World Haiti assassination suspects in legal limbo, with family members left in the dark
Miami security firm faces questions in Haiti assassination
MIAMI (AP) — For the owner of a small private security company with a history of avoiding paying debts and declaring bankruptcy, it looked like a good opportunity: Find people with military experience for a job in Haiti. Antonio “Tony” Intriago, owner of Miami-based CTU Security, seems to have jumped at the chance, hiring more than 20 former soldiers from Colombia for the mission. Now the Colombians have been killed or captured in the aftermath of the July 7 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, and Intriago's business faces questions about its role in the killing.
Two weeks after the assassination of, dozens of men arrested by local police remain in detention facing no formal charges and with limited access to attorneys.
The legal limbo, made more uncertain by a "invoked after the July 7 killing, has left human rights groups concerned about a lack of due process for the detainees, and relatives of the men, who hail from Haiti, Colombia, and the Unites States, desperate for details.
Cash for Moise killing came from South Florida man, cops claim. He did nothing wrong, lawyer says
MIAMI — The rule of thumb in any good investigation is to follow the money. For Haitian police investigating the July 7 assassination of their president, the money trail partially runs through a little-known Ecuadorian emigre and private lender who lives in Broward County. In the two weeks since the shocking murder of President Jovenel Moise , police in Haiti have repeatedly during news conferences flashed the image of Walter Veintemilla and the name of his company, Worldwide Capital Lending Group. The money for the assassination plot, they’ve alleged, ran through Veintemilla, a Weston resident, and his Miramar-based firm.
In Colombia, families of the men, who make up, have banded together to raise funds for lawyers.
A Colombian "honorary consul" to Haiti was named in recent weeks, but senior officials from Bogota have delayed a visit to the country at the request of the government.
And the only information gleaned so far by the family of Christian Emmanuel Sanon, the Haitian-American doctor who police say orchestrated the assassination, is that the 63-year-old is still in good health after officials from the US State Department visited him earlier this month.
"It doesn't look like he's been beaten or anything, it looks like he's in good health, but they've only seen him that one time," said Steven Bross, a friend of Sanon who has spoken with his family in Florida.
Suspects in the Haitian president's assassination claim they broke into his house to arrest - not kill - him, reports say
The motive of Jovenel Moïse's killing remains unclear. Haitian authorities have accused 28 men, most of whom Colombian, of being part of the hit.Jovenel Moïse was shot 12 times in the bedroom of his private home on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince early on July 7.
Due process rights for prisoners have long been weak in Haiti, where years of autocratic leadership have eroded the checks on power more familiar in developed countries.
As authorities there urgently seek an explanation for the shocking and embarrassing assassination, the capabilities of the Haitian police have grown even greater.
Vague provisions under the emergency order, which is set to expire this week, "seem to justify anything done in the context of the investigation," said Brian Concannon, a board member at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.
None of the men have made public appearances before a judge.
It was not apparent that any had been provided legal counsel, either. Under Haitian law, prisoners can receive a court-appointed attorney, although they typically aren't made available until late in a case, Concannon said.
Asked repeatedly whether the suspects have access to legal representation, Haiti National Police spokeswoman Marie Michele Vernier said only that the men were in contact with their respective embassies.
Haiti president's assassination exposes shady world of Colombian mercenaries
Ex-soldiers from Colombia have been implicated in the assassination of the Haitian president.“It’s your decision, but you can count on my support,” she told him, according to the Colombian publication Semana. “He was a man who always tried to do the right thing.
Abuse behind bars is common in Haiti -- even under regular circumstances -- although no allegations of physical mistreatment of the men have emerged to date.
"Interrogatory torture is routine in run of the mill cases, so I would expect there's an extremely high likelihood of that in this case, where the police are under a lot of pressure," Concannon said.
Twenty-six men have been detained since the assassination, Vernier told CNN Wednesday, including 18 Colombians, five Haitians and three US citizens.
