Attorney at Law,Mary Francis, has expressed concern that as the sixth anniversary of the death of the ‘Vieux Fort Five’ approaches, there is an ‘inordinate delay’ in bringing the matter to closure.
The “Vieux Fort Five’ – John Baptiste Mc Farlan, Mitchel Cadette, Allan Lenny Louisy, Myron Dupal and Kevin Ferdinand, were shot dead in 2011 by the police.
Law enforcers said that they were intercepting a robbery.
“2011, May 5th, I will consider that was one of the bloodiest days in the history of Saint Lucia in terms of police killings,” Francis declared.
She said some six years after the incident no justice can be found for family members of the deceased.
“The last DPP, we can recall the excuses that were made but we have a current DPP and I think it is more than time that some definite decision be taken as to the way forward and to get justice for the family members of those persons who lost their lives at the hands of the state,” Francis asserted.
According to her, the deaths of the ‘Vieux Fort Five’ did not constitute ordinary homicides but homicides at the hands of agents the state.
The outspoken Human Rights Activist observed that the main function of the police is to protect human life.
She accused the state of delaying the course of justice and turning a blind eye to what is required.
“Saint Lucians need to know exactly what took place,” Francis said.
She disclosed that she was very suspicious that the delay is being caused by persons who were involved in extra-judicial killings.
Francis recalled that an inquest into the five Vieux Fort deaths had returned a verdict of unlawful killing in the case of four of the men.
“I think the DPP to my mind has information which can allow him to go forward with prosecution,” she stated.
“If an ordinary civilian commits a murder or a homicide, in quick time they are brought before a court – why should it take six years to have this matter solved?” The Attorney at Law said.
She expressed concern that the passage of time could affect access to witnesses, thereby affecting the outcome of the case.