Minister of Home Affairs, Justice and National Security, Hermangild Francis, declaring that Saint Lucia’s justice system has been in tatters has asserted that the appointment of a new Director of Public Prosecutions is a start at putting corrective measures in place.
Attorney at Law Daasrean Greene has been appointed to the position effective October 17, 2016.
Greene’s contract is for one year.
The Minister told a news conference this afternoon that the DPP’s position is a constitutional one.
He explained that if the appointment is made in a substantive way then the person remains in the post until the age of fifty-five.
“The amount of work this new DPP will have to accomplish is going to be a phenomenal task,” Francis told a news conference this afternoon.
The Minister stated that Greene and the government should be given an opportunity over the period of one year to make an assessment of what has happened.
“After one year I am not sure whether Mr. Greene will be so inclined as to continue in the position or vice versa, whether the government will be satisfied to such an extent that we want to continue with him,” Francis observed.
He said the one year contract gives both parties an opportunity to reflect and review the performance and decide on the way forward.
“It is an Acting position,” the Minister disclosed.
He dis not foresee any problems with Greene’s one year contract.
“When you are acting you are sometimes more dangerous than when you are in the substantive position,” Francis stated.
The former Deputy Police Commissioner compared the situation to having a Police Commissioner.
“When the Commissioner is not present and the Deputy acts; the Deputy has all the powers and privileges of the Commissioner, so the Acting DPP has all the powers and privileges of a DPP ,” Francis declared.
He told today’s news conference that Greene will be able to perform adequately as the Acting DPP.
Asked whether during his one year tenure the new DPP will be able to deal with the IMPACS matter, Francis said:
“That is a very good question – now you are starting to get a little warm.”
He recalled that the IMPACS report had always been cited as one of the most pressing issues facing the new Allen Chastanet administration.
Francis said the Lambirds matter is another.
He expressed the view that both matters will prove very problematic for the new DPP.
“We have said it all along that if the new DPP requests that we get a Special Prosecutor for the IMPACS report, the Americans, the EU governments and our government are willing and ready to assist him in getting a Special Prosecutor – but he has to make the request,” the Minister revealed.
He said it should also be borne in mind that the new DPP has some 500 indictments to look at.
Francis explained that to help Greene do as well as he can during his one year, the government needs to give him some assistance.
“If he is very efficient; if he is very productive and he is inclined to continue then arrangements can be made,” the Minister told the news conference.
He said he had no knowledge as to whether Greene was the only applicant for the post of DPP.
Greene succeeds Victoria Charles Clarke who retired in March this year.
The government had raised the salary scale in order to attract a suitable client, saying that what was on offer locally paled in significance when compared with the salaries offered to DPPs in other Caribbean Islands.