Haiti PM dismisses questions over links to president’s murder

(FILES) In this file photo Designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry speaks during a ceremony at La Primature in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 20, 2021. – Haiti’s top prosecutor said on September 14, 2021 he was seeking charges against Prime Minister Ariel Henry for the July assassination of President Jovenel Moise. The Port-au-Prince government commissioner, the equivalent of a federal prosecutor, asked the judge investigating the killing to charge Henry with involvement in the case over alleged phone calls Henry made with one of the main suspects. (Photo by Valerie Baeriswyl / AFP)


PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) — Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry dismissed suspicions raised against him over the assassination of president Jovenel Moise as a “fuss” motivated by “political interests.”

In a statement posted on social networks, the head of government blasted “the noise orchestrated at the national and international level around the telephone conversations that took place the night of the murder of the president.”

Moise was shot on July 7 at his home in Port-au-Prince, and while dozens of people have been arrested the identity of those who ordered the attack remains a mystery.

On Tuesday, the Port-au-Prince government commissioner — equivalent to a federal prosecutor — asked the judge in charge of the case to indict Henry over two phone calls he had with one of the main suspects, government official Joseph Felix Badio, just hours after the attack.

Badio’s phone was allegedly tracked to the area near Moise’s residence when Badio called Henry twice in the early hours of July 7, after the president was killed.

Henry fired the prosecutor just hours after the request was made.

On Wednesday he also sacked his justice minister.

A guest holds a picture of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise during a ceremony at the National Pantheon Museum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 20, 2021. – The ceremony comes as designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry prepared to replace interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, after the July 7 attack at Moïse’s private home. (Photo by Valerie Baeriswyl / AFP)

But Henry shrugged off the allegations against him on Thursday, saying it was “difficult today to specify the names” of all those who called him or what they had discussed.

Henry, who was appointed by Moise two days before the president was murdered, added that “conversations with individuals against whom accusations are made cannot, in any case, serve to incriminate anyone.”

And he said “political interests” did not allow others “to make serious insinuations without foundation.”

Forty-four people, including 18 Colombians and two Americans of Haitian origin, have already been arrested as part of the investigation into the murder of Moise.

None of his security team were injured in the attack.

© Agence France-Presse