May 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Former Haiti senator charged in U.S. over president's assassination

A guest holds a picture of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise during a ceremony at the National Pantheon Museum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 20, 2021.
A guest holds a picture of the late Haitian President Jovenel Moïse during a ceremony at the National Pantheon Museum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, last July. Photo: Valerie Baeriswyl /AFP via Getty Images

A former Haitian senator is facing criminal charges related to the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last July, U.S. prosecutors announced Monday.

The big picture: Joseph Joel John, 51, made his initial appearance in a Miami federal court on Monday afternoon on charges of conspiring to commit murder or kidnapping outside the U.S., per a Justice Department statement.

  • He is also charged with providing material support resulting in death, knowing or intending that such material support would be used to prepare for or carry out the conspiracy to kill or kidnap.
  • John was arrested in Jamaica in January and extradited to the U.S. last Friday.

What they're saying: A criminal complaint alleges that John and others, including about 20 Colombian citizens and several dual Haitian-U.S. citizens, "participated in a plot to kidnap or kill the Haitian President," according to the Department of Justice statement.

For the record: Two other men, Mario Antonio Palacios, 43, and Rodolphe Jaar, 49, are also facing charges in the U.S. in connection with Moïse's July 7 killing at his home on the outskirts of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

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