Sunday 22 April, 2018

SLP: PM must reveal internal investigation results

The SLP firmly believes that the people of Saint Lucia deserve the highest standards of governance from public officials; both elected and appointed officials.

The website, Offshorealert.com, has published a case application submitted to the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida wherein the US Government is assisting the Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL) “to collect evidence from witnesses and to take such other action as is necessary to execute the request for assistance in a criminal matter…”

The application was made during the tenure of the former Government pursuant to a treaty known as ‘Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters’ (“MLAT”). After review, the US authorities believe that a prima facie case has been established, “specifically aiding and abetting a crime, aiding and abetting crime within, from outside jurisdiction, and breach of trust by public officer offences, in violation of Number 9 of 2009, Criminal Code of Saint Lucia”.

One of those public officers of interest in the matter is the current minister of Government and Parliamentary Representative for Castries South East, Guy Joseph. At the time, he was the Minister for Communication, Works, Port Services and Transport. He currently holds the ministerial portfolio of Minister for Economic Development, Housing, Urban Renewal, Transport and Civil Aviation.

Although the filed application was supposed to have been done under seal, its knowledge is in the public domain. This has led the Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, to publicly declare that he will launch an internal investigation to determine how that information became public.

It has been over a month since the Prime Minister made his declaration.  The Saint Lucia Labour Party is therefore calling on the Prime Minister, recognising the importance of the maintenance of public trust to the good governance of our nation, to share with the people of this country the findings of his internal investigation. We believe the nation also has a right to know the composition of his chosen team of investigators.

Given the gravity of the charge being investigated by the US authorities and the potential adverse implications to the very notion of honour and integrity of the Government and people of Saint Lucia, particularly  amongst our external partners and the international development community, we are asking the Prime Minister  to publicly  commit that he shall neither attempt to, nor will he tolerate any attempt to subvert justice, and further, that he will notify the people of Saint Lucia as soon as the US Government transmits  any information to Saint Lucia’s Attorney General relevant to the case.

All Members of Parliament took oaths to uphold the Constitution and laws of this land. The public demands and deserves that all Members of Parliament observe the obligations of their oaths and act with the highest ethical standards.