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Jamaica police arrest Haiti president murder suspect

Joseph was wanted in Haiti

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MIAMI, United States (AFP) — A former Haitian lawmaker who is a suspect in the assassination of the country’s president has been arrested in Jamaica, Jamaican authorities said Saturday.

Ex-senator Jean Joel Joseph, wanted in the 7 July 2021 killing of president Jovenel Moise, was arrested Friday evening, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said in a statement.

The JCF “can confirm that a Haitian national; Jean Joel Joseph and three other members (of) his family were arrested in Jamaica on immigration related charges,” the statement said.

Jamaican investigators contacted Haitian authorities who said Joseph was “wanted in Haiti as a suspect in the alleged assassination of the Haitian President in 2021,” it added.

Joseph was arrested at a house in St. Elizabeth, a parish in the southwest of the island.

A Jamaican police source told AFP that Joseph is “being detained at the moment.”

The source said Jamaican police acted in conjunction with “international law enforcement partners” and that “joint investigations” had been underway.

Moise, who was unpopular in Haiti, was killed and his wife was seriously wounded when a commando of around 20 men burst into the presidential residence and shot them in July.

Dozens of suspects had been arrested previously over Moise’s murder, but much about the assassination remains murky, especially who ordered it.

An arrest warrant was issued for Joseph right after the killing, with authorities describing him as “armed and dangerous.” Joseph was an opposition senator and fierce critic of the president.

More than 40 people, including more than a dozen Colombians and some Americans of Haitian origin, have been arrested in connection with the assassination.

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