Haitian official steps down over PM's possible ties to president's assassination

Haitian official steps down over PM's possible ties to president's assassination

A top Haitian official announced that he was stepping down on Wednesday given the prime minister's possible ties to the assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse, Reuters reported.

Renald Luberice, secretary general of the Council of Ministers, announced on social media that he could not work for a person who would not “​​intend to cooperate with justice, seeking, on the contrary, by all means, to obstruct it,” according to the news outlet.

In July, Moïse was killed at his private residence, and his wife was hospitalized. Details into what exactly happened are still unclear, though police have arrested more than 40 people in their investigation.

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On Tuesday, a judge was asked by Haiti’s chief prosecutor to press charges against Prime Minister Ariel Henry for the killing of Moïse. The prosecutor wanted to know why phone calls to Henry were made by a suspect connected to the slaying closely afterwards. 

“There are enough compromising elements ... to prosecute Henry and ask for his outright indictment,” Bed-Ford Claude said in his order to the judge, further asking the prime minister for being prohibited from leaving the country.

However, that prosecutor was later replaced by Henry, who has denied any involvement in the deadly attack, according to Reuters. Henry has not directly responded to questions regarding the phone calls.

Haiti is still reeling from the effects of a major 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck in mid-August, taking the lives of more than 2,000 people. The country also does not have an active legislature and it has not held elections for several years, according to Reuters.