DOJ assisting Haiti in assassination probe

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DOJ assisting Haiti in assassination probe

Investigators are looking into whether any US laws were broken in the violent murder of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, a Justice Department spokesman said on Monday.

The US is on the ground to help Haiti with its probe into Moïse’s assassination, which has plunged the Carribbean nation into political disarray.

“An initial assessment has been conducted in Haiti by senior U.S. officials,” spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement.

“The department will continue to support the Haitian government in its review of the facts and circumstances surrounding this heinous attack,” Coley added.

“The department will also investigate whether there were any violations of U.S. criminal law in connection with this matter.”

Christain Emmanuel Sanon, a high-profile doctor from Florida, has been implicated in the assassination plot and two other Haitian-Americans are part of a crew accused of gunning down Moïse and injuring his wife in a raid last week.

Haitian police claim there were as many as 26 people involved in he raid, in which the gunmen reportedly posed as US drug enforcement agents. Several suspects were killed in shootouts with officers, local authorities stated.

A Haitian police officer stands guard outside of the presidential residence in Port-au-Prince.
A Haitian police officer stands guard outside of the presidential residence in Port-au-Prince.
AFP via Getty Images

Haitian officials are also asking the US for military assistance as questions are raised over new leadership in the country and the political balance grows potentially volatile. The Biden administration hasn’t committed to sending troops.

Former Prime Minister Claude Joseph stepped into the void as acting president shortly after Moïse’s death, but two others have claims to the country’s top post. Ariel Henry was named by Moïse to replace Joseph as prime minister a day before the assassination, but Joseph contended Henry hadn’t yet taken office when Moïse died.

Senate leader Joseph Lambert has also made a claim to be acting president.

The country had been facing turmoil before the president’s death, with several postponed elections and a pattern of gang violence.

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