Businessman Rodolphe Jaar, who confessed his guilt of providing weapons and ammunition to Colombian mercenaries to assassinate Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, appeared this Thursday before a court in Florida, United States, on which occasion he agreed to remain detained and requested to postpone his arrest for a few weeks. hearing before going back to court.
Rodolphe Jaar pleads guilty in the assassination of Jovenel Moïse
Federal Judge Lisette Reid agreed to Jaar’s request and passed the hearing, first set for February 3, to the 25th of that month.
Jaar is a key suspect in the Moïse murder case, which occurred on July 7, 2021. He faces two charges, one for conspiracy to commit murder or kill outside the United States, and providing material support resulting in death, with knowledge that such aid would be used in preparing or carrying out a conspiracy to kill or kidnap.
On January 19, when he appeared in court for the first time after arriving in the United States, Jaar answered in the affirmative when the magistrate questioned him if he had communicated with his lawyer about the request to postpone the hearings for 30 days.
Likewise, the accused responded affirmatively when asked if he understood what he was doing and if he agreed. After the interrogation, Reid accepted the request and the Prosecutor’s Office did not object.
Jaar’s lawyer, Joaquín Padilla, had informed the judge minutes before that both parties agreed that the accused remain in detention with the right to visits.
The postponement of the hearings means that the defendant will have more time to plead guilty or not guilty, while prosecutors will be able to gather more evidence for the accusations.
The press reports that both parties could also reach a quick agreement, something that the accused usually do in exchange for a reduction in their sentences based on their cooperation with the case.
Haitian Judge Gary Orélien Investigated
Meanwhile, in Haiti, the Superior Council of the Judiciary decided to open an investigation against Haitian judge Gary Orélien for allegations of corruption. The magistrate was in charge of the investigation of Moïse’s assassination until last week.
According to the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (Rnddh), the judge received bribes to free those allegedly involved and withdraw prohibitions on leaving the country.
The Network specified that Orélien received $20,000 from at least one of the four recently released agents, and another $25,000 to rescind the exit bans.
Based on these elements, the Council sent a letter to the General Inspectorate of the Police to request that these allegations be investigated.
At first, Orélien described the accusations as unfounded, defamatory and unworthy and summoned the coordinator of the Rnddh, Pierre Espérance, to prove them, however he later resigned from his position for personal convenience.
Weeks ago, the dean of the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince, Bernard Saint Vil, did not approve the extension requested by Orélien to delay the investigation.
Nearly 40 people are detained in the National Penitentiary and Prime Minister Ariel Henry reaffirmed his interest in carrying the investigations into the assassination to the end. Instead, the archive is paralyzed and Saint Vil has not named Orélien’s replacement.