Haitian prime minister had 'trusting relationship' with presidential assassination suspect, new evidence suggests

Memorial for former Haitian President Jovenel Moise.
(Image credit: VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP via Getty Images)

New evidence in the assasination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse suggests current Prime Minister Ariel Henry to have "maintained communications" with a top suspect in the murder, "and that the two stayed in close contact even after" the attack, The New York Times reports.

Phone records viewed by the Times, in conjuction with interviews with Haitian officials and a top suspect in the case, revealed "potentially incriminating details" about Henry's relationship with Joseph Felix Badio, "a former justice ministry official wanted by the Haitian authorities on suspicion of organizing the July 7 attack." For example, the Times reports, the two men reportedly spoke before the attack and afterwards, with Badio even allegedly visiting Henry when authorities were searching for him.

A spokesperson for Henry denied the prime minister speaking with or having any sort of relationship with Badio. It is unclear at the moment whether Henry did anything to help the suspects in the case.

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The Times also spoke with investigation suspect Rodolphe Jaar, who provided "extensive details" about what he described as the "trusting relationship" between Badio and Henry.

Jaar, a Haitian businessman and ex-drug trafficker who helped finance and plan the assassination, said Badio had described Henry as his "good friend" and claimed he had "full control of him," the Times reports, noting that the exchange reportedly occured as Henry was named prime minister.

Jaar also alleged, among other assertions, that Badio had "sought help" from Henry to escape, and that Henry told him "he would make some calls" (the Times could not independently verify those claims).

Three Haitian officials with the investigation otherwise confirmed Henry "was in touch with [Badio] on multiple occassions," the Times reports. The officials said Henry would be a formal suspect in the case if he were not in charge of the government. Read more at The New York Times.

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