Crime & Justice

More questions than answers in Moïse assassination probe

By Maria Montecelos

Port-au-Prince, Jul 11 (EFE).- The circumstances surrounding the assassination of Haiti President Jovenel Moïse continue to evolve four days after the attack with more unknowns than certainties.

So far, the Haitian authorities have arrested 21 of those allegedly involved, including the arrest Sunday of doctor Christian Emmanuel Sanon, one of the alleged masterminds, while three suspects died in shootouts with the police and five remain on the run.

The authorities still have not clarified the order of events on the night of the murder, nor offered a motive for the crime, which for the moment they have blamed on the doctor living in the United States and unknown in the Haitian political sphere.

Authorities of Colombia, the nationality of 26 of the 28 implicated, confirmed on Friday the identity of several members of the group, whom they described as “mercenaries,” and said that at least 15 of them were military personnel retired from the army between 2018 and 2020.

In addition, they are investigating four companies – the names and activities of which have not been disclosed – that they suspect were involved in recruiting the mercenaries who arrived in Port-au-Prince from Bogotá in two groups in May and June.

According to the Haitian Police, Sanon hired a security company with Venezuelan capital and headquartered in the US, which in turn hired the suspects with the initial task of providing personal security.

Later, it is suspected they presented the Colombians with an arrest warrant against Moïse and the plot was hatched, according to the Haitian investigation.

An audio message of the first lady Martine Moïse, who was flown to a Miami hospital after being seriously injured in the attack, coincides with the authorities’ claim right from the start that the perpetrators were hired killers.

However, the Haitian opposition questions the official version.

Former senator Steven Benoît claimed that the president was killed by his own security guards and that the Colombians were scapegoats.

“It was not the Colombians who murdered him. They were contractors of the Haitian State,” Benoît said on the “Panel Magic” program.

Regardless of this theory, doubts hang over the presidential security detail for not having prevented the attack on the president’s residence, to which access, through an alley, is always guarded.

Next week, eight people are summoned to testify by the Prosecutor’s Office investigating the case, including the four most responsible for the president’s security, two former senators, one of them Benoît, and two magnates, known opponents of the assassinated president.

The 53-year-old’s body had 12 bullet wounds corresponding to 9-millimeter and large-caliber weapons, according to the deputy justice of the peace, Henry Destin.

He also said that Moïse’s office and bedroom were ransacked, and that the couple’s daughter hid in her brother’s room.

The investigation on the ground has been joined by Colombian Police and US authorities. EFE


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