HCNN Published on June 23, 2014 by Joe Colas
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) – A key suspect in the murder of famous Haitian journalist Jean Dominique, was extradited to Haiti by authorities in Argentina where he was arrested and detained under a criminal investigation been conducted for more than 14 years.
Philippe Markington – pointed out by the investigative judge as one of the perpetrators of the assassination, on April 3, 2000, of the director of Radio Haiti Inter and his gate-keeper Jean-Claude Louissant – returned to Haiti on Saturday, escorted by Haitian police who had been sent to Argentina to recover him.
“We welcome a very significant step in efforts to punish the material and intellectual authors of the murder of Jean Dominique,” said Guyler C. Delva, head of the organization SOS Journalistes and chairman of a committee that oversees cases of murdered journalists in Haiti.
“Philippe Markington is now available to the Haitian justice to be interrogated on the Dominique’s case which now takes an irreversible pace,” said Delva.
Philippe Markington, a close ally of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was heard Monday in the Court of Appeal in Port-au-Prince as part of the investigation.
The chairman of the Independent Support Commission for Inquiries into Killing of Journalists (known as CIAPEAJ), Guyler C. Delva, said that his committee worked closely with the Minister of Justice, Jean Renel Sanon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Duly Brutus, and the Central Director of the Judicial Police, the Inspector General Rameau Normil, to facilitate the extradition of Philippe Markington.
“At the CIAPEAJ and SOS Journalists, we had always been in contact with Minister Sanon and Minister Brutus, and the Inspector General Rameau Normil who all did a great job in coordinating efforts with Argentine authorities , “reported Guyler C. Delva.
The advocate of freedom of the press called the authorities to do everything in their power to ensure the protection of the suspect who is a key part of the investigation.
Other individuals – including former Senator Mirlande Libérus presented as the intellectual author of the crime – are subject to an international arrest warrant issued by investigating judge Yvickel Dabrézil. Libérus currently lives in the United States.
Important witnesses, who testified under oath before the judge, said that Mirlande Libérus, then very close to former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was instructed by him to plan the murder of Jean Dominique, who was very critical vis-à-vis the former leader and his political party Fanmi Lavalas.
According to some accounts, Aristide who remained very powerful in Haiti even in the aftermath of his first presidential term, and its strongest supporters feared that the adverse positions taken the popular journalist and editorialist Jean Dominique could have been an obstacle to their return to power, on the eve of crucial parliamentary and presidential elections.
Jean Dominique was also a target for other forces and sectors of the economic and political establishment associated with the former despotic Duvalier regime. However, all the judges, who have so far worked on the case, presented clues indicating that the murder of Jean Dominique could have been planned within the Lavalas political sector led and dominated by Aristide.
For instance, the nine suspects blamed, in the most recent report issued by Judge Dabrézil, as intellectual and material authors of the double murder of Jean Dominique and Jean-Claude Louissaint, are all close allies of Aristide.