Haiti’s top prosecutor was fired and replaced shortly after calling on the country’s prime minister to assassinate President Jovenel Moise, even though a letter of dismissal claimed the move was an “administrative error”.
State Attorney Bed-Ford Claude was fired Tuesday with a new replacement sworn in a few hours after Claude asked a judge to oversee Moses’ assassination to accuse Prime Minister Ariel Henry of an alleged role in the killing.
Claude first raised the charges last week, claiming that phone records proved that Henry had communicated with the top suspect in Moses’ assassination attempt twice the night of his murder. Henry had previously defended the suspect – Joseph Badio, a former Justice Department official – publicly, but Badio has since fled and his current whereabouts are unknown.
A letter of resignation obtained on September 13 stating that Claude had committed one “Serious administrative error” but gave no other justification for his dismissal. A separate letter dated to the next day pointed Frantz Louis Juste as his successor.
However, the legality of Claude’s resignation is unclear, as Haiti’s constitution says only the president can point and dismiss the country’s chief prosecutors. The presidency is still vacant after Moises on July 7, who was killed by gunmen in his home near Port-au-Prince.
It is also still unclear whether Claude was formally removed prior to his request to the judge to charge PM, as the letter of resignation said his dismissal was effective as soon as he received the document, according to