Haiti: Prime Minister appoints new Minister of Justice

The Haitian Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, replaced, Wednesday the Minister of Justice, Rockefeller Vincent, by the Minister of the Interior. This appointment comes as confusion reigns in Haiti more than two months after the murder of the head of state, Jovenel Moïse.

As Haiti faces a persistent political crisis, Prime Minister Ariel Henry replaced Justice Minister Rockfeller Vincent on Wednesday September 15 with Interior Minister Liszt Quitel.

Liszt Quitel, who will henceforth be responsible for the two ministries, indicates the special issue of the official journal Le Moniteur, dated September 15.

Renald Luberice, the secretary of the Council of Ministers, resigned, saying that he could not serve a Prime Minister suspected of the assassination of the president . New evidence has emerged linking Ariel Henry to one of the main suspects in the murder of President Jovenel Moïse.

Phone calls incriminating the Prime Minister 

Jovenel Moïse was shot dead on the night of July 6 to 7 by a commando of armed men who entered his home located on the heights of the capital Port-au-Prince, amplifying the political crisis experienced by Haiti.

According to prosecutors, phone records show Ariel Henry and the suspect, a former Justice Ministry official, spoke to each other just hours after the Haitian president was murdered.

Ariel Henry denied any involvement in the murder and sacked the Attorney General of Haiti M e Bed-Fort Claude who sought to indict him as a suspect in the murder.

Ariel Henry supported by the international community

The Prime Minister has received the support of the international community, which has long remained silent in the face of this political crisis.

The diplomats who are members of the Core Group (which brings together the representatives in Haiti of the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization of American States as well as the embassies of Germany, Brazil, Canada, France, -United and from Spain) met Ariel Henry at his official residence.

“The Core Group […] encourages the efforts undertaken by the Prime Minister, political actors, and Haitian civil society to find a consensual agreement allowing the establishment of an inclusive government and accelerating the return to normal functioning democratic institutions by holding elections, “according to the statement released Wednesday evening.

The diplomatic corps also insists that “all light be shed on the assassination of President of the Republic Jovenel Moïse and that its perpetrators be sought and brought to justice, in accordance with the principles of the rule of law”.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry appointed a new justice minister late Wednesday, a day after dismissing a prosecutor who requested his indictment as part of the investigation into the assassination of the late president Jovenel Moise.

Liszt Quitel was appointed interim minister of justice and public security, according to a special issue of the official newspaper Le Moniteur, dated September 15. He had been serving as interior minister since July 20.

The appointment came as confusion reigned in Haiti, more than two months after the murder of the head of state in his private residence in the middle of the night by an armed commando team.

On Tuesday morning, the government commissioner in Port-au-Prince — equivalent to a federal prosecutor — asked the judge in charge of the investigation to indict the prime minister.

The prosecutor, Bed-Fort Claude, had written the previous Friday to the head of government inviting him to present himself voluntarily to the prosecution in order to explain the content of two phone calls he allegedly had with one of the main suspects behind the assassination on the night of the attack.

That suspect was Joseph Felix Badio, the former executive of the justice ministry’s anti-corruption unit.

Badio’s phone was allegedly tracked to the area near Moise’s residence when Badio called Henry twice in the early hours of July 7, after the president was shot dead by gunmen.

On Saturday, the prime minister denounced the prosecutor’s approach, calling it “diversionary tactics.”

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