DPP issues warning to media reporters

In the prevailing circumstances, the recent press release jointly put out by the offices of the attorney general and the director of public prosecutions gives much cause for pause. Not least of my personal concerns is that the release seems to threaten media personnel and regular citizens who choose to discuss publicly “the facts and the legal issues which will arise at the trial of Mr. Eugene St. Romaine for the murder of Verlinda.”
Can there be anyone in Saint Lucia not familiar with the facts of the case, by  which I mean the name and age of the victim, the scene of the crime, how “the system let Verlinda down,” the name of the only suspect and how long he has been languishing without trial at Bordelais?
Is there anyone who has not known for years about the two or three sexual assault cases involving Verlinda Joseph that were several times adjourned—until finally the little girl was in no position to receive justice?
If the system had denied Verlinda justice
while she was still alive, what are her chances ten years after her brutal murder?
Must the good people of Saint Lucia be denied the right to talk about that obvious miscarriage of justice?
For crying out loud, newspapers and other media have republished details of the horrifying incident on every anniversary of Verlinda’s death, even as the authorities seemed to be in no hurry to seek a resolution.
Surely it is quite possible to discuss the related facts and legal issues without in any way prejudicing the outcome.
Are the DPP and the AG suggesting the media and public are not free to discuss the time it has taken to try the suspect in a murder committed in 2002?
Must we be restricted from commenting on what appears to be in conflict with the Constitution of Saint Lucia?
Are we to be restricted from commenting on the bail conditions recently handed down in St Romaine’s circumstances?
Has there ever been a case that took as long to come before a judge and jury? Shouldn’t the DPP’s office, or the AG’s, have by now put public suspicions to rest?
While our Constitution does not state precisely what it means when it guarantees citizens speedy trials, surely that does not license the authorities to hold untried suspects indefinitely. Why should the media and concerned citizens be restricted from discussing what to them appears in conflict with the Saint Lucia Constitution?
Are the operations of the tax-funded DPP’s office above public scrutiny? How can “the voicing of opinions in the media,” as they relate to the evident shortcomings of local justice be counterproductive?
Is the DPP’s office not itself encouraging the disturbing lack of faith in local justice when it still cannot say, after all this time, precisely when Mr.  St Romaine will be given a chance to defend
himself against charges almost ten years old?
How many other suspects are right now languishing at Bordelais, unknown to the media?
The DPP’s release ends on this ominous note: “Media houses will be held liable for any breaches of the criminal law as stated.” Fair enough.                 Hopefully, everyone else will be held liable for breaches of the Constitution of Saint Lucia!!

Director of Public Prosecution Victoria Charles-Clarke: Is her office encouraging the lack of faith from the public in the justice system?

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