Haiti: PM dismisses prosecutor tying him to president’s murder

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Haiti’s chief prosecutor on Tuesday asked a judge to charge Prime Minister Ariel Henry in connection with the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, who was killed on July 7.

Henry subsequently dismissed Port-au-Prince prosecutor Bed-Ford Claude from his position in a publicly disseminated letter. “I have the pleasure of informing you that it was decided to terminate your post,” the prime minister wrote.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson wearing a suit and tie: Prime Minister is accused of having contacted a suspect the night of the murder© Provided by dw.com Prime Minister is accused of having contacted a suspect the night of the murderClaude had asked officials to bar the PM from leaving the country. “There are enough compromising elements … to prosecute Henry and ask for his outright indictment,” the public prosecutor wrote in a letter to Judge Garry Orelien.

The judge is required to investigate Claude’s request and has three months to decide if the facts in the case justify legal action.

What did the prosecutor allege?

The prosecutor said in a two-page report that phone records show Henry communicated with a key suspect in Moise’s killing on the night the assassination occurred.

Claude said phone calls were made at 4:03 and 4:20 a.m. on July 7, adding that evidence shows the chief suspect, Joseph Badio, was in the vicinity of Moise’s residence at that time.

That suspect, a former justice ministry official whom Henry has publicly defended, is currently on the run.

On Monday, Justice Minister Rockfeller Vincent ordered the chief of Haiti’s National Police to boost security for the country’s top prosecutor because he had received “important and disturbing” threats over the past five days.

Moise was shot dead after assailants stormed his private residence in the hills above the Haitian capital, plunging the impoverished nation deeper into turmoil.

ab, jsi/wmr (AP, AFP, Reuters, EFE)

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