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Jamaica arrests a former senator sought in Haitian president's assassination

A person holds a photo of late Haitian President Jovenel Moïse during his memorial ceremony in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 20, 2021.
Matias Delacroix
/
AP
A person holds a photo of late Haitian President Jovenel Moïse during his memorial ceremony in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 20, 2021.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti's National Police said Saturday that a former senator sought in the July 7 killing of President Jovenel Moïse has been arrested in Jamaica.

Police spokesman Gary Desrosiers told The Associated Press that John Joël Joseph was in custody. No further information was immediately available.

Meanwhile, Jamaica Police Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay told the AP that other people were arrested along with Joseph and that authorities were trying to determine whether they are family members. She said they were arrested before dawn on Saturday and declined to share other details.

"For more than one reason, we're not sharing more information," she said.

Joseph is a Haitian politician and opponent of the Tet Kale party that Moïse belonged to.

Among those celebrating the arrest was Claude Joseph, Haiti's former minister of foreign affairs who briefly served as interim prime minister following Moïse's killing.

"The arrest of John Joel Joseph shows that there will be no hiding place for those who are directly or indirectly involved in the assassination," he wrote, saying that the international effort he initiated continues to bear fruit.

Joseph is the second suspect to be arrested in Jamaica. In late October, Jamaican authorities arrested former Colombian soldier Mario Antonio Palacios Palacios.

He was recently extradited by the U.S. and awaiting another court hearing after being charged with conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and with providing material support resulting in death, knowing or intending that such material support would be used to prepare for or carry out the conspiracy to kill or kidnap.

More than 40 people, including 18 former Colombian soldiers, have been arrested in the killing of Moïse, who was shot several times at his private residence in an attack that also injured his wife, Martine Moïse.

Colombian government officials have said that the majority of former soldiers were duped and did not know about the real mission. The soldiers, who remain in prison in Haiti, have accused authorities of torture, while the Colombian government recently said the country's consul in Haiti was threatened after trying to provide humanitarian assistance.

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