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26 September, 2007 - Published 12:14 GMT

"Duvalier must face justice"

The president of Haiti, Rene Preval, has rejected an apology from former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier.

Mr Preval said Mr Duvalier must face justice regardless of whether his countrymen forgive him for his misdeeds while in office.

The president said the government would ask a court to recover millions in state funds allegedly stolen during Mr Duvalier's 15-year rule.

Mr Preval said: "We are putting in place what is needed so that Duvalier's trial may begin in order to recover state funds he has misappropriated.

"Demand for forgiveness is one thing but justice is another."

He ended years of silence over the weekend with a radio address in which he apologised for ''wrongs'' committed under his rule.

The former Haitian leader, who fled the country in 1986 during a popular uprising, lives in France.

In his address, he did not say whether he would seek to return to his homeland.