Businessman sentenced to life imprisonment for collaborating in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse

Businessman Sentenced To Life Imprisonment For Collaborating In The Assassination Of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse

Miami – A businessman with dual Haitian and Chilean nationality who helped former Colombian soldiers obtain weapons to assassinate Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in 2021 was sentenced to life in prison in the United States on Friday, almost two months after admitting his participation in the assassination .

Rodolphe Jaar is the only one of the 11 arrested and charged in the United States for Moïse’s murder to have so far pleaded guilty and the first to be convicted. The other 10 are still facing their charges and are scheduled for a jury trial in mid-July, though the date could be pushed back.

In March, the businessman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and to providing material support that resulted in death. Federal judge José E. Martínez revealed the sentence in a brief hearing of less than 10 minutes held in the federal courts in downtown Miami.


Jaar faced a maximum sentence of life in prison, but by pleading guilty, he sealed a plea deal pledging to help the investigation in hopes of receiving a lighter sentence. His lawyer, Frank Schwartz, was asking for a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

It is not common for a person who has signed a cooperation agreement with the government to be sentenced to life imprisonment. On some occasions it happens that over time the sentence is reduced at the request of the government.

The prosecution explained to the judge in documents submitted before the hearing that by pleading guilty, Jaar admitted his responsibility and deserved the maximum sentence. Judge Martínez set a hearing for August 21 in which he will reveal a financial penalty.

Moïse was killed on July 7, 2021 when a group of unknown individuals broke into his home in Port-au-Prince. He was 53 years old.

Jaar, who was born in 1972, entered the courtroom seriously, handcuffed and with shackles on his ankles, wearing a prisoner’s beige shirt and pants. He was wearing a mask and his graying hair was neatly cut. He listened to the judge’s ruling with his head bowed.

The businessman, who knew how to act as an informant for the US government and had been convicted of drug trafficking a decade ago, declined to make statements to the judge and has the right to appeal the sentence within a maximum period of two weeks. His attorney told the AP after the hearing that he has not yet decided whether he will do so and declined to comment further.

In addition to Jaar, among those accused of participating in the murder who are in Miami are former Colombian soldiers Mario Palacios and Germán Alejandro Rivera García; former Haitian Senator John Joel Joseph; Haitian-Americans James Solages, Joseph Vincent and Christian Emmanuel Sanon; the American Federick Joseph Bergmann; the Colombian Arcángel Pretel Ortiz; Venezuelan-American Antonio Intriago; and the Ecuadorian-American financier Walter Veintemilla.

The Haitian government has arrested more than 40 people for their alleged role in the murder, including 18 former Colombian soldiers.

Jaar arrived in the United States in January 2022 after being detained in the Dominican Republic and has been held in federal prison ever since. According to the US authorities, he voluntarily agreed to be transferred to Miami to face the accusations.

Authorities in the Dominican Republic said they detained him with the help of the US government when he tried to enter from Haiti.

According to the accusations, the goal of the conspiracy was initially to kidnap the Haitian president, but later changed its purpose to kill him. The documents indicate that several of the conspirators entered Moïse’s house to assassinate him.

Jaar, according to the accusation, was responsible for supplying the Colombians with weapons to carry out the operation. Several of the former South American soldiers remained in a house controlled by Jaar, according to the charges.



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