Haiti’s Justice Department officially assigned the probe into the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse to lead prosecutor Mathieu Chanlatte for judicial proceedings, eight days after an intense search for a prosecutor.
Bernard Saint-Vil, a judge of the Port-au-Prince Court of First Instance, announced August 9 that he had found a lead prosecutor, one week after transferring the file to the Justice Department. Up until the Aug. 3 filing, the Central Judicial Police Administration Central, known in french as La Direction Generale de la Police, DCPJ), had been handling the preliminary investigation into the July 7 killing slaying of Moïse in his private home.
Local radio, citing unofficial sources, have reported that Saint-Vil had difficulty finding a prosecutor for the lead investigator role into the killing that has sparked an international outcry. Many prosecutors are fearful for their safety, following reports of the initial investigators receiving threats and having to go into hiding.
Last year, Chanlatte was tasked with investigating a corruption case that implicated former first lady Martine Moise and a biometrics company. A 2018 Senate Ethics and Anti-Corruption Committee had alleged that Moïse benefited from a $27 million contract with Dermalog to purchase equipment used to produce national identification cards. The Haitian government has contracted the German company to help renew the national identification system in Haiti.
However, Chanlatte investigation case is still blocked at the Parquet of Port-au-Prince, awaiting a formal indictment from the government commissioner.