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St Lucia gov't admits no quick fix for extra judicial killings by police

Friday, May 11, 2018

CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) - The St Lucia government says there is no "quick fix" into the alleged extra-judicial killings by members of the Royal St Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) and has accused the former administration of making a mess of the situation.

Earlier this month, human rights attorney, Mary Francis, expressed concern that the probe into the alleged extra-judicial killings by police officers between 2010 and 2011 was still dragging on.

Francis said the situation represented a stain on the police and the island and earlier this week, president of the Police Welfare Association (PWA), Travis Chicot, complained of the impact the situation is having on officers who have been implicated, adding that “justice delayed is justice denied.”

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet told reporters that while he is concerned about the situation, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Daasrean Greene, has to go through a process.

“I think he recognises the problems that it is causing, but at the same time he has to make sure as the DPP that he is doing things correctly and I don't think this is something you can necessarily put a timeline on,” he said, adding that his administration has done everything possible to provide the DPP's office with the necessary resources.

In 2015, the then Kenny Anthony government said it had received a report of an investigation carried out by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) into the alleged extra-judicial killings.

The report, known as the IMPACS (Implementation Agency for Crime and Security) report, followed the probe into allegations of 12 unlawful killings by the police.

In August 2013, the United States suspended all forms of assistance to the RSLPF, citing allegations of serious human rights violations.

“The Department of State has made a policy decision to withdraw training and material assistance to the Royal St Lucia Police Force due to credible allegations of gross human rights violations,” the US State Department said in a statement then.

Prime Minister Chastanet said that while he has greatest confidence in Greene, who is trying to get the IMPACS issue resolved “unfortunately the former government really made a mess of this situation”.

He recalled that comments made by Anthony had not helped the situation and the office of the then DPP was not allowed to be involved in the process.

“So to say that it has been ongoing for all these years is an unfair statement when it comes to the current DPP and certainly my administration. It has only been since we got in that we hired the new DPP and got the resources necessary that the investigation has started,” Chastanet said.



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