PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Two Americans still jailed on kidnapping charges in Haiti will have to wait for their freedom, Judge Bernard Saint-Vil said Tuesday.

The judge had said earlier that testimony from three witnesses about the missionaries’ efforts to set up an orphanage in the neighboring Dominican Republic would allow him to free Laura Silsby, 40, and Charisa Coulter, 24.

The Dominican witnesses gave the expected testimony Tuesday at a meeting in his office, the judge told The Associated Press — but then he said he still needed to deliver all his evidence to the prosecutor general’s office and await its reply.

Once the prosecutor responds, the judge can drop the charges altogether or continue his investigation while releasing the two Baptist missionaries. In either case, they would be free to leave Haiti.

The two women were in good spirits while waiting for the hearing, dressed in casual shirts, shorts and sandals, chatting with members of their legal team and eating sandwiches.

“We’re waiting on the judge’s decision and on our God,” Silsby told reporters.


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