Dismissal against threat of indictment: the passing of arms was terrible, Tuesday, September 14, in Haiti between the chief prosecutor of Port-au-Prince Bed-Ford Claude and Prime Minister Ariel Henry, exposing the internal struggles at the head of the poorest country in the Americas.
The first, government commissioner of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti – equivalent of the prosecutor -, asked in the morning the judge investigating the murder of President Jovenel Moïse to indict the second, because of appeals telephone calls he allegedly had with one of the main suspects in the case.
Bed-Ford Claude also demanded that Ariel Henry be banned from leaving Haitian territory “Because of the seriousness of the facts exposed”. He had assured that he had enough compromising elements.
But a few hours later, twist: the Prime Minister announces sacking the prosecutor for “Serious administrative fault”. This new twist is added to the immense chaos that reigns in the investigation into the assassination on July 7 of Jovenel Moïse by an armed commando.
Forty-four people, including eighteen Colombians and two Americans of Haitian origin, have already been arrested as part of the investigation into this murder, committed at his home without any police officer from his close security being injured.
Justice and politics in conflict
Quickly, certain legal specialists were alarmed by the stranglehold of policies on justice, seeing in the approach of the prosecutor an obstacle to the independence of this institution. Some in government circles had indeed called in recent days for the resignation of the Prime Minister.
The prosecutor launched the first shock on Friday by asking the head of government to present to the prosecution in order to explain the telephone conversations he allegedly had with one of the actively wanted on Tuesday. Just like Joseph Félix Badio, a former part of the anti-corruption unit, who would have been geolocated in the district where the private residence of Jovenel Moïse is located during calls made to Ariel Henry at 4:03 a.m. then 4:20 a.m. night of the attack.
The next day, the prime minister denounced the prosecutor’s approach, qualifying it as a diversion “To sow confusion and prevent justice from doing its job calmly”.
“The real culprits, the intellectual authors and the sponsors of the odious assassination of President Jovenel Moïse will be found, brought to justice and punished for their crime”, he added.
On delegation from the Prime Minister, @DrArielHenry, the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Liszt Quitel, proceeded this after… https://t.co/TFUCU5q6Zk
Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister’s services announced the replacement of Bed-Ford Claude by Frantz Louis Juste.