Prosecutors want to interview the Prime Minister of Haiti about the President’s assassination
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – Haiti’s Attorney General invited Prime Minister Ariel Henry to meet with him on Friday next week as part of an ongoing investigation into the murder of President Jovenel Moïse and found that Henry was one of the prime suspects in the Fall just hours after being killed.
The carefully worded invitation indicated that Henry had made several phone calls to the fugitive Joseph Felix Badio, who once worked for the Haitian Ministry of Justice and, according to authorities, played a key role in the July 7th assassination of the president at his private home.
Port-au-Prince’s chief prosecutor Bedford Claude said two of the calls were made on July 7, just hours after the murder, at 4:03 a.m. and 4:20 a.m. He said evidence shows that Badio was near the president’s house at the time of the calls.
Claude told the Prime Minister that he had requested a meeting with him to review the content of these conversations, although he indicated that it was not mandatory.
“The Chief of Law Enforcement would be grateful if you so requested, taking into account the limitations of your status as a senior civil servant,” wrote Claude.
He added that the invitation to Henry was justified as he cited a “case of extreme gravity for the nation” and a power vacuum that prevented authorities from obtaining prior approval from a president to solicit Henry from the prosecutor.
Claude finished the letter with: “Welcome, Mr. Prime Minister, my most patriotic greetings.”
Chenal Augustin, who works in the prime minister’s communications office, told The Associated Press that the office would not comment on the matter.
Henry previously told a local radio station that he knew Badio and was defending him, adding that he didn’t think Badio was involved because he didn’t have the resources.
Maarten Boute, CEO and chairman of Digicel Haiti, told the AP that the company disclosed information as requested by the judicial authorities but declined further comments as it was confidential.
Henry’s invitation comes as authorities try to arrest other murder suspects, including Badio. He once worked for the Haiti Ministry of Justice and joined the government’s anti-corruption division in 2013. The agency had issued a statement that Badio was fired in May for “serious violations” of unspecified ethical rules, adding that it had filed a complaint against him.
More than 40 suspects were arrested in the case, including 18 former Colombian soldiers who recently accused Haitian police of torture. A police spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.
Last month, a Haitian judge tasked with overseeing the investigation resigned on personal grounds. The move came after one of his assistants died in unknown circumstances. A new judge was appointed.
Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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