Friday 19 July, 2019

PM: “I honestly don’t know” status of IMPACs investigation

The Police Welfare Association (PWA) welcomed Prime Minister Allen Chastanet for a question and answer session at their annual general meeting (AGM) held on February 7, 2018.

PWA Public Relations Officer Zachary Hippolyte asked Chastanet for an update on the investigation regarding CARICOM’s Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) report on the alleged extra-judicial killings by members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force during 2010-2011.

The prime minister said, “In terms of where the case is at, the details of the case, I honestly don’t know. All I know is that the DPP’s office is been moving forward, that my understanding of what he is trying to do is to confirm whether in fact there is sufficient evidence to take this thing to trial.”

Hippolyte had asked for the update while noting that active duty officers under investigation in relation to the matter are experiencing mental strain over being hauled in like murder suspects weeks ago and having the issue persist without resolution for years.

The PM said that the nature of the investigation is to take the report and determine whether the evidence in it meets St Lucian requirements and standards. He said that until that is done, the report remains just hearsay and allegations. He stated that the Office of the Prime Minister’s role is to provide the resources for the investigation and that he does not involve his office in the investigation directly.

Chastanet said that it’s the responsibility of Director of Public Prosecutions Daarsrean Greene to make a determination based on examining the evidence and that the quicker that we can get the situation behind us, the better it is.

The PM also spoke on the Leahy Law and the suspension of aid from the United States following the alleged extra-judicial killings. The law bans assistance "to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights." Chastanet said, “I am at pains to also say to the U.S. and the Europeans, that if in fact the requisite to get off of the Leahy Law is that the prosecution has started, for all intents and purposes on my side, the prosecution has begun because the DPP’s office is going through the process.”

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