Suspect in Haiti president’s assassination pleads not guilty

Jul 5, 2022, 10:39 PM | Updated: Jul 6, 2022, 10:46 am

FILE - First Lady Martine Moise, center, attends a memorial service for her late husband President ...

FILE - First Lady Martine Moise, center, attends a memorial service for her late husband President Jovenel Moise, at the National Pantheon Museum, in Port-au-Prince Haiti, July 21, 2021. Rodolphe Jaar, a businessman with dual Haitian and Chilean nationality pleaded not guilty Wednesday, July 6, 2022, to two criminal charges for the 2021 assassination of Moise. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph, File)

(AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph, File)

MIAMI (AP) — One of the main suspects in the 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in a federal court in Miami.

Businessman Rodolphe Jaar is charged with conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and with providing material support resulting in death. If convicted, Jaar faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

At a hearing that lasted less than five minutes at a downtown federal court in Miami, magistrate Judge Chris M. McAliley accepted Jaar’s plea and his request for a jury trial.

Jaar, 49, was present at the hearing, but did not speak. His attorney, Frank Schwartz, requested the government to present all the evidence that it has.

The businessman, a dual Haitian-Chilean citizen, looked serious but calm. His hair was pulled back in a small ponytail and he was wearing a beige prison uniform. He was handcuffed, with shackles on his ankles and had a face mask that covered his beard.

His plea came almost a year after a squad allegedly made up of former Colombian soldiers, Haitian police officers and others went to the president’s residence and killed him on July 7, 2021.

The Miami case involves three foreign defendants: Jaar, former Haitian Senator John Joel Joseph and former Colombian soldier Mario Palacios. The Haitian government, meanwhile, has arrested more than 40 people for alleged involvement in the murder, including 18 former Colombian soldiers.

Jaar, who remains in federal prison in South Florida, arrived in the United States in January after being detained in the Dominican Republic. According to the US authorities, he voluntarily agreed to be transferred to Miami to face the charges.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


OpenAI CEO Sam Altman speaks in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, June 6, 2023. Altman on T...

Associated Press

OpenAI CEO suggests international agency like UN’s nuclear watchdog could oversee AI

Artificial intelligence poses an “existential risk” to humanity, a key innovator warned during a visit to the United Arab Emirates

13 hours ago

Mt. Rainier death...

Associated Press

Missing Mount Rainier climber’s body found in crevasse; he was celebrating 80th birthday

Search crews on Mount Rainier have found the body of a man matching the description of an 80-year-old solo climber reported missing

2 days ago

Washington gun restrictions...

Associated Press

Judge rejects attempt to block new Washington state gun restrictions

A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a request to block a new Washington state law banning the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles

3 days ago

FILE - A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference, April 28, 2015,...

Associated Press

Microsoft will pay $20M to settle U.S. charges of illegally collecting children’s data

Microsoft will pay a fine of $20 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it illegally collected and retained the data of children

3 days ago

FILE - OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman gestures while speaking at University College London as part of his ...

Associated Press

OpenAI boss ‘heartened’ by talks with world leaders over will to contain AI risks

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said Monday he was encouraged by a desire shown by world leaders to contain any risks posed by the artificial intelligence technology his company and others are developing.

4 days ago

FILE - The draft of a bill that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., neg...

Associated Press

Debt deal imposes new work requirements for food aid and that frustrates many Democrats

Democrats are deeply conflicted about the debt ceiling deal, fearing damage has been done to safety net programs

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

Suspect in Haiti president’s assassination pleads not guilty