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Widow of late Haitian president Jovenel Moïse indicted in his 2021 assassination


Following the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, his widow and over 50 other individuals were charged by a Haitian judge with his murder.

Martine Moïse, who was injured in a July home invasion, was identified in a 122-page report by Judge Walther Wesser Voltaire and is alleged to be involved in complicity and criminal association.

According to Judge Voltaire's indictment, Lyonel ValbrunHaiti's former secretary general of the National Palace, informed officials that Martine Moïse discussed plans to take over from her husband just two days after his assassination.

Valbrun reported that Martine Moïse claimed Jovenel had not assisted them. It would help if you unlocked the office. The president instructed Ti Klod, also known as ex-prime minister Claude Joseph, to establish a council of ministers. Elections will be held in three months to facilitate my presidency, granting us authority.

According to Judge Voltaire's indictment, Valbrun informed officials that Martine Moïse pressured him to make the president's office available to Joseph to set up a council of ministers.

The ex-first lady provided conflicting information about the events of the night her 53-year-old husband was murdered, claiming she hid under the bed when the intruders arrived.

Investigators at the scene stated that even a large rat measuring 35 and 45 centimetres would not fit under the bed.

Voltaire criticised Martine Moïse's statements on the attack as being riddled with contradictions, lacking in credibility, and, therefore, unsatisfactory.

She aroused suspicion by removing multiple items from the National Palace during the late hours of the night, specifically between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., just two days before the president's assassination, as stated by Valbrun.

The indictment does not offer any direct evidence implicating Martine Moïse in her husband's murder or its planning.

Joseph, the former prime minister, was charged, as was the former chief of Haiti's National Police, Léon Charles, who is accused of serious crimes such as murder and attempted murder.

Several individuals accused have alleged that Haiti's incumbent, Prime Minister Ariel Henry, is manipulating the court system as a political tool to pursue his adversaries.

Henry is using the Haitian justice system as a weapon to prosecute political opponents, such as myself. Joseph described it as a classic coup d’état to the Associated Press. "They attempted to assassinate me and Martine Moïse on July 7th, 2021, and are now manipulating the Haitian legal system to further their deceitful plan." 

The prime minister refuted the accusations.

Paul Turner, the attorney representing Martine Moïse, was unavailable for comment. However, he has previously refuted claims that his client was implicated in her husband's assassination.

He previously informed the New York Times that she, along with her children and husband, were victims.

Martine Moïse is currently in hiding but is anticipated to be summoned as a witness in a separate case related to her husband's murder trial in the US, as per the newspaper report.

Eleven men in Florida have been charged with conspiring to assassinate President Jovenel MoïseSix individuals have admitted guilt, while the remaining five will face trial in May, as reported by the Times.

Haiti has experienced turmoil and violence following the assassination, with gangs gaining influence in the absence of a national leader or elected officials.

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