Arrest warrant issued against top Haiti politicians and religious leaders for President’s murder
Politicians and religious leaders are now the focus of Haiti’s probe into the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, which has plunged the country into unprecedented chaos.
Port-au-Prince State Attorney Claude Bed-Ford has issued search warrants against two political leaders, two religious leaders and one businessman, it was reported.
Ruling Tet Kalé party leader Line Balthazar, and former Prime Minister Paul Denis of the Inifos party, together with religious leaders Gérald Bataille and Gérard Forge and businessman Samir Handall are wanted for murder, attempted murder, armed attack against the President of the Republic Jovenel Moïse, according to a the document issed by Bed-Ford.
A separate warrant has also been issued against former Supreme Court Justice Wendel Coq Thélot.
Haitian Police have so far arrested 44 people for the attack, including 12 law enforcement officers for either their direct involvement in Moïse’s murder or in facilitating the attack against the President’s residence. Four of the policemen were present on the day of the murder; according to Haitian Police spokeswoman Marie Michelle Verrier.
Those arrested also include 18 Colombians, mostly retired military personnel, and six Haitians; three of them with dual US citizenship.
The alleged mastermind of the operation is Haitian physician Christian Emmanuel Sanon, also under arrest.
Haitian authorities have also seized 45 firearms; hundreds of ammunition and three grenades.
The murder was carried out by a commando group made up of 26 Colombian mercenaries who easily broke into Moïse’s home at the upper class Pelerin area in Port-au-Prince with no opposition from guards and shot him dead.
Moïse’s wife, Martine, was also wounded in the attack and treated in a South Florida hospital. She first returned to Haiti for the memorial services but then flew back again to the US.
Although the prosecution’s warrant is dated July 12, it was not until Tuesday, August 3, that it became public knowledge through social media.
Balthazar heads the political organization that brought Moïse to the presidency in 2017, as well as his predecessor Michel Martelly (2011-2016).
Bathazar had openly opposed some of the government’s plans, especially the referendum to modify the 1987 constitution, and advocated for a national political settlement.
Among those arrested are also former Presidential guardsmen Dimitri Hérard and Jean Laguel Civil, as well as former Senator John Joel Joseph and lawyer Joseph Felix Badio.
Martine Moïse has insisted she does not believe any of the arrested masterminded her husband’s assassination. Someone gave the order and someone paid the money. Those are the people we are looking for. I want the help of the United Nations Security Council to find those people, she has told CNN.