Former Justice Official Arrested in Connection to Haitian President’s Assassination

Jovenel Moise

Joseph Badio, a former official with Haiti’s Ministry of Justice, was apprehended in Port-au-Prince on Thursday, marking a significant development in the investigation of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse’s 2021 assassination. Badio, previously affiliated with the government’s anti-corruption unit, had been dismissed due to alleged ethics violations shortly before Moïse’s murder. His arrest took place in the Petion Vile district, as confirmed by National Police spokesman Garry Desrosiers.

On July 7, 2021, President Moïse was fatally shot 12 times in his private residence, plunging Haiti into political turmoil. In the aftermath of his death, numerous arrests were made, which includes 11 individuals currently detained in the U.S. U.S. prosecutors contend that an expansive conspiracy, encompassing individuals from both Haiti and Florida, aimed to employ mercenaries to eliminate Moïse, potentially to secure advantageous contracts from a new government.

Recently, former Haitian senator John Joel Joseph, one of the 11 held in the U.S., entered a guilty plea in relation to the assassination. His sentencing is scheduled for December 19. Joseph, extradited from Jamaica to the U.S. in June, faces accusations of conspiring to engage in murder or kidnapping beyond U.S. borders and offering material support that resulted in death.

In related developments, two more individuals have confessed their roles. Haitian-Chilean entrepreneur Rodolphe Jaar received a life sentence in June, while ex-Colombian soldier German Alejandro Rivera Garcia awaits sentencing on October 27. Among those apprehended post-assassination are 18 former Colombian military personnel, all in Haitian custody.

Furthermore, the assassination has been followed by a marked increase in gang-related activities in Haiti. The situation prompted Haiti’s prime minister to request external armed assistance. In response, the U.N. Security Council decided in early October to dispatch a multinational force spearheaded by Kenya. However, the exact deployment date remains uncertain.

Chris Morris
Author: Chris Morris

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