Police in Haiti said they have arrested a doctor they believe is a key suspect in organising last week’s assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
They say Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a 63-year-old Haitian national, flew into the country on a private jet in early June with “political motives”.
The arrest of Mr Sanon was announced at a police briefing late on Sunday in the capital Port-au-Prince.
“This is an individual who entered Haiti on a private plane with political objectives,” said Haiti’s police chief Leon Charles.
He said the initial plan had been to arrest President Moïse, but “the mission then changed”. He did not elaborate.
“When we, the police, blocked the progress of these bandits after they committed their crime, the first person that one of the assailants called was Christian Emmanuel Sanon,” said Mr Charles.
“He contacted two other people that we consider to be the masterminds of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.” The police chief did not say who the other two people were.
Mr Moïse, 53, was killed at his residence on 7 July, by 28 foreign mercenaries, the police said earlier.
His wife was injured in the attack, and then flown to the US for treatment.
Martine Moïse later described the moment assassins “riddled” her husband with bullets after bursting into their home in the middle of the night.
She said the attack happened so quickly, her husband Jovenel was unable to “say a single word”.
It is still unclear who organised last week’s attack and with what motive. A number of questions remain unanswered, including how the alleged assassins were able to enter the property. Mr Moïse’s bodyguards are due to be questioned later this week.
One prominent opposition figure has openly expressed scepticism over the current version of events. Former Haitian senator Steven Benoit told local station Magik9 radio on Friday it was “not Colombians who killed him”, but did not provide evidence to back up his claims.
Haitian police have said the majority of the mercenaries was Colombian, while two were joint US nationals.
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