Suspect in murder of Haitian President may seek asylum in Ja

January 21, 2022
John Joel Joseph, former Haiti senator, has been implicated in the July 7, 2021, assassination of then Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. Joseph and his family were arrested in St Elizabeth on January 14 and are before the court on charges of illegal entry.
John Joel Joseph, former Haiti senator, has been implicated in the July 7, 2021, assassination of then Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. Joseph and his family were arrested in St Elizabeth on January 14 and are before the court on charges of illegal entry.
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A former Haitian opposition senator who is a suspect in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise is said to be contemplating applying for asylum in Jamaica.

The fugitive, John Joseph, appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court yesterday. He was arrested along with his family in Warminster, St Elizabeth, last Saturday.

He, along with his wife Edume, their 18-year-old son Schopenhaur and their nine-year-old son are being charged with the offence of illegal entry.

Well-placed sources told THE WEEKEND STAR that Joseph is toying with the idea of being granted political asylum in Jamaica. It is unclear on what grounds he intends to do so, or if he would qualify for such protection.

His lawyer, Donahue Martin, when asked about the likelihood of Joseph seeking asylum in Jamaica, was guarded in his response.

"This matter is generally sensitive so I'm not going to give any commentary apart from to say what was said in court, which was that the matter is adjourned and certain discussions are to be had. I'm not going to comment beyond that," Martin told THE WEEKEND STAR

It is alleged that on January 14, at 8:30 p.m., police personnel from the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch and the St Elizabeth Police Division, armed with information, conducted an operation in Warminster district, St Elizabeth, during which four Haitians and three Jamaicans were arrested.

During the arrests, Joseph approached the investigating officer and told him he was willing to pay him US$2 million to set his family free. The offer was refused and the family was removed from the property on which they were found. Shortly after, a Jamaican offered the investigating officer J$1 million to let him and the other Jamaicans free. This offer was also refused and the accused were taken to the Junction Police Station, where the Haitians were held on immigration breaches while the Jamaicans were released after being processed.

Moise was shot dead at his home by gunmen on July 7 in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. His wife, Martine, was also shot and injured.

The Josephs are remanded in custody until February 15, when the matter is to be mentioned.

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