According to Haiti’s national police, an ex-justice officer who was seen as a prime suspect in the 2021 assassination of the country’s president Jovenel Moïse has been arrested and taken into custody.
After going on the run for more than two years, a former justice official who is named to be one of the primary suspects in the 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was taken into custody in the country’s capital on Thursday according to authorities.
A few weeks prior to the assassination, Joseph Badio was dismissed from his positions at the government’s anti-corruption unit and the Ministry of Justice in Haiti due to suspected ethical transgressions.
Badio was taken into custody in Port-au-Prince’s Petion Vile neighbourhood, according to National Police spokesman Garry Desrosiers.
On July 7, 2021, Moïse was shot twelve times at his private residence, triggering a political crisis in Haiti.
Following Moïse’s murder, a number of persons were detained, including eleven men who are currently in American custody. U.S. prosecutors have claimed that conspirators in Haiti and Florida were part of a larger scheme to employ mercenaries to overthrow Moïse and get contracts from a future regime.
One of the 11 men being held in the United States, former senator John Joel Joseph of Haiti, entered a guilty plea to charges connected to the assassination last Thursday. On December 19, a federal judge scheduled his sentencing.
The former senator was charged with organising a plot to carry out a murder or kidnapping outside of the country and giving material support that resulted in death. In June, the senator was extradited from Jamaica to the United States.
In addition, two more persons entered guilty pleas. Businessman Rodolphe Jaar, who is Haitian-Chilean, was given a life sentence in jail in June. German Alejandro Rivera Garcia, a former soldier from Colombia, will be sentenced on October 27.
After the incident, eighteen former Colombian soldiers were taken into custody in Haiti and were among the people arrested.
The Caribbean island has seen an increase in gang violence after the assassination, which prompted the prime minister to call for the use of force. In early October, the U.N. Security Council ultimately decided to send a multinational force under Kenyan leadership to assist in combating the gangs.