Hearing set in drug case for Haitian politician, coup leader

MIAMI (AP) — A former Haitian coup leader and recent senator-elect is due for a U.S. court hearing on federal drug trafficking charges.

Guy Philippe is scheduled to enter a formal plea Friday morning in Miami. Philippe was flown to the U.S. to face the longstanding charges after his arrest last week in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince during a live radio show.

The 48-year-old Philippe faces several drug charges, including conspiracy to import cocaine into the U.S. He has long maintained his innocence and blamed the accusations on political enemies.

Philippe was recently elected to the Haitian Senate. A former police chief, Philippe was a key part of a 2004 uprising that ousted then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

A Philippe lawyer says he may be immune from the charges as an incoming senator.

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