FULL STATEMENT: DPP says IMPACS Report for the “most part constitutes hearsay” and investigation is incomplete

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FULL STATEMENT: DPP says IMPACS Report for the “most part constitutes hearsay” and investigation is incomplete
DPP Victoria Charles-Clarke
DPP Victoria Charles-Clarke
DPP Victoria Charles-Clarke

Below is the full statement from Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Victoria Charles-Clarke on the IMPACS Report which was submitted to her office by the government. At a news conference today, Nov. 26, 2015, in response to criticisms this week from a government minister during a political rally – asking her to step down for her perceived inaction on such reports – Charles-Clarke sought to clear the air by delivering the statement below.

STATEMENT – On Wednesday 4th December 2013 the Government passed legislation namely the Police Complaints Act No.7 of 2013 to allow special investigators to investigate complaints by the public against the police.

This legislation gave the Minister responsible for the police the power to appoint police officers from within and outside St. Lucia to conduct these investigations.  The investigators were appointed to conduct investigations into the 12 police shootings which occurred between 2010 and 2012. On 7th March 2015 at about 8:15 pm, a package was delivered to me by the Honourable Attorney General under ‘Strictly Confidential’ cover.

On 8th march 2015 I listened to an address by the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony at about 8:30 p.m on the IMPACS Report during which he stated inter alia ‘that the investigators have recommended that all police officers involved in the unlawful killings of citizens in respect of the files reviewed must be prosecuted’.

The Prime Minister also stated ‘the question whether anyone is to be prosecuted is solely for the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine after evaluating and assessing the probative value of the evidence placed before her. Likewise it is for the Courts to pronounce the innocence or guilt of any person who may be charged. The most the executive arm of Government can do is to provide the resources to the DPP to carry out the duties and the responsibilities assigned to her by our Constitution’.

At the time of receiving the Report I was engaged in a murder trial of Johnathan St. Rose et al, which lasted about three months. Thereafter I began the prosecution of Eugene St. Romaine for the homicide of Verlinda Joseph which went on until mid June when the High Court building was closed down for renovations and repairs. In June 2015, I wrote to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Legal Affairs requesting the appointment of a Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions and two senior Crown Counsel.

It was my hope that the appointment of the additional staff which was long outstanding would have released me from my daily duties to enable me to focus my attention on the IMPACS Report and also provide much needed assistance to conduct research in the matter. To date no additional appointments have been made to the staff compliment of the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions.

It should be noted that I have been operating without a Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions since 2010 and without a full compliment of 10 lawyers approved for my department since 2004.

The package I received from the Honourable Attorney General was entitled “Investigations and Review of all Instances of Killings by Police Officers of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force During the Period 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2011”. There was no cover note or accompanying material.

Given the significance and high public interest in this matter I took some time to carefully and thoroughly peruse what I received. I also had to undertake the necessary legal research and examine the applicable law. It proved to be a tedious and difficult exercise as the Report had not been prepared in the manner and form of an investigation file.

Instead it was presented as a review or opinion by a team of investigators. The Report for the most part constitutes a summary or commentary, as well as analyses or assessments, conclusions and recommendations by the Investigation Team. The Investigation Team also made numerous allegations of infringements of some of the gravest and most serious offences under our Criminal Code.

They also made several recommendations including that ‘all persons involved in extrajudicial killings must be prosecuted’. Throughout the entire report references were made to investigation files, witness statements, interviews, and documentation seen or reviewed. However none of these documents or material was presented to me.

As Director of Public Prosecutions I am empowered under Section 73(2) of the Constitution to initiate, undertake and discontinue criminal proceedings. My role is to assess evidence whenever it is alleged that an offence has been committed to determine whether the evidence is credible, reliable and admissible.

I must examine the source, form and content of the evidence and the circumstances under which that evidence was obtained. I can only do so if and when I am provided with that evidence.

