Two Questioned in Connection with Jean Dominique Killing
Jean Dominique case – one step closer to justice – 29 November 2001 AI Index AMR 36/013/2001 – News Service Nr. 212
The appearance before a judge of two men wanted for questioning in connection with the killing of journalist, Jean Dominique, and guard, Jean Claude Louissaint, is a welcome step towards justice, Amnesty International said today.
The organization has learned that two prominent activists of the ruling Fanmi Lavalas party wanted for questioning in the case, finally appeared before the investigating judge on 28 November, in response to judicial summons outstanding since August. The two men’s failure to appear had resulted in arrest warrants being issued against them.
Their failure to respond to the judge’s summons, and the failure of the Haitian National Police to act on the subsequent arrest warrants against them, had led to serious doubts about the independence and impartiality of the justice system and the police. The men had continued to circulate freely in Port-au-Prince despite having been declared “fugitives” by the Minister of Justice. In meetings with representatives of the judiciary, the police and the executive in October, Amnesty International delegates expressed concern that this behaviour severely undermined the credibility of Haitian authorities and institutions.
The men reportedly have pending appointments, over the next few days, with the public prosecutor on the outstanding warrants and with the investigating judge on the investigation. Meanwhile, a judicial request that the Senate lift the parliamentary immunity of a senator also wanted for questioning in the case has been pending since August.
Amnesty International urges the Haitian authorities to continue in their efforts to demonstrate concretely their commitment to full and transparent justice in the Jean Dominique case.