Haiti’s prosecutors have requested an indictment against incumbent Prime Minister Ariel Henri in connection with the assassination of President Jobnel Moise on the 14th (local time). When the prosecution requested the case investigation judge to do so, the prime minister dismissed the prosecutor in charge.
In an official letter to the court, Bedford Claude, head of the Prosecutor’s Office in the capital, Port-au-Prince, said in an official letter to the court that “there are sufficient factors to convince me that the prosecution of the prime minister is correct.” Prosecutors asked immigration authorities to ban the Prime Minister from leaving the country.
Prosecutor Claude said on the 10th that it was confirmed that Prime Minister Henri had spoken to Joseph Felix Badio, one of the suspects in the assassination, on the 10th, and asked the Prime Minister to appear in the prosecution.
Prosecutors are looking for Badio, a former Justice Ministry employee, as a suspect in the assassination of the president. Badio was fired in May on corruption charges, and Colombia’s investigative authorities pointed out that he had delivered an assassination order to Colombian mercenaries three days before the crime. According to prosecutors, Badio spoke on the phone with Henri, then Prime Minister’s nominee, for a total of seven minutes on two occasions at 4:03 and 4:20 a.m., hours after the assassination of President Moise on July 7th. At the time of the call, Badio was near the president’s residence, and Prime Minister Henri was at a hotel in Port-au-Prince, prosecutors said.
Within hours of the prosecution’s request for indictment that day, Prime Minister Henri fired Claude, foreign media reported. The prime minister said in an open letter that he was sacking prosecutor Claude for “serious administrative negligence”.
However, the Associated Press reported that the letter was dated the 13th, so it is not clear which came first between the request for prosecution and the dismissal.
In the case of President Moise’s assassination, the prosecution cannot forcefully summon anyone under the Haiti investigation system, which follows the French legal system, because an investigative judge has been appointed. An interrogation of the prime minister requires the approval of the president, but a new president has not yet been elected. Election is scheduled to take place in November.
So far, 44 people have been arrested, including 18 Colombians and two Haitians, for the assassination of President Moise. However, it is still unknown who planned and ordered the assassination of the president.
Henri, a 71-year-old medical doctor, was appointed as the new prime minister two days before Moise’s assassination. After the death of President Moise before his official inauguration, he had a conflict with former Prime Minister Claude Joseph over the position of prime minister.
Prime Minister Henri said on the 11th after the prosecution’s request to appear, “This kind of sabotage tactic that creates confusion and prevents the realization of justice is unacceptable.” Henri has told local media that he is acquainted with Badio and that he would not have been involved in the assassination of the president.
The chaos in Haiti, a poor Caribbean country, is not fading as the prime minister has been raised as a suspect in the assassination of the president. The Haiti Ombudsman Office urged the prime minister to resign immediately and face an investigation.