The Jamaican government is assessing the “legal consideration” regarding the fate of a former Colombian army officer described as a key suspect in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, the foreign ministry confirmed.
The disclosure comes amid what appears to be a diplomatic standoff between Colombia and Haiti over who should get custody of Mario Antonio Palacios Palacios, the alleged mercenary involved in the July 7 murder.
Palacios Palacios has been held by Jamaican police since October 11, when he was apprehended in a central parish.
The Jamaican Foreign Ministry, in its first public comments on the matter, confirmed that it had received “documents” from Colombian and Haitian authorities.
The contents of the documents were not disclosed.
Haitian Foreign Minister Claude Joseph, however, confirmed that his government had requested that Palacios Palacios be “transferred” to the Haitian authorities who are leading the investigation into the murder of Moise.
He acknowledged that in the absence of an extradition treaty between the two countries, there was no legal basis for the request.
“So that’s the word we used, transfer, which is international cooperation,” Joseph explained in an interview with The Sunday Gleaner.
The Colombian Embassy in Kingston did not respond to questions posed on November 11.
Jamaica’s foreign ministry said the “documents” submitted by the two countries have been forwarded to relevant ministries, departments and government agencies for “legal review.”
“MUST BE TREATED CONFIDENTIALLY”
“In this context, it must be treated confidentially,” said Delona Flemming, director of public relations and media affairs, in a November 13 response to questions posed by The Sunday Gleaner.
The Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs was not surprised by Jamaica’s position.
“I am waiting and will continue to speak to my counterpart in Jamaica to show them why it was important to send Palacios to Haiti to face justice,” he said.
“I have no doubts that the Jamaican authorities will transfer Palacios here,” Joseph added, explaining that his confidence was based on offers of assistance from CARICOM member states in the days following Moise’s assassination.
Palacios remained in local custody in an undisclosed location until yesterday, more than a month since he was fined $ 8,000 or five days in jail by a parish court judge who also ordered his deportation for illegally entering the island.
Days after the October 15 court order, what was supposed to be a routine eviction was quickly dropped after the high-value target in one of the hemisphere’s most notorious modern murders was reported by the ‘International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), sources said. The gleaner at the time.
Moses was shot and beaten to death in his private residence by 28 mercenaries – including 26 Colombians – around midnight on July 7, Joseph charged.
He declined to discuss Palacios Palacios’ alleged role in the attack.
Forty-four suspects, including three Haitian-Americans who resided in South Florida in the United States, and members of the former president’s security services have already been taken into police custody.
Colombian suspects among the detainees accused Haitian police of using force and pressure to make them confess their roles, according to a report by the Miami Herald.
The accusations, the newspaper said, prompted the Colombian government to write to officials in Haiti expressing concerns about the treatment of its citizens and respect for human rights.
Concerns over the safety of detainees escalated further after authorities confirmed that a suspect, former police commissioner Gilbert Dragon, died from complications from COVID-19.
Joseph said that to his knowledge there had been no human rights violations against any of the suspects.
“Colombians, so far, are treated well. We haven’t heard any complaints about the way they are being treated in prison, so that shouldn’t be a problem, ”he said, urging the Colombian authorities to understand the need to cooperate with the investigation into the matter. assassination of the country’s head of state.