According to new evidence, the man tasked with bringing the late Haiti Prime Minister Jovenel Moise’s killers to justice may have been involved.
A New York Times report states Ariel Henry, who became Haiti’s prime minister after Moise’s death last summer and after a brief power struggle, maintained communications with Joseph Felix Badio, a prime suspect in Moise’s murder and stayed in close contact in the days after Moise’s murder.
Badio, a former justice official, is wanted by authorities in Haiti on suspicion of organizing the attack that led to Moise’s murder. The assassination sent the country into chaos, and days later, a devastating earthquake hit the country.
Additionally, phone records and interviews of Haitian officials conducted by the Times revealed Henry and Badio communicated before and after Moise’s assassination, including two calls that lasted about seven minutes the day Moise died. The two men also met twice at Henry’s residence months after Moise’s death while Badio was named a suspect and police were looking for him.
It’s still unclear whether Henry, who survived an assassination attempt himself on the country’s Independence Day, helped any of the suspects or was directly involved in Moise’s assassination.
A spokesperson for Henry told the Times the two men did not speak after Moise’s assassination, and the two men do not have a speaking relationship.
Another main suspect in Moise’s assassination, Rodolphe Jaar, a Haitian businessman and former drug trafficker, admitted he helped finance the assassination of the former prime minister in an interview with the newspaper, saying Badio told him Henry would serve as a useful ally after Moise was removed from power.
“He is my good friend. I have full control of him,” Jaar said, recounting what Badio told him after Henry, a 72-year-old neurosurgeon was named prime minister. Jarr added that after Moise’s death, Badio sought assistance from Henry to escape the country.
Jarr, who was arrested last week after six months on the run in the Dominican Republic, added he thought the plan was to depose the prime minister, not kill him and that he has been trapped in a larger political scheme he does not understand.