Francis Feels Vindicated As US Lifts Some Sanctions Against RSLPF

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National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, has told reporters that he feels vindicated after the United States last week announced the lifting of some sanctions against the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).

United States Ambassador to Barbados and the OECS, Linda S. Taglialatela, Friday announced that her country will resume full cooperation with and assistance to a number of local police units.

The US Department of State announced in 2013 a policy decision to withdraw training and material assistance to the RSLPF due to ‘credible allegations’ of gross human rights violations.

The sanctions were imposed under the Leahy Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA), commonly referred to as the ‘Leahy Law’.

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The allegations of extra judicial killings by some members of the RSLPF arose out of several fatal police shootings in 2010-2011 during an anti-crime offensive dubbed ‘Operation Restore Confidence’.

An investigation by CARICOM’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) produced a report, excerpts of which then Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony read on national television.

Among other things, the report said police officers staged a dozen shootings and reported them as murders by unknown assailants, planting weapons at the scene.

Responding to the easing of the US sanctions against the police here, Hermangild Francis explained that it was a process.

“Not everything within your reach you can give a particular date, but we knew we were in conversations with the Americans, we knew what we were doing,” Francis, who had indicated that there would be some movement on the issue before the next general elections, said.

And he disclosed that of the 25 recommendations of IMPACS, at least 20 have been implemented.

“Right now we are trying to look at the special investigative unit. The legislation is before the AG and as soon as that is passed, you are going to see that. So you will have police officers being removed eventually from the police force, not having anything to do with the police but having the same powers and privileges as a police officer – it’s almost like INDECOM in Jamaica, where you are going to have a retired Judge to be the head, you have investigators and when the matters are investigated it is sent to the Judge,” the Minister explained.

He said the Judge would review the evidence and if there is sufficient evidence, the matter would be sent to the DPP.





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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


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