Assassination of Haitian president: Florida-based suspect set to take presidency, police say

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Haiti’s national police have arrested a Florida-based doctor as a “central” suspect in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, was the third suspect of Haitian origin with ties to the United States arrested in connection with the investigation into the death of Moïse.

Police Chief Leon Charles suggested that Sanon conspired to kill Moses and assume the presidency himself, The New York Times reported.

Acting President Claude Joseph speaks during a press conference at his residence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Sunday July 11, 2021, four days after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise.  (AP Photo / Matias Delacroix)
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Acting President Claude Joseph speaks during a press conference at his residence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Sunday July 11, 2021, four days after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise. (AP Photo / Matias Delacroix)

“He arrived by private plane in June with political objectives and contacted a private security company to recruit the people who committed this act,” Charles said. “The initial mission that was given to these attackers was to protect the individual named Emmanuel Sanon, but subsequently the mission changed.”

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Charles said officers searched Sanon’s home in Haiti and found a hat with the US Drug Enforcement Administration logo, 20 boxes of bullets, gun parts, four Republic license plates. Dominican, two cars and connections with unidentified people.

“We continue to make progress,” Charles said, although he gave no details on how Sanon allegedly planned to take control of the government.

Charles said that after Moses’ death, one of the suspects telephoned Sanon, who then contacted two people believed to be the intellectual authors of the plot. He hasn’t identified the brains or said whether the police know who they are.

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Haitian authorities claimed to have obtained information about Sanon during questioning.

A video recorded in 2011 titled “Dr Christian Sanon – Leadership for Haiti” appears to present Sanon as a possible leader for the country.

Haitian authorities arrested two Haitian Americans last week, along with a dozen others, in connection with the assassination.

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Haitian election minister Mathias Pierre has identified James Solages, 35, and Vincent Joseph, 55, as suspects in the case. The two men marched with 15 other suspects, all of Colombian nationality, in front of reporters at a press conference Thursday evening.

More than 20 Colombians are suspected in connection with the murder of Moses. Charles said five suspects were still at large and at least three had been killed.

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“They are dangerous individuals,” Charles said. “I’m talking about a commando, a specialized commando.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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