The American suspected of masterminding Haitian assassination planned to steal presidency - police
- President Jovenel Moïse was shot dead by a group of assailants at his home last week.
- Haitian police said on Sunday they had arrested one of the masterminds of the attack.
- They said Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a Florida doctor, wanted to seize the presidency and hire the hitmen as his guards.
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The American man suspected of hatching the plot to assassinate Haiti's leader wanted to steal the presidency for himself and hire the killers as his bodyguards, police have said.
President Jovenel Moïse was shot dead in the bedroom of his Port-au-Prince home on July 7. The Haitian police said 28 people carried out the attack and, as of Monday, 21 people have been arrested in connection to it, Reuters reported.
On Sunday, Léon Charles, the country's police chief, announced that they had arrested a man believed to be one of the masterminds of the operation, the Associated Press reported.
Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a 63-year-old Haitian-born American who worked as a doctor in Florida, flew to Haiti in early June on a private jet with "political objectives," Charles said.
Some of the alleged hitmen joined him on the plane, Charles said.
According to Charles, Sanon planned to steal the presidency from Moïse, and wanted to hire the hitmen who carried out the killing to be his personal bodyguards.
At Sanon's home in Haiti, the police found a hat bearing the logo of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, 20 boxes of bullets, gun parts, four car licence plates from the Dominican Republic, and two cars, The Guardian reported.
The assassins reportedly posed as members of the DEA moments before they killed Moïse.
The men were initially hired to travel to Haiti to protect Sanon, but their orders soon changed to arresting Moïse, Charles said.
Two Haitian Americans arrested by police had told authorities that the group's intention was not to kill Moïse, but to arrest him and take him to the presidential palace, the Miami Herald and Reuters reported.
The pair said they were translators for the Colombian commando unit and had an arrest warrant for Moïse, but that the president was dead by the time they arrived, according to Reuters.
It is not clear who had issued the arrest warrant and how the men would have obtained it.
After Moïse, who was shot 12 times, was dead, one of the suspects phoned Sanon to update him, Charles said.
In a 2011 video posted to YouTube titled "Leadership for Haiti," Sanon slammed Haiti's political elite. "They don't care about the country, they don't care about the people," he said.
Haiti has asked the US to to send troops to help stabilize the country, but the US was still "analyzing" whether to do so. Senior officials from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security arrived in Haiti on Sunday to discuss how the US could help, The Washington Post said.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told "Fox News Sunday" the US was considering its options.
"We're analysing it, just like we would any other request for assistance here at the Pentagon. It's going through a review," he said.
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