Officers barred from leaving Haiti amid presidential assassination probe
Port-au-Prince, July 16 (EFE).- A court in Port-au-Prince Friday ordered travel restrictions on 16 people, including four top officers responsible for presidential security, barring them from leaving Haiti over their suspected involvement in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
The order affects Dimitri Hérard, the head of palace security for Moïse, who was assassinated last week at his home.
Police detained Herard on Thursday. The government has removed him from his position as of now.
Others on the departure ban include Inspector Amazan Paul Eddy, general coordinator of presidential security Jean Laguel and the head of the palace security unit Léandre Pierre Osman.
Haitian prosecutor Bed-Ford Claude had called the four top security officials to testify earlier in the week.
However, they argued that police restrictions prevented them from attending the summons.
Claude issued the ban orders that prohibited them from “leaving the national territory by air, sea and land” due to “serious suspicion of assassination of President Jovenel Moise.”
Twenty-four police officers were assigned to protect the presidential residence on July 17 morning, when the gunmen assassinated Moise.
Five senior police officers have been detained in connection with the assassination, Haiti national police chief Léon Charles said on Friday.
The National Police vowed to remain “on guard against all diversionary maneuvers” at it presses forward with the probe.
Eighteen of the 23 suspects in custody are Colombians, while the other five are dual nationals of Haiti and the United States.
Three other Colombians died in gunfights with police. Five are on the run.
Officials in Port-au-Prince say that the plot was hatched by Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a 62-year-old evangelical pastor and physician living in South Florida.
Sanon, a complete unknown in Haitian politics, said in a YouTube video that he aspired to lead the country. But questions have arisen about how the alleged mastermind, who declared bankruptcy in the US, could have afforded to hire mercenaries to kill Moise.
Search and arrest warrants have been issued against another four Haitians accused of participating in planning the attack. EFE
Colombian authorities, who are assisting Haiti in the investigation, said Thursday that three additional citizens of the Andean nation suspected of involvement in the crime were being sought.