Former Haitian official may have ordered president’s assassination: police

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Former Haitian official may have ordered president's assassination: police

A former high-ranking officer in the Haitian government is suspected of ordering the hit on the country’s President — as five senior members of the National Police were also hauled in for questioning, reports said Friday.  

Joseph Felix Badio, a former Haitian justice ministry official who is currently a fugitive, may have ordered the assassination three days before the attack that left Moïse dead on July 7, Reuters reported, citing Colombia’s police chief General Jorge Vargas, who has assisted with the probe. 

Vargas told the outlet the investigation so far has indicated Badio could have given the assassination order to Colombian soldiers Duberney Capador and German Rivera, who were initially contacted to provide security services. 

“Several days before, apparently three, Joseph Felix Badio, who was a former official of [Haiti’s] ministry of justice, who worked in the anti-corruption unit with the general intelligence service, told Capador and Rivera that they had to assassinate the president of Haiti,” Vargas told the outlet.

Haitian President Jovenel Moise speaks during a military parade to commemorate Battle of Vertieres Day, the last major battle of the Second War of Haitian Independence, at the Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince on November 18, 2019.
Joseph Felix Badio may have been the one to order the killing of Haitian President Jovenel Moise.
AFP via Getty Images

“We are assisting in all the support tasks for the interviews that are being carried out with the captured Colombians,” he added.

Aside from potentially ordering the hit, Badio allegedly rented a home near Moïse’s estate in the hilltops behind Port-au-Prince to help suspects in the killing get an understanding of the area’s layout, Haiti’s National Police Chief Léon Charles previously said. 

Following the assassination, the agency Badio once toiled for issued a statement saying he was fired in May following “serious breaches” of unspecified ethical rules, adding that it filed a complaint against him.

A man looks at the bullet holes in a car outside of the presidential residence on July 7, 2021 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
A man looks at the bullet holes in a car outside of the presidential residence on July 7, 2021 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
AFP via Getty Images

Meanwhile, Charles announced Friday that five senior officers of Haiti’s National Police have been detained in connection with the assassination, including Dimitri Hérard, the former head of the presidential security detail, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Hérard has been interrogated, along with more than 20 members of the detail, but has not been charged. 

Joseph Felix Badio
Joseph Felix Badio

The four other senior officers have also no been charged or named as suspects.

Haitian authorities have said that more than 20 suspects accused of direct involvement in the assassination have been arrested, the majority of them former Colombian soldiers. 

Police patrol outside the Embassy of Taiwan in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Police patrol outside the Embassy of Taiwan in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
AFP via Getty Images

“Our colleagues from the FBI and the Colombian delegation were able to ask some questions to some of the bad guys that we got, who we know completed the assassination,” Mr. Charles said during a news briefing. 

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