Haiti seeks 3rd judge to oversee case of slain president

Feb 3, 2022, 7:54 PM | Updated: Feb 4, 2022, 10:27 am

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The newest judge tapped to oversee the investigation into the killing of President Jovenel Moïse told The Associated Press on Friday that he has not decided whether to take the case amid concerns of putting his life in danger.

Judge Chavannes Étienne said his family is pressuring him not to accept the case because they fear for his life. If he were to accept, he would become the third judge to take over the case.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Étienne had to respond by a certain date. He previously oversaw the investigation into the November 2018 massacre of an estimated dozens of people at La Saline, a seaside slum in Haiti’s capital.

Magistrate Bernard Saint-Vil, dean of the Court of First Instance in Port-au-Prince, told AP that he had chosen Étienne but declined further comment as fears grow that the ongoing rotation of judges would delay the case.

Judge Garry Orélien had been overseeing the case but recently stepped down amid corruption accusations that he denied. He also had asked for more time to investigate the July 7 assassination, but Saint-Vil denied the request.

Orélien was appointed after another judge stepped down in August citing personal reasons, a move that came after one of his assistants died under unclear circumstances.

More than 40 people have been arrested in the killing of Moïse at his private residence, including several Haitian police officers, a former senator and 18 ex Colombian soldiers, the majority of whom the Colombian government says were duped.

Two other suspects were extradited recently to the U.S.: Rodolphe Jaar, a former U.S. government informant arrested in the Dominican Republic in January and Mario Palacios, an ex-Colombian soldier detained in Jamaica in October.

Palacios’ attorney had requested an additional month to prepare his defense, and it was granted by a federal judge in Miami on Friday. The defense attorney said Palacios will plead not guilty in March. Meanwhile, a hearing for Jaar was postponed for later this month. He hasn’t entered a plea and recently obtained a new defense attorney.

Jaar and Palacios have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and with providing material support resulting in death, knowing or intending that such material support would be used to prepare for or carry out the conspiracy to kill or kidnap.

___

Associated Press writer Dánica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Gisela Solomón in Miami contributed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy answers questions after his legal...
Luis Andres Henao, The Associated Press

After Supreme Court backs Bremerton praying coach, no sweeping changes

Three months after the decision, there’s no sign that large numbers of coaches have been newly inspired to follow Joseph Kennedy’s high-profile example.
10 hours ago
(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

GOP candidate apologizes after antisemitic post surfaces

A GOP candidate for the Washington Legislature has acknowledged that a post he put on social media in 2020 is antisemitic.
10 hours ago
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks at a news conference Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, at the F...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: How do we know when a recession has begun?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy shrank in the first half of this year, the government confirmed in a report Thursday, underscoring fears of a broad-based slowdown that could lead to a recession. At the same time, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits — a figure that often reflects the pace of layoffs — fell […]
1 day ago
Pumpkins are loaded into a semi-trailer on Bill Sahs' farm, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Atlanta, Ill...
Associated Press

Pumpkin farms adapt to improve soil, lower emissions

ATLANTA, Illinois (AP) — This Thanksgiving, your pumpkin pie might have a lower carbon footprint. On the central Illinois farms that supply most of the world’s canned pumpkin, farmers are adopting regenerative techniques designed to reduce emissions, attract natural pollinators like bees and butterflies and improve the health of the soil. The effort is backed […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

84-year-old Michigan anti-abortion canvasser shot, wounded

ODESSA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A man shot and wounded an 84-year-old Michigan woman who was canvassing door-to-door against a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to abortion in the state. The State Police are investigating the Sept. 20 shooting at a home in Odessa Township, a community about 130 miles (209 kilometers) […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Case against source for Trump dossier advances, barely

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge is allowing prosecutors to move forward with their criminal case against an analyst who provided key details for a flawed dossier on ex-President Donald Trump, although the judge called his decision “an extremely close call.” Lawyers for Igor Danchenko asked a judge Thursday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Haiti seeks 3rd judge to oversee case of slain president