A Haitian American held in connection to the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse gathered funding for a security team to guard him while he assumed office, according to The Washington Post.
The Post reported that Christian Emmanuel Sanon told others in a May 12 meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that he wanted to turn “Haiti into a free and open society.”
After the meeting, Sanon and two business owners — Walter Veintemilla and Antonio Intriago — began writing a plan, records of which were obtained by the Post.
According to the newspaper, Veintemilla’s company, Worldwide Investment Development Group, and Intriago’s CTU Security were to assemble a private security force to protect Sanon until he became president. Sanon would repay them with the country’s assets.
The Post also reported a document, which laid out over $860,000 in loans to Sanon for ammunition, equipment and transportation for personnel. The majority would be covered by Veintemilla’s company, while Intriago’s would cover the rest.
More than 20 people have been arrested in connection with Moïse’s killing, including Sanon and two other Haitian Americans. At least 13 Americans are suspected to have been involved as well.
Haitian police previously said that Sanon may have plotted to kill the president to assume the position himself.
“He arrived by private plane in June with political objectives and contacted a private security firm to recruit the people who committed this act,” national police chief Léon Charles said. “The initial mission that was given to these assailants was to protect the individual named Emmanuel Sanon, but afterwards the mission changed.”
The New York Times reported on Thursday that Sanon discussed becoming the new president of Haiti after Moïse was deposed. However, those in meetings with Sanon told the newspaper there was never a plan to kill Moïse.
The Post similarly found no evidence from the documents it obtained or people interviewed that there was an objective to kill Moïse.
An attorney for Veintemilla told the newspaper “at no time during any meeting or conversation with Mr. Sanon or with any of his representatives was there any mention, discussion or suggestion of an assassination plot against President Moise or the intention to use force to bring about a change of leadership in Haiti.”
Intriago didn’t return the Post’s request for comment.