(AFP) — The U.S. Justice Department charged a Haitian-Chilean man Thursday with conspiracy to commit murder for his role in the assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse last July.
The charges were unveiled in federal court in Miami against Rodolphe Jaar, 49, after he was arrested in the Dominican Republic and transferred Monday to the United States.
An FBI affidavit filed in the case said that, in an interview in December, Jaar admitted that he had provided guns and ammunition to the group of Colombians who carried out the murder.
On July 7, 2021, the Colombians and others went to the Haitian president's residence and shot him 12 times, killing him.
The plot was allegedly organized by a group of Haiti-based Haitian-American citizens and the Colombians they recruited.
The affidavit said several of the Colombians stayed at a residence "controlled by" Jaar, and that Jaar had taken part in a meeting with a key Haitian-American leader of the plot.
U.S. law is being applied in the case because the plot was coordinated at least in part on U.S. soil, in Florida, by the Haitian-Americans involved.
The affidavit also says the plot began as a plan to just seize and imprison Moïse, but less than two weeks before it happened, the plan was changed to murdering him.
Jaar faces a possible sentence of life in prison on the charge of conspiring to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and providing material support resulting in death.
He was the second person arrested and charged in the United States in the case.
The first was a retired Colombian soldier, 43-year-old Mario Palacios, who was handed over to the United States in early January.
Both Palacios and Jaar were said to have voluntarily agreed to transfer to the United States after their arrests abroad, rather than going through a formal extradition process.
What ultimately lies behind the plot and who were the masterminds remains unknown to the public.
The Justice Department documents refer to a key figure, a Haitian-American, who is only identified as "Co-conspirator #1."
© Agence France-Presse