International human rights groups are sending monitors to a court hearing in Haiti concerning Jean-Claude Duvalier.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said Tuesday they are both sending observers for the Thursday hearing against the former dictator known as 'Baby Doc'.
The former "president-for-life" returned to Haiti in January 2011 following 25 years in exile.
He was charged with embezzle-ment of public funds and human-rights abuses upon his return. But a judge decided that Duvalier should be prosecuted only for the alleged financial crimes.
Plaintiffs have since appealed that decision. They say Duvalier should also faces the abuse charges because there's no statute of limitation.
The defence says Duvalier is innocent and the statute of limitations has expired.
Duvalier did not appear in court Thursday, spurning the judge's order to appear.
The lawyer for the former leader says he has appealed the order to the Supreme Court.
Attorney Reynold Georges appeared and announced the appeal 90 minutes after Thursday's hearing was scheduled to start.
Duvalier ruled Haiti from 1971-1986, a time when thousands were imprisoned, tortured and killed for opposing the government.
He skipped two previous court hearings without penalty.