President’s murder seems to be too big a case for Haiti’s judiciary
The Haitian magistrate chosen to conduct the investigation regarding the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse Friday resigned from the case, citing reasons of a personal nature.
Judge Mathieu Chanlatte thus sent the dossier back to the dean of the civilian court of Port-au-Prince, Magistrate Bernard Saint-Vil, who on Monday had announced that security had been tightened after appointing Chanlatte for the task.
Other judges on the short list to oversee the proceedings previously turned down the opportunity after reportedly receiving death threats.
Moïse was assassinated early on July 7 inside his home in a luxury suburb of Port-au-Prince. His wife, Martine Moïse, was injured and flown to Miami, Florida, for treatment.
The case is now under the purview of the Haitian Justice Ministry. National Police spokesperson Marie-Michelle Verrier said earlier this week that the police had arrested 44 people in connection with the crime and had seized weapons, ammunition and cash in both US and Haitian currencies.
Among them are 18 Colombians, four Haitian Americans and 22 Haitians, Verrier said. Among these 22 Haitians are 20 police officers, she added.
Haitian Foreign Minister Claude Joseph expressed concern about the ability of the country’s justice system to adequately prosecute the case. I would like to highlight the limitations, weaknesses and lack of experience of the Haitian judicial system in handling cases of such complexity, which have resulted in serious doubts about the capacity, on one hand, to justly carry out this investigation and, on the other hand, to find and bring to justice to those responsible, Joseph wrote in French to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Joseph has asked the United Nations to open an international inquiry, but no answe has been given, although the global organization has admitted to receiving such a request, which “would have to go through competent legislative bodies of the U.N., as we’ve seen them in the past for other various incidents around the world, be it the Security Council, the Human Rights Council or others,” according to a UN spokesperson.