PORT-AU-PRINCE A Haitian politician and former coup leader wanted for alleged drug trafficking and money laundering in the United States was arrested on Thursday, a police source said, days before he was slated to take up a Senate seat. Guy Philippe, who was elected senator from the southwestern Grand Anse region in a second-round election on Nov. 20, was arrested after a radio interview in Petionville, near the capital, Port-au-Prince. It was not immediately clear why he was arrested.
Philippe, who led a coup that drove Jean-Bertrand Aristide from the presidency in 2004, was suspected in 2015 of involvement in an attack on a police headquarters in the southern city of Les Cayes in which at least six people were killed.Haitian officials issued a warrant for Philippe's arrest over the incident, but his lawyers said it was invalid because he was a candidate.
Philippe would enjoy immunity in some criminal proceedings once in office. He was not scheduled to take his Senate seat until Monday.
(Reporting by Joseph Guyler Delva and Makini Brice; Writing by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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Published Date: Jan 06, 2017 06:15 AM | Updated Date: Jan 06, 2017 06:15 AM