PRESS RELEASE – In customary fashion, the Leader of the Opposition, Hon Dr. Gail Rigobert, has waded into the debate on the Lambirds’ Academy issue, without careful thinking and without putting the interest of this country at the forefront.
In her usual confused and contradictory posture, the Leader of the Opposition accuses the Government of Saint Lucia of returning students “to their native lands while a police investigation is underway” yet says in the same breath that it has taken the Government a month to respond to this matter. Which is it then?
The Leader of the Opposition and the UWP spokesman on this matter, Hon Guy Joseph, need to understand that when a criminal investigation is underway, it is a matter for the police and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The Government cannot behave in any manner that would compromise the actions of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Police. It is not for the Government to make decisions about how the interests of the students will be represented in a court of law in a criminal matter.
Likewise, it is for the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine whether all of the students can return to their homeland or some can return while others remain to testify.
Where the Government has a responsibility is to assist those who have been cleared by the DPP to return to their homelands. This, the Government of Saint Lucia is in the process of doing.
Why is it that the Leader of the Opposition and Hon. Guy Joseph want the Government to direct the Police and the DPP in this matter?
“Unquestionably”, said Prime Minister Kenny D. Anthony, “there are some very troubling aspects of this matter. Indeed, even before the utterances of UWP spokesman Guy Joseph last night on HTS television, the Cabinet of Ministers had already taken a decision to conduct an independent inquiry into this matter to determine, among other things, how the investors were granted approval, how the students arrived here and what were the arrangements made for their studies and welfare. Such an inquiry cannot, however, compromise ongoing investigations by the police or the filing of charges by the Director of Public Prosecutions”.
From the onset, the welfare of those affected has been a priority for the Government of Saint Lucia. As stated by the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security in two previous statements, Government is in contact with the UN International Organization for Migration “to secure the welfare of the affected individuals and to being decisive closure to this matter”.