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Three more suspects arrested in connection with killing of Haiti's President Moïse

Wednesday, July 21st 2021 - 09:00 UTC
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Memorial events in tribute to Moïse will also be held Wednesday and Friday Memorial events in tribute to Moïse will also be held Wednesday and Friday

Three additional suspects have been arrested Tuesday in connection with July 7's assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse which plunged the country into a political crisis.

Meanwhile, the 71-year-old brain surgeon Ariel Henry was sworn in as Prime Minister to lead the country to parliamentarian and presidential elections at the earliest time possible.

Moïse had picked Henry for the job of Prime Minister two days before his death but was left without taking the oath of office. In that scenario, acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph stayed in his post and handled the most urgen affairs after the killing. Joseph has agreed to return to his previous position of Foreign Minister.

Haitian police (HNP) Tuesday arrested two of their own policemen, Chief Léon Charles announced. Officers Bony Grégoire and Cliffton Hyppolite were placed in custody for their alleged involvement in the commando-style operation which resulted in Moïse's death.

However, Charles did not elaborate on the role played by them. The Haitian citizen Dominick Cauvin, who was present during the planning of the attack, has also been taken into custody.

In addition to the two officers, another 20 who were part of the presidential guard at the time of the assassination are subject to precautionary measures, particularly National Palace Security Director Dimitri Hérard, as well as other heads of tactical units, who have been banned from leaving the country.

Charles did explain that 13 homes had been raided, including six of fugitives such as former Senator John Joël Joseph, lawyer Félix Joseph Badio, and other buildings belonging to Reynaldo Covington and Roodolphe Jarre, respectively.

During these deployments, law enforcement agents have seized 45 rifles, 14 pistols, hundreds of cartridges of various calibers, in addition to a drone, three grenades and bulletproof vests.

With the new arrests, the number of people in detention has reached 26, 18 of whom are Colombian nationals. Six other suspects are said to be at large, while three were gunned down shortly after the attack on the President's home.

The 53-year-old Moïse was the fifth Haitian head of state to die in office.

Henry vowed to dialogue “with all sectors” to reach an electoral process which results in the appointment of a new president.

“I believe that our president did not choose me as a person who can perform miracles; I think that he saw in me a democrat, a person who can speak with all sectors of national life. Therefore, very humbly and with much determination, I accept this mission,” said Henry upon taking office.

Regarding Moïse's death, Henry said that “all those suspected of being material or intellectual authors must be identified and brought to justice. We will never again have to experience a tragedy like this. There must be an exemplary punishment” for those responsible.

Henry will also remain Social Affairs and Labor Minister; Joseph will be in charge of Foreign Affairs; and Patrick Michel Boisvert will be in Economics and Finance; Rockfeller Vincent in Justice and Public Safety; and Enold Joseph in Defense, it was reported.

In the present scenario, September's constitutional referendum is also in doubt.

The country is also starting preparations for Moïse's funeral. Memorial events will also be held Wednesday and Friday, national holidays, in Cap Haitien, in the north of the territory.

Among the fugitives, the “most dangerous” person is Joseph Felix Badio, a former official of the Ministry of Justice, whom Charles identified as the one who “executed, followed and commanded the operation.” Charles also explained the authorities were after the person who financed “this vast operation” and, in particular, they continue the investigations around the company World Wide Capital Landing Group, “which collected money to donate it” to Christian Emmanuel Sanon, accused of being the mastermind.

Categories: Politics, International.

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