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Haitian judge in charge of Moise murder inquiry steps down

People attend a memorial for slain Haitian President Jovenel Moise at the city hall in Cap-Haitien, Haiti July 22, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo

The Haitian judge in charge of the inquiry into President Jovenel Moise’s killing revealed in a letter on Friday that he has withdrawn from the case, adding to the chaos in the continuing investigation into the heinous crime.

The news: Garry Orelien was appointed as the case’s investigative judge in August. His term ended in December, and he claimed that his request for a renewal was denied.

  • According to a copy of the letter, Orelien stated he ceded the investigation ” around the facts of the assassination of the President of the Republic Jovenel Moise, this for personal reasons.” In a telephone interview, Orelien confirmed that he drafted the letter but declined to further.
  • None of the hundreds of individuals arrested by Haitian police were charged as a result of his investigation. In an interview this week, Orelien blamed the lack of progress on the absence of assistance from other Haitian organisations.
  • The future steps in the Haiti investigation were unclear. However, the United States is increasingly involved in the investigation of the crime.

What they’re saying: In an interview with a local radio station on Tuesday, Bernard Saint-Vil, the head of the Port-au-Prince tribunal who assigned Orelien to the probe, indicated that Orelien was fired because his investigation was not completed on time.

  • Orelien had initially stated that he would continue to work on the matter.
  • Requests for comment were not returned by Saint-Vil.

Moise’s assassination exacerbated Haiti’s perilous political and security situation, encouraging gangs to extend territory and ramp up kidnappings, including the two-month kidnapping of a group of Canadian and American missionaries.

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