Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Mary Francis Questions Pre-Election Timing Of DPP’s Statement

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Attorney at Law, Mary Francis, has questioned the timing of Wednesday’s announcement by Director of Public Prosecutions, Daarsrean Greene, on the status of the long running probe into alleged extra judicial killings by members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).

The probe followed the fatal police shootings of 12 individuals.

The DPP announced Wednesday in a statement that he had advised the Commissioner of Police  that there was insufficient evidence ‘at this stage’ to bring charges against police officers in five of the cases.

Mary Francis, who is the Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights, told St Lucia Times she was surprised at the timing of Greene’s announcement, just days before general elections.

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it doesn’t look too good for the DPP because he had sufficient time to come out and make a statement. I mean  I have called upon him – he has been called upon by the police to make a statement. Why now?”

However, Francis said notwithstanding the timing of the DPP’s announcement, she was happy that he has decided to continue investigating seven of the cases, including the matter of the so-called ‘Vieux Fort Five’.

She recalled having pointed out in the past that there was already a verdict of unlawful killing handed down by a Coroner’s inquest in connection with the May 5, 2011 incident which resulted in the death of La Clery residents – Jn Baptiste Mc Farlane, Mitchel Cadette, Allan Louisy, Myron Dupal and, Kevin Ferdinand following a police operation in Vieux Fort.

Francis told St Lucia Times that she was looking forward to the matter being resolved soon, regardless of who forms the government after the July 26 general elections.

Hours before the DPP’s announcement regarding the status of the probe into the alleged extra-judicial killings, Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) leader, Philip J. Pierre had issued a statement declaring that his party had been ‘reliably informed’ about the impending statement.

“This is a desperate attempt to secure the votes of our police officers,” Pierre asserted.

“We sympathize with the police officers and their families, who over the past few years have been denied promotion, and note that this announcement is being made five days before the General Election and two days before the police officers themselves cast their ballots,” he said on Wednesday.

In this regard, the SLP leader recalled that National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, had  publicly stated that the matter would be resolved before the General Elections.

“And we can only speculate that the Director of Public Prosecutions’ announcement is more rooted in politics than it is in law. We call on our police officers not to allow this blatant politicking by the Director of Public Prosecution’s Office to sway them from doing the right thing on Friday, 23rd July 2021,” Pierre said.

One of the officers implicated in the alleged extra-judicial killings who spoke to St Lucia Times on condition of anonymity described the DPP’s statement as ‘ridiculous’.

“After so many years, people have to move on with their lives. I am disappointed – this is inhumane,” the officer asserted.

 

 

 

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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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