MAYERS: ‘E.U. IS CORRECT’.
THE backlash over the IMPACS report continues. The European Union has issued a statement calling on the Government of Saint Lucia to follow due process in its prosecution of the matter.
The EU’s statement comes on the heels of an announcement by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony at his party’s recent 65th anniversary celebrations in Vieux Fort that the former Home Affairs and National Security Minister, Guy Mayers was responsible for IMPACS a point Mayers has declined comment on, for “legal reasons”.
The EU statement also comes two weeks after the Director of Public Prosecution, Victoria Charles- Clarke, threw cold water on the IMPACS report saying that, for the most part, it constituted hearsay and did not contain the evidentiary material in the form required under Saint Lucia’s laws for prosecution of a case.
The government, since Charles-Clarke’s revelation, has remained mum on the matter, until Dr. Anthony’s platform announcement warning Mayers to remain quiet since he was responsible for the situation.
Home Affairs and National Security Minister, Phillip La Corbiniere, has yet to comment on the EU statement. Reports are that he is on sick leave and unable to comment until the time that he returns to office.
Now the EU, in reiterating its support and commitment to the development of Saint Lucia and the challenges the island faces as a vulnerable island state, is calling for due process to prevail following the Prime Minister’s public statement in March of this year regarding the IMPACS inquiry into police killings of 2010 – 2012.
“Successful growth and development include effective legal systems and criminal justice. In this context, the public statement on 8 March 2015 by the Honourable Prime Minister Kenny Anthony on the IMPACS report is very important. Following this statement, due process must be followed. Without due process, there would be no effective criminal justice system,” the EU delegation noted in its statement.
The statement added: “The EU and its Member States call on those responsible to ensure due process according to the Saint Lucia criminal law system”.
It said effective judicial systems were critical for a country’s Human Rights record, adding that with much progress achieved on other fronts, it would be regrettable if this issue would undermine Saint Lucia’s reputation in the international community.
“It is in the full interest of all Saint Lucians, and of EU visitors and investors, to see this situation move forward,” the statement noted.
Mayers has since deemed the EU statement as a warning to the government that should be heeded.
“The EU is concerned that due process is not taking place and is calling on the government to ensure that due process takes place. I think this is a stern warning to the government,” Mayers said, adding that the warning came in diplomatic language.
“I support the comments in the EU statement. It is consistent with what I’ve been saying as a former Home Affairs Minister,” Mayers said.
The delegation said that the EU and its Member States stood ready to support Saint Lucia in following due process according to its criminal law system and is offering assistance under the 11th European Development Fund Regional Indicative Programme, which has 44 million euros assigned to programmers fighting crime and security.