Haiti’s PM summoned to testify in assassination of President Moise

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Haiti’s PM summoned to testify in assassination of President Moise

Haiti’s head prosecutor has invited Prime Minister Ariel Henry to explain his connection to the main suspect in the killing of President Jovenel Moise.

President Moise was assassinated when gunmen stormed his home on 7 July.

Prosecutor Bedford Claude said that Mr Henry had multiple phone calls with suspect Joseph Felix Badio just hours after the assassination.

Mr Claude said Mr Henry was being “invited” to attend, as he did not have the authority to officially summon him.

Prosecutors said records obtained from phone operator Digicel confirmed that Mr Badio and Mr Henry spoke twice on 7 July just hours after President Moise’s killing.

Geolocation data also showed that Mr Badio, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, was speaking from the scene of the crime.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Claude emphasised that his invitation was optional, but said that it was justified given what he called a “case of extreme gravity for the nation”.

The hearing at the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince is due to take place at 10 am on Tuesday.

Investigators have reportedly alleged that Mr Badio, a former official with the Ministry of Justice, may have been involved in co-ordinating the killing. He has not publicly commented on these claims.

Mr Henry has previously told local media that he knew Mr Badio and defended him, adding that he didn’t believe Badio was involved because he didn’t have the means.

A spokesperson for Mr Henry’s office told the Associated Press that he would not comment on the invitation.

The invitation to Mr Henry comes as authorities double down on their efforts to arrest additional suspects in the assassination.

Police say there are now 44 people held in custody in connection with the plot, including 18 retired members of the Colombian military.