Next week, Prime Minister Ariel Henry has been invited by the head prosecutor to explain why he talked to one of the main suspects in the murder of former President Jovenel Moise on the night of the attack. Prosecutor BedFord Claude indicated in a letter sent to Ariel on Friday that he understands only the head of state could permit official sermon to an individual of his rank, but the country was without a president. Instead, he was being invited to show up and cooperate.
The proceedings at the Court of First Instance of Porte-au-Prince would be held at 10 am on Tuesday, it announced. “The chief of the criminal prosecution would be grateful if you could present yourself to cooperate with Haitian justice if you wish, taking into account the restrictions given your status as a state official,” the letter stated. Ariel declined to comment immediately.
President Jovenel Moise was assassinated at his private residence in the hills of Port-au-Prince on July 7, subjecting the already suffering country to deeper political chaos. The Caribbean nation is also struggling to recover from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that destroyed homes, schools, and other institutions last month.
The invitation comes as judges try to capture more suspects in the case. Judges probing the case claim that former Haitian justice ministry official Joseph Badio might have masterminded the attack. Badio once worked in the Haitian Ministry of Justice and joined the anti-corruption body in 2013. It is said that Badio was fired due to “serious breaches” of unspecified ethical rules.
Summon reports from mobile phone dealer Digicel have enabled the investigators to confirm allegations that Badio and Ariel communicated on July 7, twice at around 4 am, just hours after Jovenel’s assassination, as stated in the letter sent on Friday.
Geotracking information also shows Badio was communicating from the crime scene, according to the letter.