Sun | May 22, 2022

Moise suspect caught hours after holed up in Warminster – resident

Published:Friday | January 21, 2022 | 12:06 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
The ransacked interior of the house in which John Joel Joseph, an assassination plot suspect, was held in Warminster, St Elizabeth, last Friday.
The houses where Joseph family was found in Warminster. They face the court today on immigration charges.
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Accused assassination plotter John Joel Joseph and his family are believed to have surreptitiously moved into a house in Warminster, St Elizabeth, less than 48 hours before their arrest last Friday. Joseph, a Haitian, his ex-wife, and his two...

Accused assassination plotter John Joel Joseph and his family are believed to have surreptitiously moved into a house in Warminster, St Elizabeth, less than 48 hours before their arrest last Friday.

Joseph, a Haitian, his ex-wife, and his two children are expected to appear before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court today for immigration breaches. But that will be a dress rehearsal for more intense judicial proceedings surrounding his alleged role in the July 7 slaying of then Haitian President Jovenel Moise.

Residents of the rural district in the parish’s southeastern belt said that Joseph had recently moved to a section of the community called Brunswick after switching accommodations in another community because the owners of that hideaway had returned to occupy the premises.

The house in which Joseph was held had been previously occupied by an elderly woman who died recently and who was buried three weeks ago, said a householder with knowledge of the situation.

A resident told The Gleaner that he first saw Joseph and his family at the Warminster house sometime last Friday - the day he was caught.

Steep, rugged terrain leads to the houses where the Josephs were found, and the rooms appeared ransacked, with open suitcases filled with clothing, candles, water, condiments, and books.

Among the books were Gandhi ou L’éveil des Humiliés ( Gandhi or the Awakening of the Humiliated), Guide du Savior-Ecrire ( Guide to Writing Skills), a Bible, and the constitution du 29 Mars 1987 Amendee Le 8 Mai 2011 (Constitution of March 29, 1987 Amended on May 9, 2011).

A resident, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigations, said that the Haitians were very kind in interactions with him but that he had not been aware of their nationality before the arrest.

“Somebody say some guys live down there so and dem nice and dem kind, but a when this come out now we hear say a Haitian. Cause everybody look alike, you know,” the resident told The Gleaner.

The near cooped-up squalor in which the Josephs were holed up suggests the desperation to lie low, but residents were stunned when the community was blanketed with police operatives late Friday evening.

Householders of the rural district are concerned that the stigma of fugitive hideout might stain the community.

“Mi see all over the place vehicle, police car, bus ... block fi mi gate, dat deh gate. Mi cousin tell mi say the little boy run a say, ‘Lawd Jesus! Pure police down deh suh!” a resident said.

“All these things was very, very strange to me. When dem a tell me say man weh implicated in the Haiti president murder, mi say, ‘My God!’”

Joseph’s apprehension occurred almost two weeks after the deportation of former Colombian soldier Mario Antonio Palacios Palacios, another key suspect in Moise’s assassination, who was arrested in central Jamaica last October.

Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson on Sunday denied that Jamaica’s porous borders – with more than 140 informal ports of entry – have created a safe haven for international criminals and suspects.

“The fact that our intelligence led us to apprehending them suggests that it’s not really a safe place for people to flee to because we’ll find them if they come here,” Anderson told journalists during a press conference.