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Haitian Judge Indicts 51 People in 2021 Assassination of President, but Many Questions Remain

After two-and-a-half years of investigation, a Haitian judge issued a 122-page document yesterday that indicts 51 people for the July 7, 2021, assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Judge Walther Wesser Voltaire is the fifth judge to have worked on the murder investigation and also the one who has spent the most time on it, as his four predecessors left the job before making much progress.

The publication of the indictment was big news, especially because it names Moïse’s widow, Martine Moïse, as an accomplice in the assassination, along with 10 or 11 other former government officials. But the document failed to answer other key questions, such as identifying the mastermind behind, and motivation for, the murder. In Haiti’s gang-infested daily life, in which violence and uncertainty are givens, there is fear that the publication of the indictment itself could be destabilizing. Originally, there was a longer list of more than 70 individuals targeted for indictment. Some suspects named in the indictment are already in jail.

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