Wife Of Former President Among Those Indicted For His Murder

(CMC) – A Haitian investigative judge says there is enough evidence to charge 49 people, including the wife of former president, Jovenel Moise, who was killed during the deadly assault at his private residence on July, 7, 2021.

But while Martine Moïse is yet to make any public statement following the bombshell announcement by Judge Walther Wesser Voltaire, the fifth magistrate to have probed Moise’s assassination, former prime minister Claude Joseph is accusing the current head of government, Dr. Ariel Henry of “weaponizing the Haitian justice system” by targeting him and the former first lady.

“Ariel Henry, the main beneficiary or the mastermind of the July 7th coup leading to the tragic killing of president Jovenel Moïse, is weaponizing the Haitian justice system, prosecuting political opponents like me. It’s a classic coup d’état.

“They failed to kill me and Martine Moïse on July 7th 2021, now they are using the Haitian justice system to advance their Machiavellian agenda. The Haitian people, however, won’t be distracted. I will not give up my fight against a government that has been killing the Haitian people. Ariel Henry has to go because he has failed the Haitian people,” Joseph said in a statement to the Maimi Herald newspaper.

On Monday, Judge Voltaire sent his 122-page order to a prosecutor who will now notify the defendants about the indictment.

The indictments came after two and a half years and five judges investigating the murder of Moise, who was gunned down at his private residence overlooking the capital, Port au Prince.

His wife was also injured during the incident and had to be flown to the United States for medical treatment. A number of former Colombian military officials have been arrested in cnnection with the murder and are awaiting trial in a Haitian jail.

The United States have also prosecuted several other people, including Haitian nationals and in his indictment report, the judge has decided not to pursue criminal charges against most of the 11 defendants named in a parallel U.S. indictment in Miami, citing double jeopardy.

But he has named Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a politically ambitious Haitian-American pastor, who is accused of plotting a coup to rule Haiti that led to Moïse’s death. In the indictment, Sanon is described as the “intellectual author” of the assassination plot along with Joseph Félix Badio, a former government consultant.

In indicting the former first lady, the judge notes that she not only refused two invitations to appear before the judge’s chambers to answer questions about her husband’s killing, but her statements about “are so ensnared by contradictions that they ultimately discredited themselves.”

The judge has also dismissed an October 6, 2021, civil complaint filed by Mrs Moise in her husband’s assassination case.

In addition to Martine Moïse, the judge indicted Joseph and ex-police chief Léon Charles. They are among 10 former government officials or allies of the president who, according to te judge had “an active participation” in the events leading up to his death.

Initially Haitian investigators had arrested 44 people, including 20 Colombians, 19 Haitian police officers and four individuals in civilian clothes. The Colombians have said they do not know who killed the president and have questioned the authenticity of his wife’s injuries during the attack.

Voltaire’s recommendations are the result of dozens of interrogations and after he visited the crime scene with FBI agents. He said it was clear that the first lady could not have hidden under the bed as she asserted.

The judge said that there was sufficient evidence to pursue charges against the head of the president’s security detail, Dimitri Hérard, and his boss, Jean Laguel Civil. Civil is accused of paying bribes to members of presidential security detail to either not show up to work, or to stand down on the day of the attack. He denied the allegations during his interrogation by the judge.