A judge who fled Haiti in fear of his life after investigating the murder of journalist Jean Dominique says President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide does not want to see the case solved.
“With President Jean-Bertrand Aristide nothing will happen precisely because he has done everything to block any effort to find
who was involved in killing Jean Dominique,” Claudy Gassant, the ex-judge, said in a telephone interview yesterday from Boca
Raton, Fla., where he is living in exile.
Dominique’s widow, is hoping that a documentary about his life, which is being considered for an Oscar nomination, will garner
public support for justice in the investigation. Academy Award nominees will be announced today. “The Agronomist,” produced by
Jonathan Demme, is scheduled to be in theaters in April.
Dominique was assassinated on April 3, 2000, as he was about to begin his morning radio broadcast. His wife Michele Montas, a
graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is living in exile now in New York City.
When Gassant was investigating the case two years ago, he tried to question politicians with ties to Aristide’s Lavalas Party but
ran into “road blocks” thrown up by Aristide and his allies, the ex-judge said, speaking in French. He said he fled the country on
Jan. 6, 2002 when justice officials took away his bodyguards.
There are those who say Aristide very much wants to find the people who ordered Dominique’s murder.
“Aristide will do whatever he can to create the conditions for bringing justice,” but it is difficult to do so now because of the
political instability in the country, said Ricot Dupuy, general manager of a Haitian-American radio station in Brooklyn.
Six men were indicted in the murder last year. But critics say the suspects were low-level thugs and that well-connected
politicians paid for the assassination.
Montas has expressed disappointment with Aristide for not ordering a more aggressive investigation, but she does not accuse him
of involvement in the crime.
Dominique and Aristide were once allies but relations between them got tense after Dominique began to criticize Lavalas Party
members of corruption.
Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.