Ariel Henry was asked to be questioned next week as part of the investigation into the president’s assassination in July.
A day after investigators invited Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry to appear for questioning as part of their investigation into the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, Henry rejected what he described as “diversionary tactics.”
Haiti’s attorney general asked the prime minister on Friday to meet with him next week to explain why he spoke to one of the main suspects in Moise’s murder at his private residence in the capital Port-au-Prince on July 7.
The assassination of the president threw the Caribbean nation, which was already battling growing gang violence and political instability, into greater disorder, and Haitians have demanded a thorough and independent investigation into what happened.
“I want to say to those who have not yet understood, that diversionary tactics to sow confusion and prevent #justice from running its course in stride will not hold,” Henry. wrote on Twitter in French on Saturday, without referring directly to the request.
“The real culprits, the masterminds and sponsors of the heinous assassination of President Jovenel Moise, will be identified, brought to justice and punished for their crime,” he added. said in another tweet.
Late on Friday, Prosecutor Bed-Ford Claude asked Henry to appear Tuesday to answer questions about the calls. The police are still actively searching for former official Joseph Felix Badio, who worked in the anti-corruption unit of the Ministry of Justice.
Badio’s phone was allegedly traced to the area near Moise’s residence when he called Henry twice in the early hours of July 7, after the president was assassinated.
Given that a judge has already been assigned to handle the investigation, Claude in theory does not have the power to summon anyone, but he justified his request by alleging the “extreme seriousness” of the investigation, which is in the “national interest”.
A prime minister cannot legally be questioned unless authorized by the president, but after Moise’s assassination, Haiti has no president.
Claude specified that Henry’s participation in the interrogation would be voluntary “given the restrictions in place” due to his position.
So far, 44 people, including 18 Colombians and two Americans of Haitian descent, have been arrested in connection with the investigation into Moise’s murder. None of the president’s security guards were injured in the attack.