Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, responding to questions from reporters about the controversy surrounding Public Service Minister, Doctor Ubaldus Raymond, has declared that he must have all the facts.
He said it was not having any impact on the budget presentation.
In terms of the impact on Saint Lucia’s image, Chastanet expressed the view that it was still too early to make any predictions.
“We don’t know what the facts are,” Chastanet explained.
“As soon as we know what the facts are then people will be able to make a judgement,” the PM said in response to questions from reporters Thursday.
“All we know is what was presented to us.”
He recalled having asked the media some questions Wednesday.
“Who is the young lady? Who edited the information? Are the tapes that are there all the tapes?”
“Until we’re can answer all these questions we’re not going to really be in a position. All we have is one side of a story at this point,” Chastanet said.
“I am not here defending any actions, but before I make any pronouncements as to what we are going to do I must have all the facts,” the PM stated.
He said Raymond is still a member of cabinet.
“As you can see, he is not here. I have asked him to stay away – I’ve asked him not to go into office. I am hoping that I will have information very, very soon which again I will be able to make public, including a decision on how I am going to move forward,” Chastanet said.
“I have to say to you that every single person deserves that – you have all the facts before you are able to make a story,” he observed.
Chastanet recalled that Wikileaks Founder, Julian Assange, was arrested this week.
“You saw the statements by the head of Facebook (Mark) Zuckerberg in terms of basically saying that social media is out of control; and many of us are finding ourselves receiving information and we don’t know what the source of that information is. We don’t know who edited it – we know nothing about it,” the PM stated.
“So again, when information goes through traditional media sources, there is an assumption that you guys are doing your work and that you have answers to those questions,” Chastanet said.
“Certainly, I have not met the person yet who can answer the questions as to who is the young lady. Are the tapes that we have all the tapes? Who edited the information and why would she be doing it?”
When it was pointed out that it was the second scandal involving Doctor Ubaldus Raymond, Chastanet repeated that he has to have all the facts.
“It’s like in the first case. I see some journalists suggesting that I have been mute on the subject, but I said I was not going to be able to pass comment until the courts ruled. What was the ruling of the courts? What was the ruling? At the end of the day am I allowed to use evidence that was not even admissible in the courts?”
“At the end of the day, the Minister embarrassed himself and he embarrassed his family,” Chstanet said.
At that point a reporter reporter interjected “And the government,” to which the PM said :”And the government to some extent.”
“But at the end of the day, he who is without sin let him cast the first stone,” Chastanet declared.
“I can tell you that we are close to getting information and very soon we will be able to make a revelation and a way forward on this issue,” he said.