Sackings, resignation in new Haiti turmoil

Prosecutors have linked Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry to a key assassination suspect.
Prosecutors have linked Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry to a key assassination suspect.

Haiti's government is under pressure as Prime Minister Ariel Henry faces increased scrutiny over the president's slaying, with Henry firing the justice minister just hours after another top official resigned and accused Henry of obstructing justice.

Henry's dismissal of Justice Minister Rockfeller Vincent late on Wednesday came a day after he fired Port-au-Prince's chief prosecutor, who had linked the prime minister to a key suspect in the killing of President Jovenel Moise.

Meanwhile, Renald Luberice, who served more than four years as secretary-general of Haiti's Council of Ministers, said he could not remain under the direction of someone who was under suspicion and who seeks to obstruct instead of co-operate.

Luberice also said he was concerned about the alleged evidence against Henry in the killing.

"May each minister put himself at the height of his mission at this historic crossroads," he said.

A spokesman for Henry declined to comment.

Henry appointed Liszt Quitel as justice minister and Josue Pierre Louis as the council's secretary-general.

The appointments come less than a week after then Port-au-Prince chief prosecutor Bed-Ford Claude asked Henry to meet him on Tuesday to explain why he had two phone conversations with a key suspect just hours after the July 7 killing of Moise at his home.

The suspect, Joseph Badio, was fired from the government's anti-corruption unit in May and remains a fugitive.

On Tuesday, Claude ordered the judge overseeing the case to charge and investigate the prime minister based on that evidence.

Hours later, a new chief prosecutor replaced Claude on orders of Henry, who accused Claude of an undefined, "serious administrative fault".

The day before Claude was fired, Vincent ordered Haiti's police chief increase security for the prosecutor following "important and disturbing threats".

Australian Associated Press