Opposition Leader: PM’s Speech “Wholly Irresponsible!”
Dr. Gale Rigobert the leader of the opposition has described the prime minister’s speech as “wholly irresponsible and lacking wisdom.” In a statement to the media she said the prime minister has compromised the national security of the state and has threatened the chance of realizing the very justice that we would all like to see.
“The Prime Minister should have sent the report to the DPP without comment,” Dr. Rigobert said. She has also urged that a copy of the report be made available to her and members of Parliament for careful review without delay.
Prime Minister’s press secretary bites back!
In press statement on Tuesday March 10, Jadia JnPierre Emannuel, the prime minister’s press secretary advised this was not a time for politics. She note: “The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Gale Rigobert, accused the prime minister of ‘damaging the morale of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force.’ ”
Observed Emannuel: Rigobert, in a complete 360 from her earlier utterances, says the prime minister should have sent the IMPACS report to the DPP without comment. “It is unbelievable,” said the press secretary, “that someone who earlier called for the release of the report would make such statements. Further, in a television interview with HTS News on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, Dr. Gale Rigobert requested the release of the report, on the basis ‘it will help to lift the dark cloud that hangs over heads of men and women of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, persons affected and the nation at large.’
“The Opposition Leader went on to say that the report has implications for all citizens and the RSLPF, as it continues to provide security to the people of the country and so the time has come to make the findings public. It is time that Dr. Rigobert ends her vacillation, waffling from one issue to the next. She must let the citizens of the country know where she really stands on major issues. The government of Saint Lucia warns the Leader of the Opposition to stay away from politicizing the issues contained in the report.”
Frederick Queries Credibility of IMPACS Report
Cana – Castries Central MP and former Housing Minister Richard Frederick has raised questions about a damning report compiled by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force that investigated allegations of extra judicial killings by members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force.
The MP is quoted as saying: “I am not sure that the exercise was worthwhile because what the report contains is essentially persons speaking out of emotion and the veracity of what they said was never tried or tested through cross examination.”
As far as he is concerned, that raises questions of credibility, especially when the persons giving testimony are related to the individuals who met their demise.
In private life a lawyer, Frederick also took issue with Prime Minister Kenny Anthony’s announcement on Sunday that the report of the Jamaican investigators would be passed on to the DPP to determine the way forward.
“It is not a situation where the DPP can do what she pleases,” he went on, “given the fact that in some instances a court of competent jurisdiction has already handed down findings regarding the justification or lack thereof for the killings.”
He noted that once the court has ruled the DPP cannot then proceed to investigate criminal liability.
King Denies Involvement
CMC – Former Prime Minister Stephenson King has denied claims that he was involved in the execution of Operation Restore Confidence or that he instructed the police to use their firearms to bring local crime under control.
King told reporters that Operation Restore Confidence was intended to provide intelligence and surveillance and to encourage the public to cooperate with the police.
Police Commissioner: “My Conscience is Clear”
Police Commissioner Vernon Francois has denied reports that he may have turned a blind eye to wrongdoing by his officers during Operation Restore Confidence.
Francois has said that he jealously guards his integrity and is not involved in anything remotely corrupt or unlawful.
With regard to the report Francois said: “I was hoping that we would have been at the stage where definitive statements would have been made about dealing with the situation as it relates to the government of Saint Lucia and the United States, but we are still at the stage where a lot of unproven allegations are being made.” According to Francois, there was need to move beyond the stage where people are still “staying in the dark under the bushes” and making allegations. “It is time to provide evidence and there is the need for the laws of natural justice to be set in motion,” he said.
According to Francois, his conscience is clear.
Mary Francis: “I am Disappointed”
Attorney and human rights activist Mary Francis has called for a full disclosure of the IMPACS Report. She has also expressed her disappointment with the prime minister’s address on Sunday.
“I am not happy with the state of affairs and the decision to keep the report a classified document,” Francis said.
“The report should reveal who was behind the whole idea Operation Restore Confidence, and its execution.”