Haiti PM fires prosecutor who implicated him in Moise’s killing

Port-au-Prince, Sep 14 (EFE).- Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced Tuesday the dismissal of chief prosecutor Bed-Ford Claude mere hours after the latter asked a judge to investigate the premier as a suspect in the July 7 assasination of President Jovenel Moise.

Claude was fired for a “serious administrative error,” Henry said in a letter to the prosecutor.

Though the letter was dated Sept. 13, the government did not release the document until late Tuesday, after Claude formally asked the judge presiding over the case, Garry Orelien, to indict Henry for Moise’s murder and bar the prime minister from leaving the country.

The prosecutor made the request days after inviting Henry to give a statement about telephone conversations he ostensibly had with alleged assassination mastermind Joseph Felix Badio, who remains at large.

Henry and Badio, a former justice ministry official, spoke for at least seven minutes a few hours after Moise was slain inside his private residence in Port-au-Prince’s Pelerin 5 neighborhood, according to Claude.

The prosecutor said that geo-location data from the mobile service provider indicated Badio was speaking from a spot near Moise’s home.

The prime minister denounced the summons from Claude last Saturday during a ceremony where Henry and leaders of several political parties signed an accord aimed at “reconciliation” and laying the groundwork for elections.

Henry, a 71-year-old neurosurgeon, called the prosecutor’s request a “distraction” and vowed not to allow it to keep him from carrying out his “mission.”

Haitian authorities are holding 44 people in connection with the assassination of Moise, including 18 Colombian mercenaries and a dozen members of the presidential security detail who offered no resistance to the attack.

Amid the political turmoil, Haiti was struck a month ago by a magnitude-7.2 earthquake that left more than 2,200 people dead – according to figures that have not been updated for weeks – and rendered tens of thousands homeless. EFE mp-mm/dr

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