April 13th, 2024

Widow of slain Haitian president, ex-prime minister and a former police chief are indicted in case

By Dánica Coto And Evens Sanon, The Associated Press on February 19, 2024.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – A judge investigating the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse issued a final report on Monday that indicts his widow, Martine Moïse, ex-prime minister Claude Joseph and the former chief of Haiti’s National Police, Léon Charles, among others.

Charles, who now serves as Haiti’s permanent representative to the Organization of the American States, faces the most serious charges: murder; attempted murder; possession and illegal carrying of weapons; conspiracy against the internal security of the State; and association of criminals.

Meanwhile, Martine Moïse and Joseph are accused of complicity and criminal association.

Charles could not be immediately reached for comment. Meanwhile, neither Joseph nor the spokesman for Martine Moïse’s attorney responded to messages for comment.

The judge’s findings are expected to further destabilize a country already struggling with a surge in gang violence and recovering from a spate of recent violent protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

A total of nearly 50 suspects were indicted in the 122-page report released Monday.

Another 11 suspects have been extradited to the U.S. and charged in the slaying, with three of them already sentenced.

U.S. prosecutors have described it as a plot hatched in both Haiti and Florida to hire mercenaries to kidnap or kill Moïse, who was 53 when he was slain at his private home near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on July 7, 2021.

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Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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