Haitian prime minister identified as prime suspect in assassination of country's president

Prime Minister Ariel Henry is suspected to have planned and covered up the assassination of former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.

Updated: February 8, 2022 - 2:32pm

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Investigators and a judge are alleging that Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry was involved in the July assassination of the country's former president, Jovenel Moïse.

Moïse, whose murder remains unsolved, was shot a dozen times at his residence in July 2021. His wife was shot but survived the attack. 

The assassination threw the already impoverished nation into political chaos that was soon followed by a significant earthquake that further rocked the nation's grasp on stability. 

According to a new report, Joseph Felix Badio – a former anti-corruption official in Haiti – led the organizational effort of the dozen-person hit squad.

Investigators think Badio was scheduled to meet with Henry in September, though the meeting was canceled as word of the investigators' suspicions was leaked to the prime minister. 

"Henry is at the center of everything," an anonymous source told CNN. "All he has done since taking over as PM is obstruct (the investigation) and f**k us over."

Several additional sources told the news outlet that Henry is suspected to have been involved in planning the assassination and the coverup. A judge who was until recently overseeing the case also identified Henry as the "prime suspect of Jovenel Moïse's assassination." 

"And he knows it," added the judge, Garry Orélien.

Not even one of the more than 40 suspects who have been detained in Haiti for potentially participating in the murder have been formally charged during Henry's tenure. However, two suspects were arrested and charged in the U.S. last month in connection with the assassination.

In September, Henry addressed the United Nations General Assembly and spoke about the pursuit of justice for the country's dead leader.

"Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No political maneuver, no media campaign, no distraction can deter me from this goal to bring justice for President Moïse," he said.