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Haiti seeks more suspects in president's assassination probe

Police patrol outsidethe diplomatic district of Port-au-Prince, Haiti on July 9, 2021, after 11 suspected assassins of Haitian President Jovenel Moise attempted to flee   -  
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Léon Charles, head of Haiti's National Police, pleaded with Haitians Wednesday to help officials track down suspects involved in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, who remain on the run.

Among suspects is an ex-senator described by Charles as a key suspect, accused of supplying the weapons used in the 7 July attack on the president.

During the evening press conference, Haiti's police chief also accused a Venezuelan businessman who owns a security company in Florida of traveling to Haiti numerous times as part of a plot.

Former Sen. John Joël Joseph, a Haitian politician and opponent of the Tet Kale party that Moïse belonged to, is one of five fugitives whom police say are armed and dangerous.

Another of the fugitives identified by police is Joseph Felix Badio. Charles said Badio rented a house near Moise's home to help the suspects understand the layout of the area.

Badio previously worked for Haiti's Ministry of Justice and joined the government's anti-corruption unit in March 2013.

Charles, the police chief, said four high-ranking officials who were in charge of the president's security detail are being held in isolation as authorities continue to track down other fugitives, including Rodolphe Jaar.

Jaar, who once used the alias "Whiskey," was indicted in 2013 in federal court in South Florida on charges of conspiring to smuggle cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela through Haiti to the U.S.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison, according to court records.

Authorities in Haiti are investigating Moïse's killing with help from Colombia's government, which has said at least 18 former Colombian soldiers suspected in the slaying have been arrested and remain detained in Haiti.

Charles said three Haitians were also arrested and at least three suspects killed, adding that they continue to investigate those detained to identify the masterminds behind the slaying.