U.S. Charges Haitian Ex-Senator in President’s Assassination

The US Justice Department (DOJ) authorities have charged an ex-senator in Haiti for his alleged involvement in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise last year.

The DOJ said that former senator Joseph Joel John, 51, a well-known critic of Moise’s Tet Kale Party, was extradited to the US from Jamaica on Friday and first appeared in court in Miami on Monday. 

“John is charged with conspiring to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and providing material support resulting in death, knowing or intending that such material support would be used to prepare for or carry out the conspiracy to kill or kidnap,” a statement from the Justice Department read.

The department accused John of helping “to obtain vehicles and attempted to obtain firearms to support the operation against the president,” and meeting with “certain co-conspirators” one day before the assassination, “after which many of the co-conspirators embarked on the mission to kill President Moise.”

President Moise was assassinated in his home in the capital, Port-au-Prince, on July 7, 2021, amid a worsening political and socio-economic crisis in Haiti.

Authorities said the Justice Department has charged and arrested two other men, Mario Antonio Palacios, 43, and Rodolphe Jaar, 49, earlier this year in a wide-reaching plot involving 20 Colombian citizens and several dual US-Haitian nationals to kill Moise.

“John is the third individual to be charged and arrested in the United States for his role in the assassination plot,” the statement added.

John is one of more than 40 suspects arrested in Moise’s killing. 

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