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12th Sep 2021

Haitian PM asked to testify in President’s assassination hearing

Kieran Galpin

Ariel Henry

President Moise was assassinated when shooters stormed his home on July 7.

Haiti’s head prosecutor, Bedford Claude, has invited Prime Minister Ariel Henry to explain his connection to the primary suspect in the murder of President Jovenel Moise.

As reported by the BBC, Claude has said that Henry had multiple phone calls with suspect, Joseph Felix Badio, hours after the assassination. President Moise was assassinated when gunmen stormed his home on 7 July.

Though Claude does not have the authority to demand his presence, he has ‘invited’ him publically in the hopes he will attend. It is reported that in the letter, Claude suggests his attendance would be helpful given it’s a “case of extreme gravity for the nation”.

Ariel Henry

Prosecutors said records obtained from phone operator, Digicel, confirmed that Badio and Henry spoke twice on 7 July, just hours after President Moise was gunned down in his home.

Geolocation also shows that Badio was at the scene of the crime during the phone calls.

Henry, who knows Badio personally, had previously defended him, saying that he didn’t believe Badio was involved because he didn’t have the means.

At the time of the assassination,  the attackers were described as “well-trained professionals, killers, commandos,” with the interim president, President Claude Joseph, calling the assassination a: “odious, hateful, inhumane and barbaric act”.

“This was a contracted hit to go ahead and kill the president, silence the president,” Former Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe told CBS News in July. “The world cannot wait. It’s important for every nation’s security and for the country’s stability to get to those who have financed this assassination of the president.”

The BBC reports that there are now 44 people held in custody in connection with the assassination, including 18 retired members of the Colombian military. The hearing is due to take place at 10 am on Tuesday.

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