Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry, Asked to Testify in Pres. Jovenel Moise's Assassination Hearing, Rejects the Invite
Prosecutors have invited Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry in a hearing on the assassination of President Jovenel Moise to testify and explain his connection to the main suspect.
Prosecutor Bedford Claude noted that Henry talked to suspect Joseph Felix Badio on the phone multiple times just hours after Moise's assassination, BBC News reported.
Claude said he's inviting Henry to attend the hearing as he does not have the power to officially summon the prime minister. Questioning the prime minister needs a go-signal from the president. However, Haiti does not have one after Moise's killing.
Prosecutors noted that the records obtained from phone operator Digicel confirmed that Badio and Henry spoke twice on July 7, only hours after Moise's killing.
Badio's geolocation data also showed that he was speaking from the scene of the crime. The suspect's whereabouts are currently unknown.
Meanwhile, Henry has rejected the invitation, which he described as "diversionary tactics," Aljazeera reported. The Haiti's prime minister tweeted that the real culprits, masterminds, and sponsors of the assassination of Moise will be identified, brought to justice, and punished for their crimes.
Police are still actively searching for Badio, a former official who worked in the justice ministry's anti-corruption unit.
Mastermind Behind the Assassination of Jovenel Moise
Ariel Henry earlier said that the mastermind behind the assassination was most likely still at large, adding that he remains baffled by the motive.
The Haiti's prime minister further noted that he thinks there were a lot of people involved, including those with access to a lot of money, The New York Times reported.
As of now, 44 people have been arrested in connection to Moise's assassination, including 18 Colombians and two Americans of Haitian descent.
Moise appointed Henry before his death. Henry expressed concern for his safety, saying that he could probably be at risk too from the people who killed Moise.
The arrested suspects included Moise's security chiefs and were moved to jail to prepare for trial. At least three judicial officials said the key suspects are now hiding after receiving numerous death threats.
Ariel Henry said his main goal now was to hold free and fair elections to bring stability to the country. He noted that he was in discussions with political parties and civil leaders to appoint a new electoral board and draft a new Constitution.
Jovenel Moise's Assassination
A group of gunmen had assassinated Jovenel Moise and wounded his wife at their home in Port-au-Prince on July 7. Police had killed four suspects at the time, according to Associated Press.
The Haitian ambassador to the United States, Bocchit Edmond, said foreign mercenaries and professional killers carried out the attack.
Edmond added that the suspects were pretending to be agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The said agency has an office in Haiti's capital to help the government in its counternarcotic efforts.
This article is owned by Latin Post
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: Ariel Henry Formally Appointed Prime Minister of Haiti in Ceremony - From FRANCE 24 English
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