As the investigation into the July 7 assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse continues, a prosecutor believes the current prime minister should be charged. He has now been replaced.
According to PBS NewsHour, on Sept. 13, Haiti’s now former chief prosecutor, Bed-Ford Claude, asked a judge to charge Prime Minister Ariel Henry and requested officials bar him from leaving the country.
Claude was asking to meet with Henry to question him about Joseph Badio, a suspect in the assassination of Moïse, calling him twice just hours after the killing. Claude claims the calls were made at 4:03 and 4:20 a.m. on July 7, and lasted for seven minutes
Claude also alleges that a government official tweeted last month that Prime Minister Henry told him he never spoke with Joseph Badio.
Claude stated in the order calling for Henry to be prosecuted, “There are enough compromising elements … to prosecute Henry and ask for his outright indictment.”
On Sept. 13, Justice Minister Rockefeller Vincent called for additional security for Claude because the prosecutor had received “important and disturbing” threats, PBS NewsHour reports.
Now, according to NPR, Prime Minister Henry made a request for Claude to be replaced. A new prosecutor was sworn-in last night (Sept. 14).
Moïse, 53, was accused of autocracy and corruption by his critics, spurring massive demonstrations. He had been in power since February of 2017, but his opposition said that his five-year term began in 2016 and was set to end in February of 2021. However, those results were negated by Haiti’s electoral council and Moïse remained in office.
President Moïse was assassinated on the morning of July 7 when an armed collective approached his estate and opened fire. A motive has not yet been revealed.
More than 40 people have been arrested.