World February 23, 2024 | 8:09 am

Haiti’s OAS representative steps down amidst charges in President Moise’s assassination

Port-au-Prince, Haiti.- Léon Charles, the permanent representative of Haiti to the Organization of American States (OAS), has tendered his resignation amid his implication in the 2021 assassination case of President Jovenel Moise. The resignation follows the recent charges issued by Judge Walther Voltaire against 51 individuals, including Martine Moïse, the late president’s widow, and former Prime Minister Claude Joseph.

In a letter dated February 21 addressed to the head of Haitian diplomacy, Charles cites his decision to resign due to being unfairly and slanderously prosecuted by the investigating judge in charge of President Moise’s assassination. Despite the order not being officially notified, Charles expresses determination to vigorously contest the baseless accusations, seeking recognition of his innocence and the restoration of his honor. The letter is already signed by Charles as the “former permanent representative” of Haiti to the OAS.

Earlier, Judge Walther Voltaire’s judicial report accused Martine Moïse and Claude Joseph of complicity and criminal association in the 2021 assassination. Alongside them, Léon Charles, the former head of the National Police, faces charges of murder, attempted murder, illegal possession and carrying of weapons, conspiracy against the internal security of the State, and association to commit a crime.

Among the 51 defendants are also 17 Colombians and Haitian-Americans, including Christian Emmanuel Sanon, James Solage, and Joseph Vincent, who held roles such as Moise’s coordinator and security chief. The list also includes Jean Laguel Civil and Dimitri Hérard, former agents of the Anti-Corruption Unit Joseph Félix Badio, and former ministers Ardouin Zéphirin and Louis Edner Gonzague Day.

Judge Voltaire deems the charges against them consistent, backed by sufficient evidence to justify their responsibility in the acts they are accused of. The case has been referred to the Criminal Court, which will convene without a jury for trial on charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, armed robbery, terrorism, murder, and complicity in murder against Jovenel Moise.

The judge’s order will be delivered to a prosecutor, who will inform the accused individuals. The next step involves the president of the Haitian Supreme Court organizing the trial. Notably, five individuals have already pleaded guilty in the United States Justice system, where the conspiracy against President Moise was orchestrated, financed, and executed by a group of mercenaries, predominantly Colombians, resulting in the tragic events of July 7, 2021, at his residence in Port-au-Prince.

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