Haitian-Chilean Businessman Given Life Sentence for 2021 Assassination of Haitian President Moise

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Jaar received the maximum sentence he faced despite pleading guilty and pledging to cooperate with investigators in hopes of receiving a lighter sentence.

A federal judge in the US state of Miami sentenced a dual Haitian-Chilean citizen to life in prison on Friday for his involvement in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in 2021.

Judge Jose E. Martinez handed down the sentence to Rodolphe Jaar during a 10-minute hearing at the federal court in Miami. The life sentences for each of the three counts are to be served concurrently.

Jaar is the first person to be convicted and sentenced in what US prosecutors have described as a broad plot by conspirators in Haiti and Florida to reap lucrative contracts under a new administration once Moise was out of the way.

The 51-year-old businessma pleaded guilty in March to three counts, including conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the US and to providing material support resulting in death.

Moise, 53, was killed in his bedroom on 7 July 2021 when assailants broke into his private home in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince.

Authorities have said dozens of people were involved in the assassination, including 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans. The Haitian government has arrested more than 40 people for their alleged role in the murder, including 18 former Colombian soldiers. Colombian suspect Mario Palacios was extradited to the US last year.

Martinez recommended that Jaar, who was sentenced for his role in supplying Colombian mercenaries weapons to assassinate Moise, be designated to a federal facility in or near the US state of South Florida given his background and the offences.

In exchange for the guilty plea, Jaar had agreed to be sentenced by a judge, provide truthful testimony, produce documents and records, and appear before a grand jury and at other legal proceedings when called upon by federal prosecutors.

The businessman, who previously had been an informant for the US government and had been convicted of drug trafficking a decade ago, was one of several suspects who were at large in the months after Moise’s assassination. He was arrested in the Dominican Republic and extradited to South Florida last January.

Jaar provided funds used to acquire weapons, provided food and lodging to other co-conspirators, and provided funding to bribe Haitian officials responsible for Moise’s security, according to the plea agreement.