Port-au-Prince, 14 Mai 2001. (infohaiti.com).- “In assassinating Jean Dominique the authors of the crime saw him not as a journalist but as a political militant.” So will the official Haitian investigation conclude in its review of the circumstances surrounding the murder on April 3, 2000 of the director of Radio Haiti Inter. According to documents obtained by Info Haiti the official implication of many personalities of the ruling Fanmi Lavalas party will be the final conclusion of the investigation mounted by examining judge Claudy Gassant.
The key witnesses questioned under oath have said that the plot resulted from the acute fear among those close to Jean-Bertrand Aristide that René Préval would not allow the Fanmi Lavalas leader to return to the National Palace. Their fears were heightened by the creation of the KOZEPEP organization with its large turnout of members, mostly peasants, in both the capital and many provincial towns, showing no allegiance to the party or the leader at Tabarre. According to these witnesses the director of Radio Haiti was perceived in party conclaves at Tabarre as a potential candidate in the year-2000 presidential elections against Aristide. This fear was further heightened by the many campaigns of KOZEPEP on the ground and by the frequent meetings between former president René Préval and Jean L. Dominique at Dominique’s house high in Petionville for conversations which proved difficult to monitor. “At certain moments, Préval was considered a traitor by the Aristide entourage including Aristide himself,” recounted a witness.
In his public mourning after the murder of the director of Radio Haiti Inter, Préval said the KOZEPEP organization was founded by him and Jean L. Dominique. “Jean Dominique was a Lavalas independent. He was shot for his independence and not because he was Lavalas,” said President Préval to the Haitian national assembly last January in the course of his last presidential act, calling on parliament to collaborate in the investigation of the crime.
These last supports for the investigation by the former president are being shredded by the administration of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Most of the threats against the person of the examining judge come from persons tied directly to the chief of state Aristide. A first attack implicated the Carrefour member of parliament Milien Romage, a former official in the presidential bodyguard. The parliamentarian pointed an Uzi submachine gun in the direction of Judge Gassant, threatening to “ice” him. The other even more visible attack was the intervention of the assistant traffic chief Evens Sainturné, also a former Aristide bodyguard, openly seeking to reclaim an armored vehicle in Judge Gassant’s possession. The judge has affirmed that he has received many anonymous telephoned death threats. “This is a state crime because it embarrasses and implicates the top state officials, who are using all means to block the investigation,” says one source close to this investigation.
The conclusion of this investigation which will be sent to the prosecutor Josué Pierre Louis names the top government leaders who should be officially indicted for their direct participation in the plot to assassinate Jean L. Dominique, director of Radio Haiti Inter, and the security guard Jean Claude Luissant.
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