Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is making a rare public appearance as he testifies before a judge investigating the slaying of one of the country's most prominent journalists.

Aristide waved to a small group of onlookers outside court before heading in to the closed session before an investigative magistrate.

The judge is questioning Aristide about the killing in April 2000 of Jean Dominique, a friend of the former president. The judge previously questioned former President Rene Preval.

Haitian police banned street demonstrations Wednesday and the crowds that have greeted Aristide in the past did not materialize.

The former priest is among the most popular Haitian political figures. He returned from exile in March 2011 amid warnings from the U.S. that his presence could destabilize the country.