Former Haitian Legislator Jailed For Life For Role in Assassination of President Jovenel Moise

MIAMI, FL – A former Haitian legislator has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the July,7, 2021 assassination of the country’s President Jovenel Moise.

hajohnjJoseph John (File Photo)The Miami federal court sentenced Joseph Joel John on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty in October to three charges, including conspiring to kill and kidnap a person outside the US, and providing material support and resources to carry out the plot to kill Moise.

“It turned out that the plan got overwhelmed, out of hand …and they decided to kill the President instead of kidnapping him… but it was never my intention,” John 52, a former Haitian senator told the court.

He told the court that when the other conspirators made the decision to assassinate the President , he could not back down for fear of being killed, apologising to those close to him, the Pres attorney, Brian Kirlew, said the fact that he participated in the plot does not mean he accepted the killing, even though he himself pleaded guilty to the charges.

But Federal judge José E. Martínez, responded by saying “whether you attempted or not the assassination, you enter into dangerous territory”.

Moise was gunned down at his private residence overlooking the capital Port au Prince. His wife, Martine Moise, was also shot during the attack and had to be flown to the United States for medical treatment.

A probable cause affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint in 2022 alleges that John admitted to helping obtain vehicles and firearms in service of the plot. He also admitted to attending a meeting with co-conspirators a day before Moise was assassinated.

Several former Colombian military officials have been arrested in connection with the killing and remains in a prison in Haiti. They have not yet been formally charged with any offence.

John is the third person charged in Moise’s death. The US Department of Justice said Mario Antonio Palacios and Rodolphe Jaar were both arrested and charged in 2022.

Jarr, a Haitian-Chilean national, was sentenced to life in June after an earlier guilty plea on three counts, including conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the US and providing material support resulting in death, according to the plea agreement.

Palacios, a Colombian national, is scheduled to appear in court later this month.