Haiti's ex-president testifies behind closed doors

  • Associated Press
  • March 7, 2013 - 12:05 PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Former Haitian President Rene Preval testified behind closed doors Thursday as authorities try to revive the investigation into the long-unsolved killing of the country's most celebrated journalist.

Preval showed up early in the morning before spectators or journalists could see him enter the court and he left several hours later, declining to discuss what he told the investigative judge seeking to build a criminal case in the April 2000 slaying of Jean Dominique.

The former president, who served from 1996-2001 and from 2006-2011, then headed to the Venezuelan Embassy to pay his respects following the death of President Hugo Chavez.

Preval was serving the first of his two terms as president when the crusading journalist was shot to death outside Radio Haiti. Preval and Dominique were friends and political allies who opposed the Duvalier and military dictatorships.

Dominique was 69 at the time of his death and his slaying was the subject of The Agronomist, a 2003 documentary by Jonathan Demme.

Preval was testifying Thursday in the same courthouse where former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier is facing criminal charges over his 15-year rule. A hearing was scheduled for Thursday in the Duvalier case but it was not clear whether the former dictator would show up.

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