Jovenel Moise
Haitians Protest In Titanyen Streets Demanding Release Of Kidnapped U.S. Missionaries John Moore/Getty Images

A former Haitian senator, John Joel Joseph, is reportedly facing new United States charges related to the assassination of the country's president, Jovonel Moise on July 7, 2021.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Miami federal court, Joseph attended a key meeting with Colombian commandos on July 6, 2021, before the former soldiers allegedly assassinated Moise at his suburban home outside Port-au-Prince.

Joseph had been detained in Jamaica before being brought to Miami on Friday. He was charged with conspiring to commit murder or kidnapping outside the U.S. and providing material support resulting in death, knowing or intending that such material support would be used to prepare for or carry out the conspiracy to kill or kidnap.

As stated in the affidavit, during an interview in January, the former senator claimed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents that he had a meeting with certain co-conspirators just before they "embarked on the mission to kill President Moïse."

Joseph also admitted in the interview that he helped acquire vehicles and tried to get firearms for the co-conspirators' "operation" targeting Haiti's president. He planned to become the prime minister under Moise's successor following the leader's removal from office. Joseph also claimed that he had gained access to the president's private bedroom as part of "a delta team." Haitian police also identified a known gang leader as one of the people Joseph communicated with before the assassination.

The former senator agreed to be detained before trial in Miami federal court on Monday. He spoke to the magistrate judge, referring to the case as "very sensitive" and claiming "I trust the American justice system." Joseph worked in the Haitian Senate from 2009 to 2015 and served as a political and security consultant. He had been unemployed over the past year. During his first appearance in federal court, "I'm in a very difficult situation," Joseph told Magistrate Judge Lauren Louis. "I was in jail."

Joseph was charged with the same offenses as two previous defendants -- Mario Antonio Palacios, a former Colombian soldier, and Rodolphe Jaar, a Haitian businessman and convicted cocaine trafficker, who were transported to Miami in connection with the president's killing. Palacios has pleaded not guilty, while Jaar is believed to be cooperating with U.S. authorities for the investigation. Joseph is one of more than 40 suspects arrested in Moise's killing and the third one to be extradited to the U.S. to face criminal charges.

Haitian President Jovenel Moise
Representation image. Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

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