Assassinated Haitian president’s widow among dozens indicted over his death

World

A Haitian judge in charge of the investigation into the assassination in 2021 of the country’s last president, Jovenel Moïse, has charged 50 people including his widow and a former prime minister, according to a document leaked to local media.

 

According to the 122-page document from Judge Walther Wesser Voltaire, made public by AyiboPost, the president’s widow, Martine Moïse, conspired with the former prime minister Claude Joseph to kill the president in order to replace him herself.

Jovenel Moïse was shot dead when armed men broke into his Port-au-Prince bedroom on the night of 7 July 2021, a raid that left the former first lady injured.

 

The judge’s order calls for the arrest and trial of those charged.

 

The former first lady did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment, and nor did Joseph. Moïse has criticised on social media what she calls unjust arrests and political persecutions.

 

Joseph, meanwhile, told the Miami Herald that the president’s de facto successor as leader, Ariel Henry, the current prime minister, was the main beneficiary and was “weaponising the Haitian justice system” to persecute opponents in “a classic coup d’etat”.

 

A spokesperson for Henry’s office said the judge was independent and “free to issue his order in accordance with the law and his conscience”.

 

Henry was appointed to replace Joseph, who now leads an opposition party, days before the assassination. He pledged to hold elections but has postponed these indefinitely citing a devastating earthquake and the growing power of heavily armed criminal gangs.

The gangs are estimated to control most of the capital, and Kenya is preparing to lead a UN-ratified international force to support Haitian police, though prior abuses by foreign missions and allegations against Henry’s government have left countries wary of volunteering support.

A separate case on Moïse’s killing is being tried in Miami, where six of 11 defendants have pleaded guilty to a plot to send Colombian mercenaries to kidnap Moïse, a plan that at the 11th hour was changed to a plot to murder him.

 

According toUS charges, the conspirators sought to replace Moïse with a Haitian-American pastor, Christian Emmanuel Sanon.

The Guardian