Section 73 (6) of the Constitution states that in the exercise of the powers vested in the Director of Public Prosecutions by Subsection (2), the Director of Public Prosecutions shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority. As Director of Public Prosecutions I cannot be expected to mount a prosecution on hearsay or someone else’s assessment of the evidence. It is the Director of Public Prosecutions or someone to whom that authority has been delegated who must determine whether the evidence is sufficient to establish the elements of an offence and whether the evidence is admissible in accordance with the laws of this country.

This can only be done by applying the laws of evidence and procedure which governs criminal matters in St. Lucia. I must also apply the Full Code Test for the prosecution of cases established by the International Association of Prosecutors and adopted by my office in 2011 which has two limbs:-

  1. the evidential test – whether there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and;
  2. whether it is in the public interest to prosecute.

While both limbs must be satisfied the former prevails. This test can only be satisfied by weighing the evidence supplied against the legal requirements to determine whether the evidence is sufficient, credible, reliable and admissible. I also have to determine whether the investigation was proper, thorough, objective and fair. This is an exercise I perform every single day when I make decisions whether or not to prosecute cases presented to me by the police or other law enforcement agencies after an investigation has been conducted.

What I received did not permit me to do so. The Report for the most part constitutes hearsay. Save and except one expert report the Report did not contain the evidentiary material in the form required under our laws for prosecution of a case. As indicated before, the actual evidence or evidentiary material was not presented to me.

Section 3 (7) of the Police Complaint (Amendment Act) which amends Section 18 of the principal Act states:

‘Where in any investigation authorized by the Minister, it appears to the investigator or lead investigator that there is prima facie evidence of criminal conduct, he or she shall transmit to the Director of Public Prosecutions all evidence, statements and other relevant materials arising from the investigation’.

This was not done. Accordingly I have written to the Honourable Attorney General who delivered the Report, and the Honourable Minster of Home Affairs who is the designated Minister under the Police Complaints Act asking for compliance with Section 3(7) of the Act and requesting among other things all the evidence referred to by the Investigation Team in the Report.

The investigation team has also indicated that the investigation is incomplete pointing out several outstanding areas which require further investigation.

It will therefore be necessary for the investigation to be completed and all the evidence, statements and other relevant materials be furnished to the Director of Public Prosecutions in accordance with the Police Complaint’s Act.

(35)(5)

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30 COMMENTS

  1. To imagine that labour party supporters and the spaced toothpified Jadia were busy celebrating how they got the DPP to finally call a press conference, not in the least bit understanding that lucians are not stupid, and that regardless of what the Kamier Rouge does....they just don't look good! Stanley is the same dude who served as witness to much of Richard Frederick's Marigot Land deals....In fact many of the SLP true believers don't even like the bad suit wearing Felix! The sarah Flood Tsunami is coming back to Castries central.....better collect all the side money off those contracts while you still can! The fact is that the SLP has failed to deliver on any of the promises they made, including jailing the supposed thieves of the town and village councils of the previous administration. Stop handing these reports to the DPP, and try handing them to the police commissioner.......I swear that Kenny can only teach law!

    (5)(0)

  2. It had to take a comment from Stanley Felix to wake this woman up. The whole time we st Lucian's were not given an update about cases handed over to her. Now because her job is being threatened now she's on TV giving an earful. What a laugh. We need more Stanley felixes because apparently that's how people like her are going to be exposed. Lady do the job we are paying u to do stop sitting on your lazy ass.

    (2)(9)

    • Nothing is worse than a party hack who sees only what they want to see when it suits them and ignores other items at their convenience. Not to worry the party hack culture is in the minority...the swing voters...generation X, Generation Y and the millennials are the ones that dominate in numbers and we are a savvy bunch. You comment simply shows your complete lack of understanding of the justice system and the criminal code that governs criminal cases. May be we should give you the job and see what you can do with it...if anything at all!

      (4)(1)

  3. Brilliant Mrs "DPP". Although it may be a lot of reading for some it was definitely worth my time. Some things we take for granted. For example, the average St. Lucian must know by now that one cannot prosecute without evidence. Accusing is one thing but proving your accusations is an entirely different matter.

