Fired justice minister calls for Haiti PM to quit over murder investigation

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Now he’s looking outside — and it’s an ugly sight. “The Haitian nation is living the worst political crisis in its history,” Vincent told Granthshala.

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As Haiti’s Minister of Justice, he oversaw a comprehensive investigation into the assassination of the president, which involved a Haitian-American pastor, dozens of Colombian mercenaries and members of Haiti’s own police force.

The country’s top prosecutor, Bed-Ford Cloud, said he would call for charges against the prime minister in relation to the murder, citing evidence from a phone call between Henry and a suspected mastermind on the night of the murder. He also requested that Henry come to his office for questioning.

That week, both Claude and Vincent were suddenly fired.

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Speaking from an undisclosed location on Friday, Vincent – who says he has gone into hiding since his shooting – told Granthshala he felt it had to be the other way around.

“In all serious countries, once you are caught in a matter like this, the Prime Minister should tender his resignation. He should resign. And we are still waiting for his resignation. Because of the President’s On the night of the death, a few hours later … he had a phone conversation with the assassin of the president,” Vincent said.

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Vincent accused the Prime Minister of trying to “cover his tracks” with firing.

“When you sack the prosecutor and the minister of justice and you put someone in their position who doesn’t know anything about justice… what exactly are you trying to do?” he said.

Henry denied having anything to do with the murder. Speaking to Granthshala last week, he said he had “no memory” of a phone call “or if it had happened.”

‘The Republic will be crushed’

After a brief standoff with the previous prime minister, Henry took over as premier with international support a few weeks after Moise’s death. In the president’s absence, he will lead Haiti until the now long-pending elections – which have been postponed again until sometime next year.

The prime minister has often described solving the murder case as a personal mission. “Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No political maneuvering, no media campaign, no distraction can deter me from this goal of getting justice for President Moises,” Henry told world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly last week.

According to Henry’s office, both Vincent and Claude were fired for breaking the law, which forbids prosecuting top officials without the permission of the head of state—currently Henry himself.

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But Vincent says he was fired because of Claude’s refusal to fire, which he describes as a morally impossible demand given the ongoing investigation. “I said [Henry], ‘This can not happen. We’re going to have a problem. If you sack the public prosecutor, the republic will be crushed,” Vincent said.

Finally, the Home Minister of Haiti Dough Quitel Cloud stepped in to fire.

Quittel, an engineer by training, was also given Vincent’s job – and is now doing double-duty as head of both Haiti’s interior and justice ministries.

Speaking to Granthshala later this week, Quittel dismissed the phone call as insufficient to warrant a warrant against the prime minister, and noted that no clear answer had been received due to the investigation led by Vincent.

“I don’t see the purpose of asking the prime minister to appear before the judge, just because he had a phone,” he said.

“This is clearly something that is politically motivated,” he said – a claim Vincent rejects.

a disturbing inquiry

The investigation into Moise’s death has long been troubled by allegations of obstruction and missing pieces.

In July, sources close to the case told Granthshala they were upset by the fact that Justice Ministry staff were not given immediate access to crime scenes and vital evidence, including surveillance footage from in and around the presidential mansion, during the attack. Was.

The clerks involved in the case also received death threats, forcing some to flee the capital.

At the time, Vincent did not respond to requests for comment. Now, however, he defends his oversight of the months-long investigation, insisting that investigators are free to act as needed.

He says he also receives death threats from armed groups controlling large parts of Port-au-Prince.

The murder investigation is currently pending with an independent investigative judge, who has not publicly asked for the prime minister’s testimony.

Closing the case would also require additional foreign support, according to Henry and Vincent – a rare point of agreement.

The US and Colombia sent investigative teams to assist in the early days of the investigation. But now with fingers in all directions, potential foreign partners in Haiti’s intrigue-ridden investigation may feel wary.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Justice Minister Rockefeller Vincent’s first name.

Reporting was contributed by Granthshala’s Matt Rivers in Mexico City and Melissa Bell in Paris.

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Credit : www.cnn.com

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