A Haitian judge investigating the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise has charged his widow, the former prime minister and an ex-chief of police with complicity in the killing.
The judge stated in his report that Martine Moïse “suggested” she take refuge under the marital bed to protect herself from the attackers, but he noted that authorities at the scene found that not “even a giant rat whose size measures between 35 and 45 centimetres” could fit under the bed.
The judge said the former first lady’s statements were “so tainted with contradictions that they leave something to be desired and discredit her.”
Dozens of suspects were indicted in the 122-page report. Ex-prime minister Claude Joseph and the former chief of Haiti’s National Police, Léon Charles, who is Haiti’s serving representative to the Organization of the American States, are among them.
Charles and Martine Moïse’s attorneys could not be immediately reached for comment.
Joseph, however, shared a statement accusing Henry of “undermining” the investigation and benefiting from the president’s death.
In his report, the judge noted that the former secretary general of the National Palace, Lyonel Valbrun, told authorities that he received “strong pressure” from Martine Moïse to put the president’s office at the disposal of Joseph because he needed it to “organize a council of ministers.”
Valbrun also said that two days before her husband was killed, Martine Moïse visited the National Palace and spent nearly five hours, from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., removing “a bunch of things.”
Meanwhile, more than 40 suspects are languishing in prison in Haiti awaiting trial, although it was not immediately clear how quickly one would be held following Monday’s indictments. Among them are 20 former Colombian soldiers.
The indictments could further destabilize Haiti, which struggles with a surge in gang violence and recovers from a spate of violent protests. Demonstrators demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who has yet to keep his 2021 pledge to hold elections.
Kenya agreed to lead an international force tasked with bringing order back to the island nation, where gangs are responsible for a surge in killings, rapes, and kidnappings.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, recently noted that more than 800 people were killed, injured or kidnapped across Haiti in January, more than three times the number compared with the same month in 2023.

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