    Of what was made public by the Hon PM in the IMPACS report It was obvious that the investigators were injudicious in their pronouncements. For example these investigators didn't accuse the police of wrongdoings but rather they "convicted" the police like they already had conducted a secret court hearing. I was surprised by the tone and directness of their language and wondered whether they were qualified for the task or whether they were just disrespectful of St. Lucians and therefore contemptuous.

    Even our media tries as much as possible to used the words "alleged" and "accused" so as to remind readers that in the eyes of the law people are innocent until proven guilty. The investigators may have stumbled on some questionable police actions but they failed miserably in their pronouncements. At some point they lost their professional focus and treated the matter like an irate listener calling in on a radio phone in programme.

    Mrs "DPP" you are one of the best civil servants who ever served St. Lucia. Keep up the good work.

    (26)(1)

  4. I always knew that the truth would come to light. Kenny was holding back the findings on that report because he wanted to use the report as a political tool against the UWP. How stupid and how low Kenny would stoop just to discredit Chastanet and his men. Kenny, what goes around comes around, now you have tarnished your reputation. I look at you and your men as liars. Kenny you have to take fools like Stanley and go.

    (20)(1)

  5. I get the feeling , Stanley , Kenny and the dpp had a clandestine meeting and what was discussed at that meeting is what that has been unfolding this past week.

    (6)(1)

    • I get the feeling as is normally the case that The Prime Minister and Company discussed what they should talk about at their Castries Market step meeting and pointed out the need to to some diversions and the impacs report and the DPP was the best target. It was then proposed who should be the one to speak up about it. A lone fool in the corner raised his hand like a giddy school boy and said I will. Enter Stanley Felix...
      The SLP did not bargain for the response that was given by the DPP and so as I hear it they are in the throws preparing a response to her statement. Good luck with that one SLP...the swing voters are smelling your coffee and it stinks...we are the ones you need to be afraid of...Mr Chastanet don't think for one second this makes you more appealing to the swingers...if you can't hold your party together you will not be allowed to govern. Get these men to tow the line. Then you may stand a chance...as for SLP the writing is on the wall...you are weighed in the balances and you are found wanting!

      (4)(0)

  6. Ah Hah!! I hate to say that i WAS RIGHT AGAIN!!! A report cannot be constituted as evidence and this is applicable to the Tows and Villages Council Reports. I further said the the PM holder of a law PHd. in this capacity knew that was the case. They were not expecting the DPP to come forward and say it. IN fact that is why they filed the latter as a civil suit ( with Astaphane a know supporter of the SLP, given undisclosed legal fees to prosecute).

    But who am I? Just another subscriber to this blog to the average person, so nobody evaluates facts that i present. However every single pronouncement that i have made has been correct. Alas, do you think that my expertise is of the average blogger?

    We have watched the PM make a mockery of our laws and jurisprudence to the point of even seeking an affirmative opinion on an alleged mistake in our Constitution from ECCA. Meanwhile the guardians of our legal rights stood by as many of the conspirators and co-conspirators represented the peoples' interest on both sides of the argument. I have also watched as the PM came to the house and inferred a completely new term in our Finance Act, that of a "BELATED GUARANTEE. "

    We also saw the PM purporting to take on the role of the Governor General in the Grynberg affair. When our Constitution clearly gives her the power to be the sole arbitrator on matters involving our minerals and sea. In fact the same Constitution actually prevents the GG from stating whether she was consulted or not. Therefore Mr. PHd being fully aware on this seemingly or allegedly acted on his own.

    This madness of usurping our laws has become so bold and pervasive that those who know better have been cajoled into a state silent concurrence.

    (17)(1)

  7. Victoria we love you.......they asked for it and you delivered.
    Those the Gods are about to destroy they first make them proud.

    (17)(1)

  8. Didnt alvie say there were no scandals in the slp reign? what do you call submission for prosecution with no evidence?.. .IMPACS as delivered by the honorable KDA

    (10)(1)

  9. I always suspected that Impacs was nothing but a hoax for votes.... well it is up in smoke. Blaming the DPP for impacs report hearsay! stanley you might as well put the blame on me.

