April 2, 2008 in Nation/World

Haitian legislator says gun misfired

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A Haitian lawmaker’s handgun went off during a heated debate in parliament Tuesday, injuring a legislative clerk.

Isidor Mercier insisted the gun fell and fired by accident after he bent down to pick it up. The bullet hit the right shoulder of the clerk, Antonio Celestin.

But reporters who witnessed the scene said they saw Mercier brandish the gun after another lawmaker accused him of corruption.

The firearm seemed to discharge when Mercier was jostled from behind during the tense debate, according to reporters who watched images of the shooting captured by a camera.

Relations have been tense in the Haitian parliament since February, when eight legislators including Mercier attempted to oust Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis in a failed no-confidence vote.

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