Haiti PM dismisses questions over links to president's murder

Port-au-Prince (AFP) –


Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry dismissed suspicions raised against him over the assassination of president Jovenel Moise as a "fuss" motivated by "political interests."

In a statement posted on social networks, the head of government blasted "the noise orchestrated at the national and international level around the telephone conversations that took place the night of the murder of the president."

Moise was shot on July 7 at his home in Port-au-Prince, and while dozens of people have been arrested the identity of those who ordered the attack remains a mystery.

On Tuesday, the Port-au-Prince government commissioner -- equivalent to a federal prosecutor -- asked the judge in charge of the case to indict Henry over two phone calls he had with one of the main suspects, government official Joseph Felix Badio, just hours after the attack.

Badio's phone was allegedly tracked to the area near Moise's residence when Badio called Henry twice in the early hours of July 7, after the president was killed.

Henry fired the prosecutor just hours after the request was made.

On Wednesday he also sacked his justice minister.

But Henry shrugged off the allegations against him on Thursday, saying it was "difficult today to specify the names" of all those who called him or what they had discussed.

Henry, who was appointed by Moise two days before the president was murdered, added that "conversations with individuals against whom accusations are made cannot, in any case, serve to incriminate anyone."

And he said "political interests" did not allow others "to make serious insinuations without foundation."

Forty-four people, including 18 Colombians and two Americans of Haitian origin, have already been arrested as part of the investigation into the murder of Moise.

None of his security team were injured in the attack.