The main suspects in the murder of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse “sent to the United States for trial” | Haiti
Four key suspects in the murder of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse have been transferred to the United States for prosecution, officials say, as the case stalls in Haiti amid death threats against local judges.
Suspects in custody include James Solages, 37, and Joseph Vincent, 57, two Haitian-Americans who were among the first arrested after Moïse was shot 12 times at his private home near the capital Port-au -Prince on July 7, 2021.
Christian Emmanuel Sanon, an elderly pastor, doctor and businessman whom authorities have identified as a key player, is also charged. His associates suggested he was duped by the real – and still unidentified – masterminds behind the assassination which plunged Haiti deep into political chaos and sparked a level of gang violence not seen in decades.
The fourth suspect has been identified as Colombian citizen Germán Rivera García, 44, who is among approximately two dozen former Colombian soldiers charged in the case.
Rivera, along with Solages and Vincent, face charges of conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and provide material support and resources resulting in death, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Justice.
Sanon is charged with conspiracy to smuggle goods from the United States and provide information about illegal exports. Court documents show he allegedly shipped 20 body armor to Haiti, but the items shipped were described as “medical x-ray vests and school supplies.”
It was not immediately known whether the four suspects had attorneys who could comment on the development. The men are scheduled to appear in federal court Wednesday in Miami.
A total of seven suspects in the case are being held in the United States. Dozens more, however, remain in Haiti’s main prison, which is reportedly severely overcrowded and often lacks food and water for inmates.
The case is virtually at a standstill in Haiti, with local officials last year appointing a fifth judge to investigate the murder after four others were fired or resigned for personal reasons.
A judge told The Associated Press that his family asked him not to take the case because they feared for his life. Another judge resigned after the death of one of his assistants in murky circumstances.
Haitian police say other high-profile suspects remain at large, including a former Supreme Court justice who authorities say was favored to take power from Moïse. Another fugitive is Joseph Badio, an alleged plot leader who previously worked for Haiti’s justice ministry and the government’s anti-corruption unit until he was fired, according to police.
Emmanuel Jeanty, lawyer for the president’s widow, Martine Moïse, who was injured in the attack and flown to the United States for treatment, did not return a message for comment.
In December, Martine Moïse tweeted that her husband – who has also been accused of corruption, which he denied – had fought against her, which culminated in his murder.
“Despite the blockages, 17 months later, the people are demanding #Justice,” she wrote.