9 indicted in Haiti journalist's murder

2014-01-18 14:10

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Port-Au-Prince - A Haitian judge on Friday indicted nine people, including several with close ties to former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in the murder of a prominent journalist, officials said.

Jean Dominique was assassinated in April 2000 in the courtyard of Radio Haiti-Inter, a station he owned. A guard was also killed by unknown gunmen during the incident that sparked a long-running probe.

"The investigation is finished. We have officially submitted our report," Judge Yvikel Dabresil told AFP.

"Former president Aristide is not indicted," he added, but confirmed that at least nine people, including a former senator and a former mayor of the capital Port-au-Prince, were.

Journalist Guy Delva, a former communications secretary for the current government who heads an organization pushing for completion of the investigation, described the former senator in question as being "very close" to Aristide.

In May, Aristide, a former Roman Catholic priest known as a champion of Haiti's poor but reviled by the Caribbean nation's elite, testified before Dabresil in the case.

Aristide was not in power at the time of the killing, but rather a leader of the opposition.

Another former president, Rene Preval, testified in March.

Dominique, who was exiled during the government of ex-dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, was known for being outspoken.

Since the journalist's killing more than a decade ago, over 12 judges have taken turns in presiding over the much talked about case.

Aristide was president from 1991 to 1996 and 2001 to 2004, though his first mandate was cut short by a coup that saw him take refuge in the United States.

He then left Haiti in 2004 aboard a US Air Force plane into exile in South Africa, fleeing political turmoil.

He returned to his homeland in March 2011.

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