Jean Dominique: 9 charged in slaying of Haitian journalist

No arrests have been made

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Nine people have been charged in the 2000 killing of one of Haiti's most renowned journalists, marking a huge step forward in a high-profile case that has otherwise seemed permanently stuck.

The daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste reported that Judge Yvikel Dabresil submitted his findings the day before to the Court of Appeal. His report, read aloud by a clerk in the courthouse, said a former senator named Mirlande Liberus Pavert was the intellectual author of the slaying of Jean Dominique.

Those charged include Pavert and Annette Auguste, a well-known folk singer otherwise known as So Anne. Pavert was a member of the Family Lavalas political party of two-time President Jean-Bertrand Aristide while she served as senator in the early 2000s. Auguste at that time was a Lavalas activist.

Gabriel Harold Severe, a former mayor of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, was also charged.

The three couldn't be reached for comment.

No arrests have been made.

Dominique, an agronomist-turned-radio commentator, and his security guard were gunned down on April 3, 2000, in the courtyard of the journalist's radio station, Radio Haiti Inter.

The assassination of the man affectionately known as "Jean Do" shocked the nation. He had gone into exile under earlier regimes but enjoyed proximity to power before his death, counting former presidents Rene Preval and Aristide as close friends.

Dominique wasn't afraid to name names in his early-morning broadcasts, aired in Creole instead of elite French, and was revered as much as he was reviled.

He was the subject of a 2003 documentary directed by Jonathan Demme, "The Agronomist."

However, Dominique and Aristide had a widely reported falling out that was attributed to a tense interview on the radio station.

The politically sensitive nature of the case helped drag it out for years, with judges coming and going, and one fleeing Haiti for his safety.

The case was revived last year when Preval and Aristide went separately before the judge to answer questions.

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