Was there an attempt on a former Haitian president’s life?
PORT-AU-PRINCE – Associates of former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide say he survived an assassination attempt on Monday evening, but police have rejected the claim that he was any target.
According to Aristide’s attorney, Ira Kurzban, gunmen fired at a motorcade carrying the still popular former leader in the capital.
Kurzban told NBC News that “shots were fired…directly at the vehicle in which President Aristide was a passenger”.
Aristide had just left the courthouse after providing testimony in a money laundering case against former police commissioner Jean Anthony Nazaire.
Kurzban said “at least two people standing in front of the car were hit and there [was] blood on the right front bumper and headlight of the vehicle”.
Yvon Feuille, a senior executive of the Fanmi Lavalas political movement established by Aristide, described the shooting as an “assassination attempt.”
Feuille, who was in the motorcade with Aristide, told the Associated Press that the shooters were dressed as police officers.
However, the news agency quoted Haitian police rejecting the assassination attempt claims.
It said Deputy Commissioner Jean Alix Pierre-Louis had asserted that the chaos was caused by members of political factions who threw rocks and fired guns when Aristide’s motorcade passed by an intersection.
And while it added that Inspector Prenel Duval acknowledged that officers fired weapons, he said there was “a lot of shooting from different directions”.
The incident sparked protest by Aristide supporters.