Jovenel Moïse murder: Suspect arrested in Istanbul over Haiti president's killing

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Samir Handal was stopped at Istanbul airportImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Samir Handal was stopped at Istanbul airport

A man said to be of "great interest" in the investigation into the murder of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse has been arrested in Turkey.

The businessman, Samir Handal, was detained at Istanbul airport, while he was in transit from the US to Jordan.

In total, more than 40 suspects have been detained.

Haiti's Foreign Minister, Claude Joseph, thanked his Turkish counterpart on Twitter for the arrest of Mr Handal.

Mr Joseph did not give any details of the allegations against Mr Handal, but Turkish authorities said they had acted because Interpol had issued an international arrest warrant for the businessman.

Mr Handal had reportedly been living in Miami in the US prior to his arrest. It is not known why he was flying to Jordan.

Even though dozens of people have been arrested in connection with Mr Moïse's killing, very little is known about the motive behind it.

The president was shot dead on 7 July by gunmen who stormed his residence in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

Many of those in detention are former members of the Colombian military, many of whom say they were hired to provide "security services" in Haiti and were not told about a plan to kill the president.

Christian Emmanuel Sanon, the Haitian doctor Mr Handal is alleged to have links to, was arrested shortly after President Moïse's murder.

The then-police chief Leon Charles described Mr Sanon as someone "who had political objectives", and accused him of recruiting the Colombian mercenaries.

However, analysts have questioned whether Mr Sanon, a doctor who lived in Miami, had the financial means and connections to mastermind such an operation.

The investigation into Mr Moïse has been slow and has been further set back by the resignations of key officials.

Investigators also reported receiving death threats and being intimidated.

CORRECTION 17 November: An earlier version of this story carried a photo which wrongly identified the man pictured as Samir Handal. The photo, which had been mislabelled by a news agency, has been replaced.