The Fifth Judge Investigating Jovenel Moïse’s Assassination Steps Down

President Jovenel Moïse (above) was assassinated 14 months ago, but five investigating judges have made no progress in probing the crime.

Walther Wesser Voltaire was Haiti’s fifth investigating judge appointed to probe the Jul. 7, 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Assigned to the task on May 30, 2022, he had three months to complete his investigation but was unable to do so, claiming that “certain formalities have not yet been completed.”

Voltaire told his superiors that “my appointment, although made at the end of May 2022, was only acted upon during the month of July when an office and the documents in the file were made available to me.”

Signaling his resignation, Voltaire did not did not request an extension of his mandate.

An investigating judge performs the role of a grand jury under the Haitian legal system.

Voltaire did not did not request an extension of his mandate.

The four preceding investigating judges were, in order, Mathieu Chanlatte (withdrew out of fear for his life), Garry Orélien (dismissed, charged with corruption), Chavannes Etienne (withdrew for “personal reasons”), and Merlan Belabre (mandate not renewed in April 2022).

Sep. 7, 2022 marks exactly 14 months since the magnicide. Although 18 Colombians and 20-odd Haitians and Haitian-Americans have been jailed in Haiti, almost no new information about the killing has emerged since the Haitian National Police issued a report in August 2021.

On Sep. 5, Voltaire questioned for over three hours Dr. Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 64, who is accused as one of the murder’s “intellectual authors.”

Joseph Félix Badio, the former Haitian government official accused of ordering over the telephone the Colombians to machine-gun Moïse, remains on the run. De facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s cell-phone record indicates that he spoke to Badio twice, for over seven minutes total, in the pre-dawn hours of Jul. 7, 2021, a mere three hours after the shooting. Henry says he doesn’t remember making the calls.

Three other Haitians and one Colombian involved in the murder were extradited to the U.S. and are being held in Miami for trial. A federal judge has sealed the evidence files for Colombian mercenary Mario Antonio Palacios Palacios on U.S. “national security” grounds.

The financiers of the plot still remain unknown.


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