20:03 GMT05 August 2021
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    The Haitian president was killed by a group of foreign mercenaries on 7 July as the country struggled with an ongoing political crisis. The masterminds behind the plot have not been found yet, although local authorities claim to have arrested one of the people involved in organising the effort - doctor and pastor Christian Emmanuel Sanon.

    Ecuadorian immigrant and private lender from Weston, Florida, Walter Veintemilla, has disclaimed any association with assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse, after the country's authorities identified him as a person who took part in financing the hit.

    Veintemilla works at the Worldwide Capital Lending Group, a money-lending business based in Miramar, Florida, which provides cash at high rates of interest without excessive scrutiny. But in 2020, the lending broker got involved with CTU Security – a private security firm whose employees were involved in the killing of the Haitian president on 7 July this year. CTU's president, Antonio "Tony" Intriago, also recommended Veintemilla to a client of his, Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a pastor and doctor who lives in Florida and who also looms large in the investigation into Moïse's killing.

    The Weston lender funded what Sanon claims to have been a security escort for the doctor's trip to Haiti. Sanon reportedly came to the state in order to help its citizens weather economic woes and to "save the country from hell", but ended up being abandoned by his security detail just days before their involvement in Moïse's assassination.

    However, Veintemilla's lawyer, Robert Nicholson, said that his client had no idea the project he was helping to finance was in fact a plot to kill the president.

    "My client had nothing to do with the assassination. At no point was there any discussion or suggestion of a plan involving a violent overthrow of the Haitian government or the assassination of the president," the lawyer said.

    Instead, he believed he was funding an effort devoted to a peaceful transition of power. Sanon indeed has been seeking to lead Haiti since 2011. But there have been no reports until now that he was planning to resume his efforts in 2021 during the fateful trip.

    Nicholson revealed that his client provided the US investigators and federal authorities with all the documents, related to the loan, to prove he was not aware of the plans of the CTU Security mercenaries.

    Reports suggest, however, that the mercenaries themselves were not originally aware of the nature of their mission. They purportedly believed that their task was to escort Doctor Sanon, but, at some point, the financing stopped and the mission changed. The details of this shift remain unclear so far.

    Haitian authorities arrested Sanon, claiming he was involved in organising the hit in which Moïse was killed and his wife was injured. They said that the pastor called his superiors not long before the murder, but the authorities did not give any names of the masterminds behind the killing. Sanon reportedly called the people, who purportedly helped him organise his trip to Haiti, complaining that his security detail abandoned him. It apparently happened not long before the killing.

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    Haiti, assassination, financing
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