Former Haitian senator, family remanded
Former Haitian senator, John Joel Joseph is escorted to a police vehicle after leavingthe Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court Thursday. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

JOHN Joel Joseph, the former Haitian senator, along with his wife and two children who were arrested in south-east St Elizabeth on the weekend were Thursday ordered remanded when they appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court in Half-Way-Tree.

Attorney-at-law Donahue Martin, who represents the family, told the Jamaica Observer that the matter was adjourned until February 15 when it was called up Thursday morning

“The indication to the court was for discussions to be had,” the attorney told the Observer.

Asked about discussions with whom and their substance, the attorney said, “I can't comment beyond that. The matter has some amount of sensitivity to it and as a result my comments have to be very limited”.

Joseph, who arrived in the island illegally by boat in December, along with his family members, is one of three key suspects who were being hunted in relation to the July 2021 assassination of former Haitian President Jovenel Moise and the second such to be nabbed here. Former Colombian soldier Mario Antonio Palacios Palacios was in late October arrested by Jamaican police. Following his court appearance here, and while being deported to his native Colombia earlier this month, Palacios was notified by US authorities that he was being extradited to America to face charges there.

While there is no extradition treaty between Haiti and Jamaica, Joseph could be sent back to his native country.

Joseph and family were discovered in Warminster District, St Elizabeth, during a pre-dawn police operation occupying two houses on a property in the rural community. Joseph and his wife occupied one dwelling while his two children, one of whom is 18 years old, occupied the other. The four had reportedly been living under the radar with the help of residents of the area.

The co-conspirator, who has a bounty on his head, paid US$12,000 by boat to Jamaica from Haiti the Observer learnt.

Moise was killed on July 7 when a hit team burst into the presidential residence and shot him dead. His wife Martine was wounded but survived. Judicial police have questioned at least 21 presidential guards who were present on the fateful night.

In July last year, the National Police of Haiti issued three wanted notices for men who they said are accused of “murder, attempted murder and armed robbery”.

Among the men were the former legislator Rodolphe Jaar, a businessman and manager of several companies, and Joseph Félix Badio, a former official of the Unit for the Fight against Corruption.

Also in July last year, the police announced that a Florida-based doctor had been arrested in connection with the slaying.

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS Senior staff reporter

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