PORT-AU-PRINCE Jan 18 A judge concluded the
investigation into one of Haiti's most notorious political
assassinations on Friday, accusing nine people of having a hand
in the killing of radio journalist Jean Dominique, including
several close associates of former President Jean-Bertrand
A former senator, Mirlande Libérus from Aristide's political
party, was indicted as the organizer of the double murder in
April 2000 of Dominique, owner of Radio Haiti Inter, and a
security guard, according to a summary of the judge's report
made public by an Appeals Court panel on Friday.
The two victims were shot by unidentified gunmen as
Dominique drove into the radio station's offices in
Port-au-Prince, according to the judges.
Libérus was given the mission by Aristide to silence the
popular journalist, the report said, citing witnesses who
testified before Judge Yvikel Dabrésil.
The judge did not indict Aristide as part of the conspiracy.
Aristide did not issue a statement after the judge's report
was made public. His lawyers did not immediately respond to
messages seeking comment.
Dominique's widow, Michele Montas, welcomed news of the
report, saying it was a "positive step" after many years of
"It's been 10 years since I gave my testimony in the case,"
Montas told Reuters.
Montas moved to New York after the killing and is a former
spokeswoman for the United Nations Secretary General Ban
Ki-Moon. She declined further comment saying she has not seen a
copy of the judge's report.
The judge's full report is due to be published in the coming
weeks, after it has been formally accepted by the Appeals Court,
according to Guyler Delva, who heads a local committee of
investigating the cases of murdered journalists.
"It's very encouraging," said Delva, a former correspondent
for Reuters who now runs a government-funded news website, Haiti
News Network. He said it was unclear why Aristide had not been
indicted. "How could you indict Libérus for receiving the order
to get rid of Dominique, and not the person who gave the order,"
The nine accused include Senator Libérus and Harold Severe,
the former deputy mayor of Port-au-Prince. The others are
Annette Auguste, Franco Camille, Merité Milien, Dimsley Milien,
Toussaint Mercidieu, Jeudi Jean Daniel and Markington Michel.
None of the accused has so far been arrested and some are
believed to be living abroad, including Libérus, who local media
reports say resides in the United States.
Due to its political sensitivity the case has taken years to
prosecute and slipped through the hands of numerous judges, one
who fled the country in fear.
In all seven judges worked on the case over the span of
almost 14 years. If and when a trial will be held remains
unclear as the case could still be appealed to the Supreme
An agronomist by training, Dominique was born into Haiti's
light-skinned mulatto elite, but broke ranks to become a
champion of the country's poor peasants.
The story of his life - and death - was made into an
award-winning documentary, "The Agronomist," by filmmaker
Jonathan Demme, director of "The Silence of the Lambs."
Wearing a trademark black leather cap, Dominique
revolutionized Haitian broadcasting by addressing his audience
in native Creole, rather than French, and denouncing abuses by
those in power.
His scathing on-air editorials made him an enemy of Haiti's
dictators, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier and his son Jean-Claude
Dominique later turned his tongue against Aristide's
political party, Lavalas, accusing it of corruption and abuse of
power, and was widely considered as a rival to Aristide's bid to
return to power in 2001.
(Writing and additional reporting by David Adams; Editing by