Wounded Lawmaker Implicates Far Right in Killing of Colleague
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) _ Speaking from a wheelchair in his hospital room Wednesday, a wounded lawmaker implicated a right-wing former legislator in the killing of his colleague, Rep. Jean-Hubert Feuille.
Rep. Gabriel Fortune accused former Rep. Benoit Laguerre of masterminding the Nov. 7 ambush, which also injured Fortune. Feuille had won Laguerre’s seat for south-coast Port Salut in a June 25 election, and Laguerre had publicly threatened him with death.
Fortune said an arrest warrant had been issued for Laguerre, but neither police nor the Justice Ministry could confirm that.
Feuille’s brother, Yvon, told Radio Metropole on Wednesday that a taxi driver had been arrested for allegedly driving the gunmen to the scene. The driver had implicated Laguerre in the killing, he said.
Fortune also said Laguerre’s allies had infiltrated the entourage of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, helping him to plan the attack.
``The far right has infiltrated the (presidential) palace with its henchmen,″ said Fortune, 35, breathing with difficulty since a bullet grazed his lungs in the attack.
He and Feuille were shot after a blue taxi and a red rental car blocked the four-wheel-drive vehicle they were riding in. Gunmen shot out their tires and killed Feuille with two bullets to the head.
The two legislators had just cashed nearly $6,000 at the bank, which was hidden under the car’s front seat. The money disappeared in the attack.
Fortune claimed that infiltrators in the palace had tipped the assassins to the lawmakers’ trip to the bank, and had staged the robbery to conceal the fact that the killing was political.
Fortune also complained that police did not interview him until Tuesday, two weeks after the attack. He refused to speculate on the delay, saying only: ``Things are very complicated in Haiti.″
The shooting raised fears of a violent campaign as Haiti gears up for Dec. 17 elections to choose a successor for Aristide, who is barred by the constitution from running again.
Laguerre, a supporter of the bloody army coup that ousted Aristide in September 1991, was known for drawing his handgun during Chamber of Deputies sessions and toying with it.
Police briefly held Laguerre before the June election on charges of tampering with voter-registration lists.
Feuille represented Port Salut, Aristide’s hometown. He was one of Aristide’s bodyguards in the months preceding the coup.