Sunday 26 January, 2020

Hilaire: 'Bizarre' UWP continues accusations despite defamation suit

Ernest Hilaire

Ernest Hilaire

Ahead of today's sitting of parliament, December 10, 2019, reporters spoke with First Deputy Political Leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) Ernest Hilaire on the recent exchanges between the United Workers Party and himself.

The UWP recently issued a release which said in part, "Dr Hilaire accused Saint Lucians of planning what is taking place in Dominica. The United Workers Party calls on Dr Hilaire to retract this statement and apologize to the people of Saint Lucia.  How dare Dr Hilaire in his bid to support his friend by any means necessary attack and hurt the reputation of his own country." 

It went on to raise the Juffali issue and made a connection to Dominica's recent news coverage in an Al Jazeera documentary saying, "The Al Jazeera documentary showed clearly that both Skerrit and Hilaire are deeply involved in questions surrounding the sale of diplomatic passports."

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Hilaire responded to a question asking what he made of the UWP continuing to repeat Juffali accusations despite his ongoing defamation suit against Prime Minister Allen Chastanet in the courts.

"This is absolutely bizarre, every time Unitedpac or the prime minister or one of his ministers says something, our lawyers actually put it in the folder to add to the list of evidence. It's bizarre, how do you say something about somebody, you are sued, you then come to the House and say since you sued me I'm going to investigate you, use all the resources of the state to investigate that person... to be able to defend a defamation case made against you personally and to continue to repeat those things knowing surely the lawyers would have said to him, the more you repeat that, it is called aggravated damages."

Hilaire went on, "Everybody knows... that I don't appoint ambassadors. I don't issue passports and he knows that because he now is appointing ambassadors so he knows that the governor-general on advice of the prime minister does it, they issue diplomatic passports... but you keep repeating it." 

"It's almost if I (the prime minister) don't really care about the courts, I'm going all out for broke, I'm going to destroy that man (Hilaire) as much as I can so even if he wins, his life is totally devastated but it's not going to happen that way," Hilaire said.

Hilaire also addressed rumors that he is going to be detained by law enforcement, "I keep being told it's going to happen... they were supposed to call me in on Friday, I was in Dominica celebrating, I was going to be called yesterday, I'm going to be called today, you know what, at the end of the day, when the accusations come we will deal with them."

Hilaire criticized public officials who have made public statements regarding holding evidence against him, wondering how persons who are not involved in law enforcement have come by evidence.

Hilaire noted he has an exciting program for his constituents for Christmas and will be enjoying the month of December and hoped nobody would try to disturb that by putting shackles on him.

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