    (13)(1)

  10. This woman is full of it... This woman is so incompetence.

    Her story is out and truth will prevail.

    It took her six moths to notice the report was not up to st Lucia standard.... Wow !!!!

    That why the criminals are have their way. .

    (3)(33)

    • u appear to be more incompetent than her. Didnt u read the article to see all the work that she has been doing, All the high profile cases, plus to carefully peruse the impacts report and the laws pertaining to it? Smh

      (4)(0)

    • Even in the face of clear facts backed up by the requisite quotes from the constitution and criminal act and the police complaints act...one who seems not to proof read their comments makes statements that amount to utter nonsense...I guess you miss school...you miss out!

      (4)(0)

  11. The economy is back on track - yeah right! I can hardly make ends meat, ppl are suffering, can't pay medical bills (not like some ppl who can get flown to Martinique for $64,000 free trip), cost of living higher than high and the economy is back on track? Well KENNY go ahead and 'ring that bell' let me and my family show you how much we believe that

    (12)(1)

    • Francine you see we were all under a misapprehension when we heard the slogan better days...we thought it was for St Lucia but that was not meant for the St Lucian public...that was meant for the ministers and parliamentarians who won their seats...

      (4)(0)

  12. This just proves how far the Labour Hacks will go un shifting blames in order to make themseles look good. How you'll attacking the DPP. When you'll know very well its you'll fault!! LUCIAN OPEN YOULL EYES. LABOUR MUST GO

    (15)(1)

  13. Where are the SLP Hacks? All those shouting hey hey!!! on the market step.... All of you'll smart phones, ipads, and laptops stop working?

    (28)(1)

  14. So all along this IMPACS thing was something geared at tarnishing the former administration? Oh my word. The prime minister tarnished the image of our beloved police officers, Sent home one of our esteemed Commissioners, Sullied the good name of Saint Lucia only to be hearing this foolishness? Right now i am more than convinced that anyone who love Saint Lucia would not cast a vote for this unconscionable morons in the Labour party

    (47)(1)

  15. Its is said dat u shouldn't play with fire before u get burnt Stanley Felix a lawyer by profession u just opened up a can a worm with serious repercussions however they Slp administration had the then comissioner to
    Retired in the public interest so what do the public think of kenny and tony now another waste of tax payers money for investigations is that we we good for this administration inquiry upon inquiry hw much money do kenny have to give to Astaphan his attorney .Lord God save the ppl of this country like Gipsy said somebody is stealing the soul of the nation

    (22)(1)

  16. I have to ask , does America even give damn with this? The competence of the leader is now suspect............ no difference from the previous set of idiots that were there before .........

    (8)(2)

  17. Who tell Stanley open his mouth? Lol. He may have unwittingly uncovered the government shortcomings pertaining to this whole affair. lol lol.
    All the while the Minister for Home Affairs must have been uncomfortable knowing he had to deliver.
    You'll will stop insulting the intelligence of St.Lucians.

    (21)(2)

  18. Well done Mr. Kenny, with the highest legal qualifications you did not see the problems arising from the IMPACS report?......... Yet still you choose to throw the white and black men and women under the bus, embarrass me and my country before the world. Hmmm, could it have been for an unfair advantage in the polls of the next general elections. After hearing this I have great difficulty in seeing red anymore. One man’s quest for power.

    (41)(2)

  19. How nice...Great job.its a died end...let the criminals fight in the cemetery.they took to much advantage ..our streets are a bit safer now.

    (21)(1)

  20. Understood. So why is the DPP used as a scapegoat? Why is an incomplete report given in the first place? Police, DPP and public left with the wrong end of the stick. So why the minister putting pressure on the DPP? Red/yellow, I taking what they say with a pound of salt.

    (36)(1)

    • Well done Mr. Kenny, with the highest legal qualifications you did not see the problems arising from the IMPACS report?......... Yet still you choose to throw the white and black men and women under the bus, embarrass me and my country before the world. Hmmm, could it have been for an unfair advantage in the polls of the next general elections. After hearing this I have great difficulty in seeing red anymore. One man’s quest for power.

      (23)(1)

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