Their alleged roles vary, but most are not believed to be high-level architects of the plot. A number of Haitian police have also been detained in a separate administrative investigation, according to Haitian authorities.
Haitian police say Sanon, who had mounted an above-board foray into politics in recent months, hired the Colombians and other men as "mercenaries" in an attempt to seize power in the country.
The Colombians are believed to have operated in two groups: a larger group who thought they were hired as private security for Sanon, and a smaller group who knew of a "criminal" objective and were aware the bigger operation was a cover-up, Colombian President Ivan Duque said last week.
Haiti seeks 5 fugitives as president killing probe deepens
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A former Haitian senator, a fired government official and an informant for the U.S. government are the latest suspects identified as part of a sweeping investigation into the killing of President Jovenel Moïse. The men are among five fugitives whom police say are armed and dangerous as they continued Wednesday to track down those suspected in the June 7 pre-dawn attack at Moïse’s private home in which the president was shot to death and his wife, Martine, wounded.One of the suspects was identified as former Sen. John Joël Joseph, a well-known Haitian politician and opponent to the Tet Kale party that Moïse belonged to.
Thein custody are said to have been hired as translators.
Citing privacy concerns, a US State Department official declined to confirm any consular visits with the US citizens in custody but said that the agency generally works to provide assistance to Americans detained overseas.
In Florida, Sanon's family believes he is being set up as a scapegoat, according to Bross, the family friend.
The doctor had recently announced plans to seek the Haitian presidency in a future government and had hired the Colombians and other men from a Florida firm as security in Haiti, according to a company that arranged funding for the effort.
Sanon's family believes the need for security was legitimate, Bross said. Sanon had publicly criticized the country's now assassinated president and he believed he would be unsafe in the country, where political violence is rampant, Bross said.
Sanon has denied all knowledge of the operation to investigators and insisted on his innocence, CNN has reported.
On Sunday, consular officials from Colombia are expected to travel to Port-au-Prince after the Haitian government requested they delay their visit until the assassinated president's funeral, which is Friday.
The officials will meet with the detainees and help them find local legal representation, the country's foreign minister said.
Assassination of the President in Haiti: One of the suspects had "political objectives"
© provided by the Parisian the Parisian the survey around the assassination of the President of Haiti begins to move forward. The police announced this Sunday night, having arrested a Haitian national who would have recruited the commando responsible for the death of Jovenel Moses for political purposes. "It's an individual who entered Haiti aboard a private plane with political goals," said Leon Charles, Director of the Haitian National Police.
Several relatives of the Colombians who spoke to CNN said they are still in the dark about the men's condition.
"We're desperate. Every day for me is hell," the wife of one of the detained men said over a text message.
The woman, who requested anonymity because the case is sensitive, has petitioned the Red Cross to visit her husband, according to a letter she shared with CNN.
"Our family is unaware of his physical, psychological and legal state. We're suffering and need to have some type of telephone or virtual communication with the help of the Red Cross because his young children and family are emotionally affected by this sad situation," the woman wrote.
Earlier Wednesday, families of the men met with an official from the Foreign Ministry's office but left with no new details on their relatives' statuses.
"As of this moment, we know absolutely nothing about how they're doing and how they're being treated. We're still in the same suffering," Milena Africano, whose husband is among the detained, said after the meeting.
The official did tell the families that they could give packages to the consular mission to deliver to the men.
On the list of items allowed to be sent: two white shirts, a pair of sandals, and a small supply of toiletries.
President’s security coordinator arrested in Haiti, Supreme Court justice wanted .
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haitian authorities Monday arrested the coordinator of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse’s security, the man’s lawyer, Reynold Georges, confirmed to the Miami Herald. Georges said he doesn’t know on what basis his client, Haiti National Police Divisional Commissioner Jean Laguel Civil, had been arrested, and “perhaps they will tell me tomorrow.” Civil, who doesn’t control Georges said he doesn’t know on what basis his client, Haiti National Police Divisional Commissioner Jean Laguel Civil, had been arrested, and “perhaps they will tell me tomorrow.