By Teresa Larraz
MADRID, May 9 (Reuters) - Spanish journalist Ricardo Ortega was shot dead by foreign soldiers in Haiti in 2004, according to a court order from the Caribbean country, the contents of which were made public by Ortega’s family on Friday.
Ortega died while covering a demonstration pitting supporters and detractors of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in March.
Originally Spanish media reported that Ortega was killed by gunfire from Aristide’s supporters during the protest in the capital, Port-au-Prince.
But Ortega’s mother, Charo Fernandez, told Reuters her son and his translator died more than 90 minutes later, hit by fire after coming out from a patio where they had been sheltering.
"I want this to be brought into the open, that’s all. We don’t intend to take anyone to court, we’re tired of it," Fernandez said.
Foreign forces and U.S. marines had been sent to the poorest country in the Americas to try to keep the peace after the bloody rebellion by gangs and former soldiers against Aristide.
The court order said there was no evidence to try the nine Haitians accused of Ortega’s murder, and asks that they be freed, Fernandez said, although she was not immediately able to provide a copy of the court order.
"On the basis of (...) eyewitness accounts, foreign soldiers shot the Spanish reporter in the chest, causing his death," the web site of newspaper El Mundo cited the court order as saying, adding that it had not been possible to identify the soldiers concerned.
(Translating by Elisabeth O’Leary)