Suspect in Haiti Assassination Dies

( )- A former Haitian police commissioner who was among those arrested for his involvement in the July 7 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse has died from complications presumably linked to COVID-19.

According to Pierre Rene François, an official from the Penitentiary Administration, Gilbert Dragon 52, died on Wednesday at a Port-au-Prince hospital where he was taken after experiencing respiratory difficulties.

Dragon’s wife, Marie Leslie Noel alleged that she had been trying to get him transferred to the hospital for more than two weeks. She said she finally received authorization to have him moved, but her husband died during transport.

Noel maintains that her husband was unfairly imprisoned, claiming that he had been asleep in their home the night the assassination took place. She said when Dragon heard that police were looking for him, he voluntarily went to speak with investigators.

Gilbert Dragon, a former guerilla commander, served as police chief for the commune of Croix-des-Bouquets in the early 2000s. It was then that Dragon became involved with other police chiefs’ efforts to overthrow the Haitian government. In the 2004 coup d’état, Dragon served under Guy Philippe as second-in-command of the National Revolutionary Front for the Liberation and Reconstruction of Haiti.

“The dragon,” as he was called, was arrested on July 14 in connection with Moïse’s murder at the hands of a group of mercenaries who broke into his Port-au-Price residence. It is believed that Gilbert Dragon participated in the meetings planning the assassination and supplied the DEA clothing the perpetrators wore during the attack.

While some sources have attributed Dragon’s death to COVID-19, others would only confirm that he died of “respiratory difficulties” leading to cardiac arrest.

So far, 44 people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the assassination of Moïse, including 12 police officers. Among those arrested are 18 Columbians, most of them retired military personnel, and three Haitians with dual US citizenship.

Last Monday, Haiti’s National Police announced it will send a group of agents to Turkey to extradite Turkish businessman Samir Handal who was arrested last week in Instanbul in connection with Moïse’s murder.