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Haiti press freedom watchdog calls on court to decide on assassination case
Published on April 5, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Joe Colas

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- The Haitian press freedom organization, SOS Journalistes, and the Independent Commission to support Investigations into Killings of Journalists (CIAPEAJ) on Thursday called on Haiti's Supreme Court to decide without delay on the request for recusal filed by the lawyers of individuals suspected of involvement in the double murder of the most famous Haitian journalist and political commentator, Jean Dominique and his security guard Jean-Claude Louissaint.

At the end of last year, Judge Ivickel Dabrezil filed a report in which he designated former Senator Mirlande Luberisse as the intellectual author of the murder on April 3, 2000, of Dominique. Eight other people have also been targeted as suspects in the report of the judge, which was submitted to the Court of Appeal in Port-au-Prince.

Luberisse is very close to former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide who, among others, were involved in political conflicts with the journalist and CEO of Radio Haiti Inter.

Even before the release of the final ruling, Luberisse and other suspects involved have decided to reject all judges of the Court of Appeal and now seek the transfer of the case to a Court of Appeal outside the capital in a bid to delay further the outcome of the inquiry.

"It is now up to the Supreme Court to act quickly and stop these delaying tactics which only encourage impunity," said Guyler C. Delva, secretary general of SOS Journalistes and president of the commission (CIAPEJ) working on cases of murdered journalists.

"We are asking the Supreme Court to give the benefit of the urgency to this matter and not to fall into the trap of those who have an interest in delaying even more the results of the investigation or who just want to block this investigation," said Delva.

SOS Journalistes noted the fact that witnesses, who testified under oath, told Judge Dabrézil that Luberisse had received orders from Aristide to plan the assassination of Dominique.

Luberisse, who is now living in the US, has repeatedly refused to appear before the judge, citing immigration problems.

"After 14 years, this impunity must end," said Delva.
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