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Wife of Haiti’s assassinated president indicted in his killing

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A judge in Haiti in charge of investigating the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse indicted his widow, Martine Moïse, ex-prime minister Claude Joseph and the former chief of Haiti’s National Police, Léon Charles, among others, in a report released Monday.

The final report into the attack by Judge Walther Voltaire, obtained by The Washington Post, accuses the former first lady of complicity in the assassination and associating with criminals.

Recall that a group of hitmen wielding assault weapons assassinated Moïse and wounded his wife at their home in the hills overlooking Port-au-Prince on July 7, 2021.

Dozens of suspects were indicted in the 122-page report after previous judges stepped down for various reasons, including fear of being killed.

Meanwhile, the indictment sheds little light on the motive for the assassination and how it was financed. It also does not provide any direct evidence of the former first lady’s involvement, relying on interviews with a key witness, former Justice Ministry official Joseph Felix Badio — who, according to the indictment, was working for the plotters who promised to nominate him minister of the interior after the president’s removal. Badio told the judge that Martine Moïse was part of the plot and wanted to become president.

Badio is in custody in Haiti, accused of helping orchestrate the assassination. Martine Moïse’s whereabouts are unknown. Her Florida-based lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

After U.S. federal investigators launched their own investigation into the killing, 11 men have been accused of conspiring to kill Moïse, while six have pleaded guilty. The others are awaiting trial in Florida.

Haiti currently has no president or elected national officials and is battling with gang violence.

Monday’s report could further inflame tensions following a spate of recent violent protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

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