Third suspect charged in US for assassination of Haitian president

A third suspect has been charged with complicity in murder in Florida for his alleged role in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse last July, the US Department of Justice said Monday (May 9).

Former Haitian Senator Joseph Joel John, 51, who appeared before a Miami judge on Monday, was extradited from Jamaica and is charged with conspiring to murder or kidnap Jovenel Moïse and having provided equipment for this purpose, according to a press release. Before him, the retired Colombian soldier Mario Palacios and the Haitian-Chilean citizen Rodolphe Jaar were charged by American justice for the same facts after being arrested abroad and extradited to the United States.

On July 7, 2021, a commando broke into the private residence of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in Port-au-Prince and shot him dead with 12 shots. American law is applied in this case because the plan was partly organized on American soil, in Florida, by American-Haitian nationals. According to American justice, the conspiracy was initially intended to simply kidnap and detain the Haitian president, but it was finally decided to assassinate him.

Mario Palacios has pleaded not guilty to the crimes with which he is charged in February. All three defendants face life imprisonment. The sponsors and the exact motive for the assassination remain unknown to the general public for the moment.

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