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Haiti’s senior police officer detained in the assassination of the president

Haiti’s Port-au-Prince — Five senior officers of the national police Assassination last week Haiti’s National Police Chief Leon Charles said on Friday that President Jovenel Moise

One of the detainees was Dimitri Heral, who was responsible for Moise’s security details. Charles said the five police officers had not been charged, but Heral had been cross-examined.

He added that more than 20 members of Mr. Moise’s security details have also been cross-examined. Some of them worked at the president’s house on the night of the murder, but Charles did not identify some. Police said they wanted to know why the guards didn’t seem to resist the murderer at the president’s house in the dead end.

“Our colleagues from the FBI and the Colombian delegation were able to ask some questions to some of the bad guys we got who knew they had completed the assassination,” Charles said. I said at a press conference.

Haitian authorities said that Over 20 former Colombian soldiers Was related to the July 7 killing, and Colombian President Ivan Duque’s administration urged Haiti to send a small delegation while providing evidence collected in Colombia to Haiti investigators.

In Bogotá, Colombian Defense Minister Diego Morano said in an interview Friday that Haitian investigators are trying to identify “people who were in their final action.”

Morano said the Colombian government believed that former Colombian troops had participated in the attack on the president’s house, and in the case of the two, participated in his death plan. But he said they might not have been the only ones.

Haitian police said they had killed four suspects and arrested two others after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. His murder brings more political turmoil to a country that has long been plagued by lawlessness and financial hardship.Photo: Joseph Odelyn / Associated Press

Haitian authorities say a group of businessmen and security experts associated with Miami Assassination mastermind..

Mr Heral was not identified as working with these men, but Colombian police said he was investigating why he traveled to Colombia four times between January and May. It was.

Morano said Colombia is working with Haitian police. Haitian police led the investigation to the killing of Mr. Moise. Haiti investigators said last week that the president was shot 12 times and was blinded by the murderers. His wife, Martine Moise, who was injured in the assault, was treated at a hospital in Miami.

“I hope the investigation will determine if the Haitian police officers were among the participants,” Morano added.

Haiti’s interim government officials said Moise’s funeral was scheduled for July 23 in the northern port city of Cap-Haitien.

Inside the Port-au-Prince police station, women were lined up for a cornstarch bag handout distributed by the World Food Program on Thursday.


Photo:

Fernando Llano / Associated Press

Haiti and Colombian officials have said that various people, including two former Colombian soldiers, have been in the Dominican Republic and Haiti in recent months. Leading to assassination..

Haitian police have involved new suspects almost every day after death, and it is now suspected that more than 30 people are playing some role.

Police have identified the alleged mastermind as Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a lesser-known Haiti minister who says police are aiming for president. He was arrested in Haiti. Haitian-American James Solage also worked as an interpreter for former Colombian soldiers, police say. Police are searching for former Haiti Senator John Joel Joseph on murder charges and have identified Florida-based businessman Walter Baintemira as the alleged mediator of the plotter meeting. It states. CTU, a security company in the Miami area, was nominated by a Haitian investigator who allegedly hired Colombians.

In a statement, Weintemira’s financial company, Worldwide Capital Lending Group, said it helped provide financing to the CTU to support Sanon’s efforts, but it is part of the assassination program. I denied that. Others nominated by Haitian police were not immediately asked for comment, and it remained unclear if they had a lawyer.

Eight FBI agents are in Haiti working with the corresponding agents on the island. A Colombian intelligence and police team was also there, interviewing some of the Colombian soldiers in custody, according to the Colombian police commander.

Colombian Defense Minister Morano initially said the plot was “not thinking of murdering” Moise, but arrested him under a fake warrant so that the plotter could take power. .. The defense minister said plans had changed in the days leading up to July 7 to assassinate the president.

Colombian officials say two former soldiers, Germán Alejandro Rivera and Duberney Capador, have attempted plots with businessmen and security forces. And another five of the former soldiers came to know the details of the plot. Other ex-soldiers hired in Colombia after their military career thought they were hired solely to provide security.

“Still, everyone has some responsibility,” Morano said.

In the aftermath of the assassination, Rivera and Mrs. Capador were killed along with a third former soldier in what the Haitians called a shootout. A former Colombian soldier who knew some of the detainees wondered what it means for the two accused of attempting to assassinate to die now.

“I don’t talk about dead people,” said Matthias Gutierrez, the organizer of a group representing Colombian veterans and their families, including relatives of those captured in Haiti.

The group’s leader, Jose Espinosa, said he wanted to ensure that the bodies of three former military personnel were returned to Colombia “to allow forensic investigations by Colombians and Americans.” Pictures of the three dead Colombians show that they are facing the ground and spreading their arms. One has a gunshot wound on the side. The other has a bloody face.

Before the trip to Haiti ended with violence, one of the former Colombian soldiers tried to bring the other veterans home and sign up to join him. In a message sent to WhatsApp group chat in mid-June, he emphasized to his friends that he would never be involved in suspicious matters.

“My good name is important to me,” he said.

Write to Kejal Vyas at kejal.vyas@wsj.com And in Juan Forero Juan.Forero@wsj.com

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Haiti’s senior police officer detained in the assassination of the president

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