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a632: Aristide says 17 December events were assasination attempt(fwd)

From: MKarshan@aol.com

 Haiti's Aristide says 17 December events were assassination attempt - radio

Haiti's Aristide says 17 December events were assassination attempt - radio
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Feb 5, 2002

Text of report on news conference by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide broadcast by Haitian Metropole radio on 4 February; subheadings inserted editorially

[Announcer] President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has given his first news conference at the National Palace. During the news conference, the president explained in particular that consultations are under way for the designation of a new prime minister [following the recent resignation of Prime Minister Jean-Marie Cherestal]. He hopes the opposition will participate in the new government, and that honest citizens will participate also. But he did not wish to reveal names.

With regard to the 17 December events, the president referred journalists to the investigating commission that was formed to shed light on that dossier But the president admitted for the first time that the people who attacked the National Palace wanted to make an [assassination] attempt on the life of the president of the republic.

Presidential security budget

Concerning the sum of 6m to 9m dollars that the state has spent to ensure the security of the head of state, according to a report in The Miami Herald, President Aristide spoke of exaggeration. But when journalists asked him how much he actually spends on his security, the president referred them to the financial authorities. So, according to the president, people could apparently contact Finance Minister Faubert Gustave to find out the figures.

Jean Dominique murder case

About the Jean Dominique case [the owner and general manager of Radio Haiti Inter who was murdered on 3 April 2000], the president is considering holding a meeting between the Lavalas Family [FL] and the members of the EVJD [Echo of Jean Dominique Foundation]. The president said that he has no problem in renewing the mandate of Judge Claudy Gassant, but he cannot interfere in the affairs of the judicial branch, especially since the justice minister and Judge Gassant are not in Haiti.

OAS mission

The president said he is ready to welcome the missions that will be deployed by the OAS [Organization of American States] to shed light in particular on the 17 December events.


Concerning the kidnapping phenomenon, the president said that there has been a decrease at that level in the metropolitan area. A journalist asked him the following question: "Mr President, you had announced two or three weeks ago that a key kidnapper was arrested. So, when are you going to present that abductor to the press?" The president said that he does not want to reveal the kidnapper's name yet. He added that an investigation should be conducted first to find other key kidnappers before the name of the arrested kidnapper can be revealed.

These were the major points developed by President Aristide during his press conference.

Source: Radio Metropole, Port-au-Prince, in French 1540 gmt 4 Feb 02

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.

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