Jamaica to Deport Colombian Wanted in Haiti President Assassination

Authorities pose for a group photo in front of the portrait of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise at at the National Pantheon Museum during his memorial service in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Moise was assassinated on July 7 at his home. (AP Photo/Joseph Odelyn)
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A picture of the late Haitian President Jovenel Moise hangs on a wall before a news conference by interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph at his house, almost a week after his assassination, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo

KINGSTON, Jan 1 (Reuters) – A former Colombian military member implicated in last year’s assassination of Haiti President Jovenel Moise will be deported from Jamaica to his home country on Jan. 3, Jamaica’s attorney general said on Saturday.

Mario Antonio Palacios, 43, is accused by Haitian authorities of forming part of a mercenary group that assassinated Moise in July during an assault on his private residence, during which his wife was also injured.

Palacios was arrested in Jamaica last October and convicted for illegally entering the country from the Dominican Republic.

Jamaica’s government had issued a deportation order for illegally entering the country. But the island nation has no formal extradition treaty with Haiti, where Palacios is wanted, a local police spokesman said.

“The information supplied did not link him to the assassination and essentially indicated that he was a suspect for attempted armed robbery, without any detail,” Marlene Malahoo Forte said in a statement to Reuters.

“Our attempts to get further and better particulars from the Haitian government were unsuccessful.”

Lawyers for Palacios have asked for his immediate release from Kingston’s Horizon Adult Remand Centre, arguing that his detention is unlawful, she said.

Neither Palacio’s lawyers nor Haiti government officials immediately responded to requests for comment.

Reporting by Kate Chappell in Kingston Additional reporting by Gessika Thomas in Port-au-Prince Editing by Marguerita Choy
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