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Haiti’s Chief Prosecutor Dismissed After Alleging Prime Minister Played Role in Moise Assassination

Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry attends the signing ceremony of the "Political Agreement for a peaceful and effective governance of the interim period" with the opposition, in Port-au-Prince, Sept. 11, 2021.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has fired and replaced the chief public prosecutor who was seeking charges against him as a suspect in the July assassination of President Jovenel Moise.

Prosecutor Ben-Ford Claude had sent a letter to a judge Tuesday, alleging that phone records showed the prime minister spoke twice with Joseph Felix Badio, an official wanted by police in connection with Moise’s assassination, on the morning of July 7, hours after the president was gunned down at his home.

Claude said he asked Prime Minister Henry to discuss the evidence. Claude also asked Haiti’s immigration authority to issue an order banning Henry from leaving the country.

In a letter released Tuesday but dated the day before, the prime minister’s office said the prosecutor was being dismissed for an undisclosed “administrative error.” The office posted a tweet late Tuesday announcing that Frantz Louis Juste has been named to replace Claude as chief prosecutor.

More than 40 suspects have been arrested in the investigation into Moise’s killing, including 18 former Colombian soldiers and two Americans of Haitian descent. Badio remains at large.

Henry, a political moderate and neurosurgeon, was named prime minister by Moise days before his death in an effort to ease friction between rivals and create a new consensus.

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.