By Caitlin Hu, CNN
Till only a few weeks in the past, Rockefeller Vincent was the last word insider in the investigation into the still-unsolved assassination of Haiti’s former president Jovenel Moise, who was brutally gunned down in his bed room in July.
Now he’s on the surface trying in — and it’s an unpleasant view. “The Haitian nation resides the worst political disaster of its historical past,” Vincent informed CNN.
As Haiti’s justice minister, he oversaw the sprawling presidential homicide investigation, which has implicated a Haitian-American pastor, dozens of Colombian employed troopers, and members of Haiti’s personal police pressure.
Then, on September 14, the investigation reached sitting Prime Minister Ariel Henry.
The nation’s high prosecutor, Mattress-Ford Claude, said he would ask for charges against the Prime Minister in reference to the killing, citing proof of telephone calls between Henry and one of many suspected masterminds on the night time of the homicide. He additionally requested that Henry come to his workplace for questioning.
That week, each Claude and Vincent have been abruptly fired.
Talking from an undisclosed location on Friday, Vincent — who says he has gone into hiding since his firing — informed CNN he thought it ought to have been the opposite method round.
“In all severe international locations, as soon as you’re implicated in such an affair, the Prime Minister ought to provide his resignation. He ought to resign. And we’re nonetheless ready for him to resign. As a result of on the night time of the president’s loss of life, a couple of hours later … he had telephone conversations with the president’s murderer,” Vincent mentioned.
Vincent accuses the Prime Minister of attempting to “cowl his tracks” with the firings.
“If you fireplace the prosecutor and the justice minister and also you place in his place somebody who is aware of nothing about justice … what precisely are you attempting to do?” he mentioned.
Henry denies having something to do with the killing. Chatting with CNN final week, he mentioned he had “no recollection” of a telephone name “or if it occurred.”
‘The republic can be crushed’
Henry assumed the premiership with worldwide backing a couple of weeks after Moise’s loss of life, after a short standoff with the earlier Prime Minister. Within the absence of a president, he’ll now lead Haiti till its long-overdue elections — which have been postponed once more, till someday subsequent 12 months.
The Prime Minister has usually described fixing the homicide case as a private mission. “Nothing. Completely nothing. No political maneuver, no media marketing campaign, no distraction can deter me from this objective to deliver justice for President Moise,” Henry informed world leaders on the United Nations Common Meeting final week.
In response to Henry’s workplace, each Vincent and Claude have been fired for breaking the legislation, which forbids prosecuting high officers with out permission from the top of state — at present Henry himself.
However Vincent says he was sacked for refusing to fireplace Claude, which he describes as an ethically inconceivable demand given the continued investigation. “I informed [Henry], ‘This isn’t potential. We’re going to have issues. The republic can be crushed in the event you dismiss the general public prosecutor,” Vincent mentioned.
Ultimately, Haiti’s Inside Minister Liszt Quitel stepped in to fireplace Claude.
Quitel, an engineer by coaching, was additionally given Vincent’s job — and is now doing double-duty as head of each Haiti’s inside and justice ministries.
Chatting with CNN this weekend, Quitel dismissed the telephone calls in query as inadequate for a warrant in opposition to the Prime Minister, and famous that the investigation below Vincent’s management had led to no clear solutions.
“I don’t see what could be the motive to ask the Prime Minister to look earlier than a decide, simply because he had a telephone name,” he mentioned.
“That is clearly one thing that’s politically motivated,” he mentioned — a declare Vincent rejects.
A troubled investigation
The probe into Moise’s loss of life has lengthy been troubled by allegations of obstruction and missing pieces.
In July, sources near the case informed CNN they have been troubled by the truth that Justice Ministry staffers had not been given instant entry to crime scenes and key proof, together with surveillance footage from inside and across the president’s mansion through the assault.
Clerks concerned within the case additionally acquired loss of life threats, forcing some to flee the capital.
On the time, Vincent didn’t reply to requests for remark. Now, nonetheless, he defends his oversight of the months-long probe, insisting investigators have been free to work as they wanted.
He says he too receives loss of life threats from the armed teams that management giant components of Port-au-Prince.
The assassination probe is at present with an unbiased investigating decide, who has not publicly known as for the Prime Minister’s testimony.
Extra overseas assist can even be wanted to shut the case, in accordance with Henry and Vincent — a uncommon level of settlement.
The US and Colombia did ship investigative groups to help within the early days of the investigation. However with fingers now pointing in all instructions, potential overseas companions in Haiti’s intrigue-plagued investigation could really feel cautious of getting concerned.
™ & © 2021 Cable Information Community, Inc., a WarnerMedia Firm. All rights reserved.
Reporting contributed by CNN’s Matt Rivers in Mexico Metropolis.