Haitian police arrest suspected mastermind in President's assassination

11:02, 12 July 2021
Haitian police arrest suspected mastermind in President's assassination Photo:

Haitian national police have arrested one of the suspected masterminds in the assassination of the former President Jovenel Moise, Police Chief Leon Charles told the press at a conference. 

Law enforcement services arrested 63-year-old Christian Emmanuel Sanon, accused of hiring mercenaries to oust and replace Moise, and take over as president. The "key mastermind" flew to Haiti on a private jet in early June, accompanied by security guards he hired through a firm that provides security for politicians and recruited the suspects.

Sanon allegedly worked as a doctor in Florida. The alleged killers were protecting him as the supposed president of Haiti.

"The mission of these attackers was initially to ensure the safety of Emmanuel Sanon, but later the mission was changed...and they presented one of the attackers with an arrest warrant for the President of the Republic," Charles said.

At his house, police officers found a hat emblazoned with the logo of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, 20 boxes of bullets, gun parts, four automobile license plates from the Dominican Republic, and two cars.

A total of 26 Colombians are suspected of the killing. Haitian police have arrested 18 Colombians and three Haitian Americans, including Sanon, over the murder, five Colombians remain at large.

One of the detainees had contacted Sanon upon being arrested, whose political motives are under investigation.

Earlier, the Interim Prime Minister of Haiti Claude Joseph said that former President Jovenel Moise was tortured before he has been killed. His wife Martine Moise was seriously wounded, remains hospitalized in Miami.

After Moise's assassination, Haitian authorities have requested the US and the UN to send troops to the country. Biden's administration initially rejected the request, but a delegation of senior US security and justice officials on Sunday arrived in Haiti to assess the situation and to meet Haitian politicians.