Chastanet says charges in misfeasance case questionable

Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, in his first public comments on the misfeasance case that has been reinstated against him, has said that the charges were very questionable in the first place.

“This is a civil matter,” the Prime Minister told reporters.

He asserted that the Court of Appeal has not passed judgement on anyone.

Chastanet said all the court has done is to indicate that it believes there were technicalities and mistakes that the Judge had made and asked that the case be reinstated.

He explained that now he is Prime Minister, it puts him in a very awkward position.

“This is a matter on which cabinet will meet – I will excuse myself from cabinet and allow for the Attorney General to advise government on the way forward,” Chastanet disclosed.

He revealed that on a personal basis he is seeking advice from his lawyers on the matter to review his options in terms of proceeding with the case.

In a ruling handed down recently, the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal reinstated a claim against Chastanet, alleging breach of trust and misfeasance in public office.

The action had previously been struck out by the judge hearing the case, which ruling has now been overturned.

On December 10, 2013, the attorney general of Saint Lucia filed a claim, which was amended on January 21, 2014, against Chastanet.

The claim also included Kenneth Cazaubon, former chairman of the Soufriere Town Council.

Several allegations were made in the claim.

Chief among the allegations was that Chastanet, as a then government minister and candidate for the United Workers Party (UWP) in the 2011 general elections, was involved in the expenditure of over $38,000 of public funds for personal and political benefit.