jovenel moise haiti
A police officer stands near a wall painted with a mural of the late Jovenel Moise. (Valerie Baeriswy/AFP/Getty Images)

By Juhakenson Blaise

PORT-AU-PRINCE— The newest judge tasked with leading the judicial investigation into the assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse says he has yet to receive the case docket since being appointed March 4. 

“Like everyone else, I heard about the case [on the radio], but I don’t know the contents of the file nor have I read the reports that have already been made,” Judge Merlan Belabre told the Haitian Times last week. 

Belabre, the fourth judge appointed to the high-profile case, also said in a press note last month that he is concerned for his safety and that of his family. 

“The executive power and the CSPJ delivered me and my family into the hands of assassins and kidnappers,” Belabre said in the note. “They took no steps to hand over the file to me personally, that is to say physically, or to ensure my safety.”

Despite the delay and concerns, Belabre says he is ready to get to work once the authorities find a solution for his safety.

Belabre replaced Judge Garry Orélien, who was dismissed by Prime Minister Ariel Henry after an alleged corruption scandal emerged. Before him, Judge Mathieu Chanlatte withdrew from the case out of fear for his safety. Judge Chavannes Etienne, who had replaced Chanlatte, also withdrew for his safety.

Dean Bernard Saint-Vil told local media that arrangements have been made to satisfy the claims of Belabre. However, Belabre told The Haitian Times that he was not yet aware of these measures.

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