US indicts a third man for the assassination of Haitian President Moise | Court News

US authorities accuse former Haitian senator John Joel Joseph of participating in a plot to assassinate Jovenel Moise last year.

The United States has charged a former Haitian senator in connection with the assassination of the country’s president, Jovenel Moise, in July last year, the Justice Department announced.

In a statement, the department said John Joel Joseph, 51, made his first US court appearance in Miami on Monday afternoon. Joseph was extradited to the United States from Jamaica on Friday.

He was charged with conspiring to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and providing material support resulting in death, knowing or intending that such material support would be used in preparing or carrying out the conspiracy to kill or kidnap,” he said. the Department.

Joseph is the third person charged in the US in connection with what authorities say was a far-reaching plot involving at least 20 Colombian citizens and several dual US-Haitian nationals that ultimately led to the murder of Moses.

The Haitian president was assassinated at his home in the capital, Port-au-Prince, on July 7, 2021, compounding an already dire political and socioeconomic crisis in the Caribbean island nation.

The US Department of Justice accused Joseph of helping “obtain vehicles and attempted to obtain firearms in support of the operation against the president.”

They also say he attended a meeting with “certain accomplices” around July 6, 2021, “after which many of the accomplices embarked on a mission to kill President Moise.”

Joseph, a well-known politician and critic of Moise’s Tet Kale party, faces life in prison if convicted of the charges brought against him.

His attorney, Donahue Martin, did not immediately return an Associated Press message for comment.

Joseph is one of more than 40 suspects arrested in Moise’s murder, and the third to be extradited to the United States to face charges as the trial in Haiti languishes, with at least two judges resigning from the case.

In January, US authorities accused two men, Haitian-Chilean businessman Rodolphe Jaar and former Colombian soldier Mario Antonio Palacios, of involvement in the murder.

Violence has increased in Haiti since Moise’s murder, with rival gangs fighting for control of neighborhoods in and around the country’s capital.

Last week, the United Nations warned of escalating attacks that have killed dozens and forced thousands to flee their homes.

In a statement issued on May 4, Haiti’s civil protection authority estimated that at least 39 people were killed and 68 injured between April 24 and May 2. It also said that some 9,000 people were displaced from three communities in the suburbs of Port-au-Prince.

The nation has also seen a spate of kidnappings for ransom, most of which were gang-linked.

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