Port-au-Prince, Haiti – Haiti’s chief prosecutor asked a judge on Tuesday to charge Prime Minister Ariel Henry in the president’s assassination and prevent him from leaving the country, a move that could further catastrophe the country after the assassination and the recent major earthquake. can destabilize.
The order, filed by Port-au-Prince prosecutor Bed-Ford Claude, came on the same day that she requested that Henry visit her and explain why a prime suspect in the assassination of President Jovenel Mosse called her twice, just hours after the assassination. .
“There are enough compromising elements to prosecute and fully prosecute Henry,” Claude wrote.
Henry’s spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.
Claude said the calls were made at 4:03 am and 4:20 am on July 7, adding that evidence showed suspect Joseph Badio was around Mosse’s home at the time. Badio once worked in Haiti’s Ministry of Justice and the government’s anti-corruption unit until he was fired in May amid allegations of violating unspecified ethical rules.
In the two-page document, Claude said the call lasted a total of seven minutes and that Henry was at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince at the time. He also noted that a government official tweeted last month that Henry told him he never spoke to Badio.
On Monday, Justice Minister Rockefeller Vincent ordered the chief of Haiti’s national police to step up Claude’s security after prosecutors received “significant and disturbing” threats over the past five days.
The Associated Press obtained a letter Monday in which Henry told Claude he was firing him for an undefined “serious administrative mistake” and that the decision was effective as soon as he received the document. It was not immediately clear whether Claude had obtained it or whether his instruction to charge Henry was valid. Claude did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The case requires Judge Gary Orlean to investigate based on Claude’s request and has three months to determine when to take action.
Robert Fatten, a Haitian politics expert at the University of Virginia, said there was clearly a power struggle within the government between those who supported Henry and Mosse.
“We have a very confusing situation at the moment, there is a power struggle, and we will see who will win it,” he said. “It’s not clear where we’re headed, and it’s unclear what the international community thinks about everything.”
In recent days, Haiti’s ombudsman such as the Office of Civil Defense announced that it was calling on Henry to step down and asked the international community to stop supporting him.
Henry has not specifically addressed the issue publicly, although during a meeting with politicians and civil society leaders on Saturday, he said he was committed to helping stabilize Haiti.
Henry said, “Be assured that no distractions, no summons or invitations, no maneuvers, no threats, no rear-guard combat, no aggression will distract me from my mission.” “The real culprit, the intellectual writer and co-writer and sponsor of the assassination of President Jovanel Mosse, will be found and brought to justice and punished for their crimes.”
Moïse had appointed Henry as prime minister shortly before he was killed in an attack on his home, in which his wife, Martín Mose, was also seriously injured.
More than 40 suspects, including 18 former Colombian soldiers, have been arrested in this case. Officials are still searching for additional suspects, including Badio and a former Haitian senator.
If the court clerks did not change some of the names and statements in their report, the investigation is going on despite hiding after receiving death threats.
In addition, a Haitian judge appointed to oversee the investigation stepped down last month, citing personal reasons. He left after one of his assistants died under unexplained circumstances. A new judge has been appointed.