Former Haiti coup leader, wanted in US, arrested

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Onetime Haiti coup leader Guy Philippe, who has long been wanted by US authorities on drug trafficking charges but was recently elected to the country’s senate, was arrested on Thursday, police said.
Philippe, 48, was participating in a live radio talk show in a Port-au-Prince suburb when heavily armed antinarcotics police took position outside the studio, shooting into the air and sparking a panic in the neighbourhood, according to journalists at the scene.
Philippe emerged from the building in handcuffs and was loaded into a police vehicle.
A national police spokesman confirmed the arrest but declined to tell reporters the charges faced by Philippe, who has close ties to the country’s president-elect Jovenel Moise.
A local radio station reported that Philippe — who does not yet enjoy immunity from prosecution as a senator because he has yet to take the oath of office — was the subject of a US extradition request and was being taken to the airport.
A lawmaker who asked not to be named said Philippe was indeed at the airport, without offering further details.
Philippe, who was elected to represent the Grande Anse department in southwestern Haiti, helped lead an armed rebellion against then-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004 that led to Aristide fleeing the country.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has long sought Philippe on drug trafficking charges. The DEA was not immediately available for comment on the case.
— AFP

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