Taiwan announced Friday that 11 suspects arrested in connection with the investigation into the assassination of the Haitian president have been arrested by the Haitian police inside the compound of the Taiwanese embassy in Port-au-Prince, where they were hiding.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Joanne Ou, said the embassy was closed Wednesday for “security reasons” in the wake of the murder.
“At the dawn of the eighth of July, the embassy’s security service discovered that a group of gunmen had stormed the embassy yard,” the spokeswoman told The Eastern Herald. “Security personnel immediately informed embassy staff and the Haitian police,” she added.
“At the request of the Haitian government and in order to assist in the arrest of the suspects, the embassy granted the Haitian police permission to enter the perimeter of the embassy,” she said.
For its part, the Taiwanese embassy in Port-au-Prince, which is located near the residence of the late President Moyes, in a statement published on its website described the gunmen as “mercenaries” and suspected of involvement in the assassination.
The Taiwanese embassy said that “the police managed to arrest 11 suspects,” explaining that it agreed “without hesitation” to the Haitian police’s request to enter the embassy compound.
The embassy confirmed that “the operation took place successfully” and described the assassination as “brutal and barbaric.”
Haiti is one of 15 countries in the world that still recognize Taiwan diplomatically, rather than the People’s Republic of China, which considers the Asian island part of its territory.
The Haitian police announced Thursday evening that the armed group responsible for the assassination of the president consists of 26 Colombians and two Americans of Haitian origin.
“The commando squad consists of 28 attackers, including 26 Colombians,” said Leon Charles, Director-General of the Haitian Police, in a press conference.
Charles added that “weapons and materials used by the attackers were found,” expressing his determination to find the other eight attackers.
The US State Department has not confirmed the arrest of two US citizens but said Thursday that it had agreed to assist the Haitian police in the investigation.
For his part, the Public Prosecutor in Port-au-Prince announced Thursday that his office had summoned the security officials of President Moise after he was easily assassinated.
“The Central Directorate of the Judicial Police has been authorized to listen to all security personnel close to President Jovenel Moise,” said State Commissioner Claude Ford, adding that two of the president’s top security officials were summoned for questioning on July 13 and 14.
The official charged with launching judicial proceedings on behalf of the Haitian community questioned the absence of a clear reaction from those responsible for ensuring the safety of Moise, who was killed by 12 bullets during the night in his home.
“I spent a day at the president’s house,” Claude said. “I saw no police victim and only the president and his wife were hurt. If you were responsible for the president’s security, where were you? What did you do to spare the president this fate?”