US indicts second suspect in Haitian president’s assassination

The US Department of Justice on Thursday charged a Haitian-Chilean national with complicity in murder, for his alleged role in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse last July.

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The charges against Rodolphe Jaar, 49, were unveiled in a court in Miami, Florida, after his January 7 arrest in the Dominican Republic and Monday extradition to the United States.

According to a document on file with the FBI, Rodolphe Jaar admitted in a December interview to providing arms and ammunition to the group of Colombians accused of carrying out the murder.

On July 7, 2021, a commando broke into the private residence of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in Port-au-Prince and shot him dead with 12 shots.

His assassination was allegedly organized by a group of Haitian-American nationals based in Haiti, who allegedly recruited the Colombian commando.

The FBI document claims that several of the suspected Colombians stayed in the residence “controlled by” Rodolphe Jaar, and that the latter allegedly took part in a meeting with one of the main organizers of the plot.

American law is applied in this case, because the plan was partly organized on American soil, in Florida, by American-Haitian nationals.

The FBI document also points out that the plot had the initial aim of simply kidnapping and detaining Jovenel Moïse, but that less than two weeks before the facts, it had been decided to assassinate him.

Rodolphe Jaar faces a life sentence for complicity in murder or kidnapping outside the United States and for material assistance resulting in death.

Rodolphe Jaar is the second person arrested and charged in the United States for the death of Jovenel Moïse, after retired Colombian soldier Mario Palacios, who was charged on January 4 in Miami for his alleged involvement in the assassination.

Both Mario Palacios and Rodolphe Jaar reportedly agreed to be transferred to the United States after their arrests abroad rather than face formal extradition proceedings.

The sponsors and the exact motive for the assassination remain unknown to the general public for the moment.

The US Department of Justice refers to a key figure, a Haitian-American national, identified only as “co-conspirator number 1”.

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