Judge responsible for investigation into Haitian premier murder drops case

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The Haitian judge overseeing the investigation into the July murder of President Jovenel Moise said in a letter on Friday that he withdrew from the case, deepening confusion over solving the crime.

Garry Orelien was appointed in August as an investigating judge in the case. His term ended in December and he said his request for an extension had been rejected.

Orelien said he dropped the investigation “into the facts of the assassination of President Jovenel Moise for personal reasons,” according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters. Orelien confirmed in a phone interview that he wrote the letter and declined to comment further.

His investigation resulted in no charges against any of the dozen suspects arrested by Haitian police. In an interview this week, Orellen blamed the lack of progress on inadequate support from other Haitian institutions.

Moise was killed on July 7 when gunmen stormed his home. A Haitian police report in August concluded that a Haitian-American doctor hired a group of former Colombian soldiers to kill the president and seize power.

The next steps for the Haitian investigation are unclear. But the United States has taken an increasing role in crime investigation.

Bernard Saint-Vil, head of the Port-au-Prince court that assigned Orelien to the investigation, said Tuesday in an interview that the judge was out of work because he did not complete his investigation in time.

Moise’s murder further damaged Haiti’s precarious political and security situation, encouraging gangs to expand territory and increase kidnappings – including the two-month kidnapping of a group of Canadian and American missionaries.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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