MIAMI ( Associated Press) – One of the main suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Mosse agreed Wednesday to remain in prison in Miami while he faces charges that he participated in the July 2021 assassination.
Haitian-American James Soulages, 37, made his decision public at a hearing held at federal courts in South Florida a week after his first US court appearance since relocating to this country.
“The parties have reached a settlement,” prosecutor Andrea Goldberg said in a brief hearing before Judge Lysette M. Reed, announcing that the government and the defense had agreed to hold Solage provisionally in prison.
“That’s correct,” said Solage’s attorney, Jonathan S. Freedman, immediately before a magistrate issued an arrest warrant, which could be reviewed in the future if the suspect’s defense deems it necessary.
Soulez has been incarcerated at a federal prison in downtown Miami since Tuesday, January 31, when he, along with three other suspects, was convicted of plotting and participating in the assassination of the Haitian president. The other three—former Colombian soldier German Rivera Garcia and Haitian-Americans Joseph Vincent and Christian Emmanuel Sanon—had already agreed to custodial remand at their first court appearance.
Standing with her lawyer on a podium in front of the judge, Soulez appeared calm, her wrists bound and her ankles tied. She was wearing a beige dress and did not comment.
Wednesday was a bail hearing in which the defense could ask for his provisional release. It is common for some defendants to do this to avoid spending long periods of time in jail while their cases are being heard in court. However, in cases where the allegations are serious, some lawyers choose not to seek bail.
Along with Vincent, 57, and Rivera Garcia, 44, Soulez has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder or abduction in another country and providing material aid and resources that resulted in the death. The three were among those arrested on July 7, 2021, after Moises was shot 12 times at his private home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital.
In all, seven suspects are in jail in South Florida for their alleged involvement in the assassination of the Haitian leader. The other three are Mario Palacios, who along with Rivera Garcia is one of about 20 former Colombian police officers facing charges, Haitian businessman Rodolphe Jaar, who served as an informant for the US government, and Haitian senator John Joel. Joseph.
According to court documents, two months before Moyse was killed, Vincent sent Soulage a video of a cat “reacting consciously” to the sound of gunfire. Solejas laughed, prompting Vincent to reply: “Jovanel would do so, but (first) if you guys really do it.” Solages then replied that “(this) cat will never come back” and “Trust me bro, we are definitely working on our final decision,” the documents state.
Later, in June, some 20 ex-Colombian soldiers were reportedly recruited to help arrest the president and protect Sanon, who aspired to become Haiti’s new leader. According to documents presented by prosecutors, Rivera Garcia was the leader of the group.
Authorities said there was a plan to detain Mose and take him to an undisclosed location, but it failed because the suspects could not find a plane or enough weapons.
According to the documents, the day before the assassination, Soulez lied to the other suspects that he was a CIA operative and that the mission was to kill the president. Shortly before the assassination, officials said, Solage shouted what it believed was a DEA operation to ensure compliance by the president’s security team.