Orchestrator of assassination of Haiti President gets life sentence
Rodolphe Jaar is the only one among 11 persons detained and accused in the US who has admitted guilt so far.
A federal judge in Miami sentenced the mastermind of the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise to life in prison on Friday.
Rodolphe Jaar, a Haitian-Chilean businessman, plotted Moise's assassination with a gang of Colombian mercenaries on July 7, 2021, at his house in Port-au-Prince. Prosecutors said Jaar procured the guns used in the "commando-style" attack that murdered Mose, 53, and critically wounded his wife at his sentencing hearing in Miami.
Jaar, 50, a convicted drug trafficker and US government informant, pled guilty in March to conspiracy to conduct murder or kidnapping outside the United States, as well as giving material assistance resulting in death.
He was one of 11 persons detained and accused in the United States following his extradition from the Dominican Republic, and he is the only one who has admitted guilt so far. The others' trial is due to begin in Miami next month, but it is likely to be postponed, as per officials.
Jaar received the highest penalty possible from federal judge Jose E Martnez. According to court documents from his plea appearance, he provided personnel and finances to kidnap Moise, but the scheme turned into murder.
His suspected co-conspirators include former Haitian senator Joseph Joel John, Haitian-American Joseph Vincent, retired Colombian army captain Germán Rivera, and Antonio Intriago, the Venezuelan owner of a Miami-based private security agency.
The conspirators met numerous times in Haiti and Florida to prepare the operation, which the Haitian ambassador to the US, Bocchit Edmond, described at the time as "an act of barbarity and an assault on our democracy," The Guardian reported.
Haiti's crisis worsened in 2021 after Jovenel Moise, the president of Haiti, was shot dead in his home in Port-au-Prince. Since then, politically influential gangs have taken control of more than 60% of the capital, parts of the resource-starved police force have openly revolted, and internal politics in Haiti have devolved into a bloody stalemate.
Since Moise's assassination, former Prime Minister Ariel Henry has been in charge of the nation, which as of January has no democratically elected representatives, and it is not yet known when a new presidential election will be held. The last one occurred in November 2016, about seven years ago.