National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis has denied that he or Prime Minister Allen Chastanet told the police to arrest Christopher Hunte.
“That would never happen. I would never do something like that and the Prime Minister would never do something like that. He would consult me and ask me ‘What’s happening’ and so on, but that never happened and it will never happen,” Francis asserted.
The former Deputy Police Commissioner made the remarks Tuesday night during Police Insight, aired by MBC Television.
Police arrested Talk Show personality Christopher Hunte on Sunday during an ‘unlawful’ ‘anti-Chastanet ‘ motorcade.
After being held overnight at Custody Suites in Castries, he was released on bail the following day after being charged with inciting an unlawful public march.
Hermangild Francis made reference to the last march for which the President of the Advocacy Group – Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia, Catherine Sealys, had applied to the police for permission.
According to the National Security Minister, Police Commissioner Severin Moncherry at the time felt he was not satisfied with ‘ a lot of things’.
“He called me and we spoke and he asked me for my advice,” Francis recalled.
“I asked him whether he was comfortable with it and he said he was not comfortable with it and I asked him why and so on and I was able to allay his fears and I told him certain things would have happened and I told him if he had granted permission that this would degenerate into a political rally, but we cannot deny the lady her right to demonstrate. But we knew what was happening and he gave permission and then you know what happened after that,” Francis told Police Insight Host, Zachary Hippolyte.
“I would never, if the Commissioner calls me for advice, I would give him my honest advice, but I will never call the Commissioner under any circumstances and tell him ‘Do not give permission’ or arrest anybody,” the Minister declared.
Francis explained that the Commissioner has to substantiate the reason for making an arrest.
He said he would not discuss the merits or demerits of Christopher Hunte’s arrest or the reason why he was arrested.
However, Francis asserted that Acting Police Commissioner Milton Desir and his Deputy, Wayne Charlery, are veteran police officers.
“I think they know the law fairly well and they would be able to implement the law, so they don’t need my assistance in any form or fashion to do what they are supposed to do,” the Minister stated.