The Florida resident accused of orchestrating the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenal Moise intended to install himself as leader, police suggested Sunday. Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, "arrived by private plane in June with political objectives" and recruited the alleged assassins through a private security firm, said Leon Charles, Haiti's national police chief, in announcing Sanon's arrest. Sanon, who was born in Haiti but has been based in Florida for around 20 years, appears to have long sought to lead the country, the New York Times reports. In a 2011 "Dr. Christian Sanon—Leadership for Haiti" video on YouTube, he accused the country's leaders of plundering its resources. "We need new leadership that will change the way of life,” he said.
A now-defunct "Haiti Lives Matter" website described Sanon as part of a team "chosen to lead Haiti" and listed members of his "transitional government," including academics and a member of the country's United Nations delegation, reports the Washington Post. One person named on the site told the Post they had never heard of Sanon and don't know why their name was listed. "The whole thing is stupid. You’re not going to become president like this," the person said, adding that they hadn't lived in the country for years and have "zero intention of going to Haiti. Especially with my name now on a website." Police say that after Moise was killed, one of the suspects contacted Sanon, who then contacted two people police describe as "intellectual authors" of the assassination, the AP reports. (Read more Haiti stories.)