The recent comments of National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, asserting that the United States wants nothing short of prosecution in the alleged extra-judicial killings by local police officers, have been criticised by Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM) leader, Therold Prudent.
Francis indicated that Saint Lucia is moving to comply.
The alleged extra-judicial killings have become known here as the IMPACS case- IMPACS being the acronym for the the Caribbean Community’s Implementing Agency for Crime and Security, which carried out an investigation into 11 alleged extra-judicial killings by Saint Lucia police officers between 2010 and 2011.
But despite presenting a report on the probe, there have been concerns expressed locally that the matter has not been concluded.
LPM leader, Therold Prudent said the comments by Minister Francis are prejudicing the case.
“Not only are the comments prejudicing the whole concept of what happened here, but I believe the minister himself still believes that he lives in the era of colonialism where countries like the US, Canada, England and France can just dictate to us and we have to follow,” Prudent said in an interview with St Lucia Times.
“I don’t agree with this approach because it would literally mean that America is responsible for Saint Lucia’s law and the US is telling us what we should be doing,” the LPM leader asserted.
Prudent said Saint Lucia has to be able to judge what happened based on this country’s own investigations and its own laws.
“For heavens sake, we are an independent nation,” he declared.
The LPM leader said he understands that there is need to clear up certain things in the eyes of the international community and show the world that Saint Lucia is not a country that carries out extra-judicial killings and respects the rule of law.
But he stated that this must be done in accordance with local laws.
Prudent said that listening to the Minister of National Security, the impression is created that the minister only cares about getting a clean record in the eyes of the international human rights community.
“Yes, you need that but I am saying it cannot be at the expense of the country,” the LPM official told St Lucia Times.
He expressed the view that what is currently happening smacks of political expedience, rather than an effort to punish those who are guilty or exonerate those who are being accused.