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SECURITY FEAR? – Mary Francis Calls For DPP Action On IMPACS Report

Human rights advocate, Mary Francis. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]
Human rights advocate, Mary Francis. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]
Human rights advocate, Mary Francis. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]

HUMAN rights advocate, Mary Francis, says she is prepared to lead citizens in a protest march should the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Victoria Charles-Clarke, not give Saint Lucians an update on the stage of the investigations precipitated by the IMPACS report.

In an interview with The VOICE yesterday, Francis said the seemingly lax attitude from the DPP’s Office has become overbearing while a dark cloud remains over the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).

“This thing has gotten too out of hand and the DPP cannot sit down and think she’s all mighty. The DPP cannot be stronger than the people of Saint Lucia,” Francis said.

Francis said she had earmarked a protest march for last August to voice concerns over the state of the island’s justice system. However, mobilizing efforts have been hampered since she’s been planning the event almost singlehandedly while handling court matters.

Nevertheless, Francis believes that the “deafening silence” from the DPP’s Office over the past seven months on the status of the investigations into alleged misconduct by police officers accused of extra-judicial killings during “Operation Restore Confidence” needs to end.

“I don’t even know whether she has received the report,” Francis told The VOICE. “I have never heard her make a statement that she has indeed received the report and that she’s attempting to unravel and dissect the report. The Prime Minister informed us on March 8 that he was actually bent on sending (the report) to her office.”

Francis said the DPP needs to state publicly whether the investigation is a huge task for her considering her already heavy regular workload and whether she would need additional resources. She said Charles-Clarke should be cognizant of the “confusion, anxiety and unrest in the police force all because nobody really knows what’s going on”. The DPP, she said, “is now the key to bringing this thing to an end.”

“I would also refer to the situation as a hemorrhaging of the country because people are now beginning to wonder whether they can rely on the police or whether this thing is going to shake the police force to the extent that the security of the State will be at stake. It’s just not good that the DPP keeps quiet and says nothing,” Francis explained.

During the police crackdown, twelve men were reportedly killed by lawmen extra-judicially, according to U.S. authorities who later cut Saint Lucians police officers from any training they sponsored and organized. This led to Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony launching an investigation into the charges, resulting in the findings of an IMPACS report, elements of which he made public in a March 8, 2015 address to the nation.

Francis, who for years now has called on local authorities to raise the standards in the judicial system, said the investigations into the revelations made in the IMPACS report must be done with “some sense of urgency”. She added that the government’s hands are tied now in actually implementing recommendations because the DPP has probably not shown any clear sign as to where she’s proceeding on the investigations. Nevertheless, she said, too much is at stake.

“You cannot just keep them hanging on,” Francis stated. “Because of the integrity, even the evidence gathering, and so on, time delay is never good when you have those things, especially a serious issue as that one.”

Francis also chided the Minister for Justice, Victor La Corbiniere, for not saying much on the matter that has dominated media attention and public debates for quite some time now. She believes that he needs to issue a clear statement as well since the police force falls under his portfolio.

“He said he’ll say something at the right time. When is the right time? When will it be the right time? So maybe there’s an interest, politically, for the government to sit back and rely on maybe the DPP having too much work,” Francis told The VOICE.

For now, though, Francis said she will continue to keep the matter alive in order that the wheels of justice are seen to grind. However, she said she remains committed to seeing the DPP’s Office acts speedily to resolve the outstanding matter as well as the concerns of the citizenry.

“I am hoping that we would not have to seek other means of ensuring that this matter is dealt with more expeditiously than it has so far by the DPP,” Francis said. “If necessary, the people of the country will have to decide whether they will have to have some campaign to ensure that those matters are not swept under the carpet and turned into a political football. The right thing must be done in order for justice to prevail.”

Stan Bishop began his career in journalism in March 2008 writing freelance for The VOICE newspaper for six weeks before being hired as a part-time journalist there when one of the company’s journalists was overseas on assignment.

Although he was initially told that the job would last only two weeks, he was able to demonstrate such high quality work that the company offered him a permanent job before that fortnight was over. Read full bio...

5 Comments

  1. Mary Francis, you should know you are attempting to mislead a knowledgeable many on this fiasco. Since went its the DDP role to investigate a report as in the ” IMPACS report”. The DDP receives case loads from the police to investigate potential crimes and to the take them to court for prosecution. The hoop la over the twelve police killings. the courts did decide it was all lawful. The PM played with the constitution to have cases reopen for political mileage hence the” IMPACS report”. The real question: Is the ” IMPACS report” constitutional?

  2. The incompetence of Victoria Charles-Clarke is nothing short of an abomination. After being informed of the systematic murders of countless Lucian citizens, several months ago, this monumental embarrassment Victoria Clarke has yet to get off her ass to prosecute these Killer Cops who murdered innocent Lucians and planted evidence on the cadavers, along with their leader Vernon Francois Pinochet, who is planning to escape justice as soon as he is able to go into hiding, and take up residence in Brooklyn, NY.

    I am thinking that this incompetent Victoria Charles is another Mary Isaac, who has been promised some bribe by Chastanet to prolong the sufferings of the victims of this corrupt actions by a Murderous Cabal of Police Killers led by Vernon Francois. This incompetence on the part of Victoria must be investigated and she should be charged with obstruction of justice and gross incompetency.

  3. /

    This sister Mary Francis should have her statue, holding the scales of Justice in her hands, in Constitution Park. This would be a cleansing action for this wretched lot called Lucians, who love nothing more than seeing an old woman fall on these antiquated sidewalks to the exclamation, “E-GASS”. She is the most caring and courageous individual on this whole Island in her efforts to bring justice to the oppressed. May Allah guide her away from the worshiping of the Naked Caucasian dripping blood over her efforts and his minions, with their blanket of misogyny in their satanic rituals where she is denied the practice of cannibalism(eating the body of the white man Jesus)

    People are abandoning this evil and wicked savagery instituted by Lucifer, where human beings drink BLOOD and EAT HUMAN FLESH to obtain everlasting life. so I end with this Islamic prayer :
    Surah Al-Fatiha
    In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

    Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds (1)
    Most Gracious, Most Merciful (2)
    Master of the, Day of Judgment. (3)
    Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek. (4)
    Show us the straight way. (5)
    The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, (6)
    Those whose (portion) is not wrath and who go not astray. (7)

    Surah Al-E-Imran
    In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

    Say: “O Allah! Lord of Power (and Rule) Thou givest Power to whom Thou pleasest and Thou strippest off power from whom Thou pleasest thou enduest with honour whom thou pleasest, and Thou bringest low, whom Thou pleasest; in Thy hand is all Good. Verily, over all things Thou hast power. (26)

    “Thou causest the Night to gain on the Day, and Thou causest the Day to gain on the Night; Thou bringest the Living out of the Dead, and Thou bringest the Dead out of the Living; and Thou givest sustenance to whom Thou pleasest without measure.” (27)

  4. S-O-M:
    You and the whole lot of you all murderers in the middle east heading straight to hell. you miserable lot are causing people to sell whatever they have to get out of their home land to freedom, where? in the white man’s christian home. They will never go back, as long as you
    bunch rule their country. you must be very frustrated that you all are on the losing side, then
    again you will want to blame that on Chastanet, wont you.

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