screengrab haiti PM
'Train has derailed': PM speaks to CNN about crisis in Haiti
02:41 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Until just a few weeks ago, Rockfeller Vincent was the ultimate insider in the investigation into the still-unsolved assassination of Haiti’s former president Jovenel Moise, who was brutally gunned down in his bedroom in July.

Now he’s on the outside looking in – and it’s an ugly view. “The Haitian nation is living the worst political crisis of its history,” Vincent told CNN.

As Haiti’s justice minister, he oversaw the sprawling presidential murder investigation, which has implicated a Haitian-American pastor, dozens of Colombian hired soldiers, and members of Haiti’s own police force.

Then, on September 14, the investigation reached sitting Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

The country’s top prosecutor, Bed-Ford Claude, said he would ask for charges against the Prime Minister in connection with the killing, citing evidence of phone calls between Henry and one of the suspected masterminds on the night of the murder. He also requested that Henry come to his office for questioning.

That week, both Claude and Vincent were abruptly fired.

Rockfeller Vincent was fired from his position as Minister of Justice and Public Security in September.

Speaking from an undisclosed location on Friday, Vincent – who says he has gone into hiding since his firing – told CNN he thought it should have been the other way around.

“In all serious countries, once you are implicated in such an affair, the Prime Minister should offer his resignation. He should resign. And we are still waiting for him to resign. Because on the night of the president’s death, a few hours later … he had phone conversations with the president’s assassin,” Vincent said.

Vincent accuses the Prime Minister of trying to “cover his tracks” with the firings.

“When you fire the prosecutor and the justice minister and you place in his position someone who knows nothing about justice … what exactly are you trying to do?” he said.

Henry denies having anything to do with the killing. Speaking to CNN last week, he said he had “no recollection” of a phone call “or if it took place.”

‘The republic will be crushed’

Henry assumed the premiership with international backing a few weeks after Moise’s death, after a brief standoff with the previous Prime Minister. In the absence of a president, he will now lead Haiti until its long-overdue elections – which have been postponed again, until sometime next year.

The Prime Minister has often described solving the murder case as a personal mission. “Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No political maneuver, no media campaign, no distraction can deter me from this goal to bring justice for President Moise,” Henry told world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly last week.

According to Henry’s office, both Vincent and Claude were fired for breaking the law, which forbids prosecuting top officials without permission from the head of state – currently Henry himself.

But Vincent says he was sacked for refusing to fire Claude, which he describes as an ethically impossible demand given the ongoing investigation. “I told [Henry], ‘This is not possible. We are going to have problems. The republic will be crushed if you dismiss the public prosecutor,” Vincent said.