The French government says it does not oppose putting Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier on trial for crimes allegedly committed by his regime during its 15 years of Haitian rule.

Haitian exiles in France say they want to bring Duvalier to trial for allegedly ordering thousands of executions.

Duvalier's lawyer said on Tuesday his client was amused by the threat of prosecution.

"He found this rather funny," Sauveur Vaisse told Reuters news service. "He does not understand why they would want him to carry the can for his father."

Duvalier's father, nicknamed "Papa Doc," ruled Haiti for years before his son succeeded him.

The younger Duvalier left Haiti for exile in France when his government was overthrown in 1986. At first he lived in splendor, but is now said to be living in poverty.

The move to persecute Duvalier follows the arrest in London of former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet, who is wanted in several countries, including France, on charges of crimes against humanity.

The Spanish judge who ordered Pinochet's arrest is asking the United States for its files on the former president. Judge Baltasar Garzon is requesting CIA and FBI files, as well as documents concerning "Operation Condor" - a secret anti-leftist conspiracy involving the Chilean military and security forces from other Latin American nations.