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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Haiti PM asked to testify in President’s assassination hearing


Haiti’s top prosecutor has asked Prime Minister Ariel Henry to explain his relationship to the main suspect in President Jovenel Moise’s assassination.

On July 7, gunmen stormed President Moise’s home and assassinated him.

Bedford, Prosecutor Mr Henry, according to Claude, had several phone calls with suspect Joseph Felix Badio just hours after the assassination.

Mr. Claude stated that Mr. Henry was “invited” to attend because he lacked the authority to summon him.

Prosecutors said records obtained from phone company Digicel confirmed Mr Badio and Mr Henry spoke twice on July 7, just hours after President Moise was assassinated.

Geolocation data also revealed that Mr Badio, whose current whereabouts are unknown, was speaking from the crime scene.

Mr Claude stressed in a letter to the Prime Minister that his invitation was optional, but that it was justified given what he called a “case of extreme gravity for the nation.”

The hearing at the Port-au-Prince Court of First Instance is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

According to reports, Mr Badio, a former official with the Ministry of Justice, may have been involved in the killing’s coordination. He has not responded publicly to these allegations.

Mr Henry previously told local media that he knew Mr Badio and defended him, adding that he didn’t believe Badio was involved because he lacked the necessary resources.

The Associated Press was told by a spokesperson for Mr Henry’s office that he would not comment on the invitation.

The invitation to Mr Henry comes as authorities ramp up their efforts to apprehend more suspects in the assassination.

According to police, 44 people are now being held in connection with the plot, including 18 retired Colombian military personnel.

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