Haiti Prosecutor Forbids Prime Minister to Leave Amid Questions Over President’s Death


Haiti’s chief prosecutor on Tuesday ordered the acting prime minister not to leave the country until he answers questions about the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

Last week, the prosecutor issued a police summons for the prime minister, Ariel Henry, requesting that he answer questions about contact he had with one of the chief suspects in the killing.

Phone records show that Mr. Henry spoke with the suspect — Joseph Badio, a former intelligence officer — in the hours after Mr. Moïse was killed in his residence near Port-au-Prince, the capital.

It is unclear what relation, if any, Mr. Henry had with Mr. Badio, who has since gone into hiding.

Mr. Henry’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In previous remarks to the news media, Mr. Henry has denied any connection to the murder and said the masterminds of the plot remained at large.

The prosecutor’s move comes amid an escalating power struggle in Haiti in the aftermath of Mr. Moïse’s murder. Mr. Henry, a neurosurgeon who was named prime minister by Mr. Moïse just days before the killing, has struggled to assert authority over the country since being sworn into office in July.

The Haitian police have detained several people in connection with the assassination, including 18 Colombians and several Haitians and Haitian Americans, and are still seeking others. The suspects include retired Colombian commandos, a former judge and two members of the president’s security team.

The police are investigating a complex plot that they say stretches across several countries. They say it revolves around a little-known doctor and pastor, Christian Emmanuel Sanon, who was born in Haiti and lives in Florida. Officials say he conspired to kill the president and seize power.

Many questions remain unanswered, including that none of the people named in the investigation appeared to have had the means to finance the plot.

Milo Milfort contributed reporting.

Source : Nytimes