Haitian priest Jean-Juste held in relation to the murder of a journalist

Friday, July 22, 2005

An angry mob attacked priest, and close political ally of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Gerard Jean-Juste at the funeral of a journalist Jacques Roche who was found shot dead last week. The body was found handcuffed in a slum district of Port-au-Prince. Journalist Jacques Roche had been the victim of an abduction, which have been an ongoing problem in Haiti for most of this year. At the mass Bishop Andre Dumas said "the death of this journalist must awaken our national consciousness against violence, and all the evils our society is going through."

Jean-Juste was arrested at the funeral and taken in for questioning. According to Michael Lucius, head of the judicial police, Jean-Juste has been detained awaiting instruction by prosecutors on what, if any, criminal charges he will face. The charges could be related to the murder of the journalist, or on possession of illegal weapons, obtained while Aristide was still president. Speaking to the associated press from the police station, Jean-Juste said "I'm a priest, I get beaten in a church, and now it's me they want to arrest."