard Saint-Vil tells The Associated Press that the 8 are free to leave Wednesday without bail or other conditions.

He says he still wants to question group leader Laura Silsby and Charisa Coulter about their visit to Haiti in December before the earthquake.

Saint-Vil says he also asked for Coulter to be hospitalized because of her diabetes.

The group was detained trying to take 33 children out of the quake-stricken country late last month. It says it was on a mercy mission and had no intention of trafficking in children.

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