Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was shot and killed in his home on July 7, 2021
Two weeks later, his handpicked successor, Prime Minister Ariel Henry, was sworn in as President
Henry himself had only been named Prime Minister on July 5, by Moïse which would have put next in line of succession
Suspicions have surrounded Henry every since the President was assassinated
Seven months into the investigation, no one has been arrested since dozens of suspects were rounded up in the weeks following the killing
Those suspects are still being held, but no charges have been brought.
Now, two investigators say he involved in the plot, and is protecting the man who is suspected of organizing the hit squad that carried out the killing
With the apparent stall in in the investigators probing the assassination of Haiti’s last President have claimed the country’s Prime Minister was involved, and is protecting a fugitive suspected of organizing the hit squad behind it.
Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was shot 12 times and killed when two dozen armed men raided in the country’s presidential residence in the early hours on July 7, 2021.
Two weeks later Moïse’s handpicked successor, Ariel Henry, was sworn in as President, having only just been named Prime Minister by Moïse on July 5.
Accusations and suspicions surrounding the now-acting President have swirled since, not helped by his refusal to cooperate with authorities over his links to the one of the key suspects in the assassination plot.
Now, speaking anonymously to CNN, two investigators into the assassination have claimed that they were involved in planning a sting operation to catch Henry meeting with Joseph Felix Badio – the man believed to have organised the hit squad.
The hit squad arrested after the assassination comprised mainly of former Columbian service men.
The Colombian Police asserted on July 16, 2021 that those accused and arrested for the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse received the orders to assassinate the president after a meeting three days before the crime with former official of the Haitian Ministry of Justice, Joseph Felix Badio.
However efforts to take Badio into custody have failed to date. New York Times reports that New evidence suggests the man who took over from Haiti’s murdered president had close links to a prime suspect in the assassination — and that the two stayed in contact even after the crime.
According to the sources, three undercover officers were parked outside Henry’s official residents in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince having been tipped off that Badio – a former anti-corruption official who is on-the-run – would be meeting him there.
The detective planned to arrest Badio as he left the house, and at a later date arrest Henry as well, using the meeting as proof of their collaboration.
But Badio never arrived. Inside sources have expressed the belief that either he or Henry was tipped off, thwarting the opportunity for investigators to bust the meeting.
The whistle blowers have brought forward other examples of the Prime Minister’s activities that detail his alleged involvement in the killing.
However, when two judicial authorities sought to bring charges against him they were fired, the source said.
One investigator has gone as far as to say: ‘Henry is at the center of everything.’
The New York Times has previously claimed Henry and Badio have close ties, with reports suggesting Badio had visited the Prime Minister at his home before.
Henry, meanwhile, has said that he is determined to solve the murder of President Moïse, pledging to world leaders at the UN General Assembly in September: ‘no distraction can deter me from this goal to bring justice’.
But the official investigation into the assassination has stalled, with some sources calling the probe as as good as dead.
No one has been arrested since dozens of suspects were rounded up in the weeks following the killing, and are still being held. No charges have been brought.
The top judicial official who until recently was overseeing the case, Judge Garry Orélien, has been heard calling Henry a ‘prime suspect’.
According to a recording obtained and verified by CNN, Orélien was heard saying: ‘Ariel (Henry) is connected and friends with the mastermind of the assassination. They planned it with him. Ariel is a prime suspect of Jovenel Moïse’s assassination, and he knows it.’
Orélien denied he was the one speaking in the recording when asked for comment by the network, but according to CNN, his voice to numerous other recordings.
Monday marked not only seven months since Moise was slain, but also the end of his term, with opponents demanding that Prime Minister Henry step down, arguing that his administration is unconstitutional.
Henry who for now is the acting president hasbrushed aside those criticisms during a press conference on Monday evening where he again pledged to create a provisional electoral council to pave the way for general elections. He noted that exactly 36 years ago, former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier fled the country amid a violent uprising.
‘Thirty-six years later, we must realize that we have failed to establish a truly democratic system,’ Henry said, adding that for every three steps forward, the country goes two steps back.
Henry blamed the economy for most of Haiti’s ongoing problems, saying it was too small to allow people to live well, get jobs or obtain good government services.
He said his administration is fighting to reduce a surge in violence and is looking for more resources to help those in need.
‘We know there is a lot of misery out there,’ he said.
On Monday, which would have marked the official end of the president’s term, Thousands of people opted to stay home, afraid that even greater violence would erupt as political instability deepens, kidnappings spike and gangs grow more powerful amid a crumbling economy as they prey on those in need.
Henry has promised to hold general elections by the end of this year as his administration tries to improve security conditions.
Haiti currently has only 10 elected officials since it failed to hold legislative elections in October 2019 amid political gridlock and massive protests, with Moise ruling by decree for more than a year before was killed.
Since then, numerous opponents have challenged Henry and nominated their own leaders, moves that the prime minister has not recognized.
‘The basic thing today is not to fight for a short-lived piece of power,’ Henry said. ‘No one has the authority or the right to meet at a hotel or abroad to decide in a small committee who is to be president or prime minister. All this is a distraction.’
Henry has said he received multiple calls that day about the ‘ongoing investigation,’ but doesn’t remember all of them.