Haiti Police Arrest Man They Say Hired Assassins to Kill Moise
(Bloomberg) -- A Haitian man who has lived in the U.S. was arrested for allegedly recruiting the hit squad that assassinated President Jovenel Moise, as police say they are closing in on the masterminds behind the plot.
Christian Emmanuel Sanon arrived in Haiti on a private airplane in early June with the intention of seizing the presidency, Haiti National Police said in a statement Sunday.
Officials say it was Sanon who recruited former Colombian soldiers to carry out the July 7 assassination. After the murder, Sanon was the first person the alleged attackers called, they said. In turn, Sanon was in contact with two other unidentified people who are “suspected as intellectual perpetrators” of the crime, the police said in a statement.
The murder has stoked a power struggle and more unrest in the Impoverished nation amid government pleas for the U.S. to send troops. Interim President Claude Joseph has been leading the country of 11 million since the murder, but his claim on the government is disputed.
Ariel Henry, who was named prime minister two days before Moise’s death but never sworn in, has said he’s the legitimate prime minister. Factions of Haiti’s Senate have proposed making that body’s leader, Joseph Lambert, acting president until previously-scheduled general elections are held in September.
Public records show Sanon has lived in Florida, New York and Missouri, and in a 2011 YouTube video he identified himself as a doctor.
In that video, he denounces government corruption and says he will “bring hope” to Haiti’s poor and neglected masses.
Emails and phone calls to accounts associated with Sanon were not immediately answered.
Many Haitians have expressed skepticism about the official version of events, since the alleged killers didn’t appear to have an escape plan despite staging a carefully executed raid in which none of the president’s security guards were killed.
Family members of some of the arrested men say they traveled to Haiti under the impression they would be working as bodyguards. But once they were in Haiti, they were told they would serve an “arrest warrant” against Moise, the police said.
So far, authorities have arrested 21 people for the murder: 18 Colombians, two Haitian Americans who say they were working as translators, and Sanon.
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