PRESS RELEASE – Over the last two weeks, reports in the print media and on talk shows have suggested that the Government of Saint Lucia and more particularly, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Hon. Philip J. Pierre “is sitting on a report” that is necessary to bring closure to the Hannah Defoe case.
The government wishes to clarify the steps taken thus far, as provided for in the laws of Saint Lucia and to update the public on the status of the reports.
Immediately after the unfortunate incident, the Government of Saint Lucia launched an inquiry under the chairmanship of Mr. Everistus Jn. Marie to fulfill the obligations under the Electricity and Regulations Act, Cap 9.02. Section 6 states that serious accidents must be reported to the chief electrical inspector and that the minister may order an inquiry.
This inquiry is complete and the findings have been presented in the form of a report to the British authorities, contrary to what has been suggested. The records of the Attorney General Chambers indicate that the report was submitted on October 23, 2013.
Meanwhile, the inquest into the death of Hannah Defoe continues in accordance with the Coroners Act, Cap 2.16, Revised Laws of Saint Lucia. This is a judicial matter over which the Government of Saint Lucia has no control.
Therefore, it is erroneous to suggest that the government is impeding justice or has not fulfilled its responsibility in this case.
The Government of Saint Lucia continues to sympathise with the family of Ms. Hannah Defoe.