NewsHunte Accuses Police of Abusing the Laws in Policing Public Protests

St. Lucia News OnlineJuly 1, 202223789 min

Castries, Saint Lucia, Sunday November 14, 2021:– Former Talk Show host Christopher Hunte, who walked free from a Castries courthouse last Thursday, plans to file a Civil Suit (supposedly for wrongful arrest) against the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) after being arrested and charged in June 2020 for allegedly “inciting public participation in an illegal march”. A local magistrate on November 11 dismissed the case against Hunte after the police failed to appear to prosecute. 

His daily TV talk show “RevoLucian”, hosted on Underground TV (UTV), was considered a thorn in the side of the then Allen Chastanet-led United Workers Party (UWP) administration.

The hold no punches, talk show host was arrested at a time considered by many as the beginning of the end for the former administration. Hunte’s weekday TV and social media appearances together with lawyer/politician Richard Frederick’s weekly “Can I Help You” talk show provided shocking revelations of alleged corruption and improprieties in the Allen Chastanet administration.

Hunte and Frederick’s exposures ranged from controversial deals allegedly involving Cabinet Ministers and allegedly spotty land purchase deals. During the 21-day campaign leading to the July 26 General Elections, the two TV programs became the staple daily diet for Saint Lucians interested in learning more about what the government sought to conceal from the public gaze.

One of the shocking exposures on the eve of the general elections was the upfront payment of $7.3 million, under urgent instructions by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance, for the procurement of Astrazeneca vaccines, which has not been received and is unlikely to be received because of allegations that the matter may be part of a scam. 

Another was a controversial land deal involving the then Prime Minister’s private lawyer and the estate of the late Edward Joseph, better-known as “Chef Harry”.

Through “RevoLucian”, he drew wide public support to the case of “Marjorie”, a lone and blind Saint Lucian standing-up alone to a multi-million-dollar Canadian firm backed by her government.

Hunte’s unchallenged exposure of official documents to support his various allegations, was also a constant source of worry and concern for the government and the UWP party, ahead of an upcoming General Elections.

Tresha Lionel – also a morning talk show host on UTV at the time – was also a constant thorn in the side of the last administration, for her daring approach to gathering information the UWP would have preferred to remain within the party’s ranks.

The ballsy Miss Lionel was even accosted by UWP supporters, including being (recorded and subsequently broadcast on her show) threatened by a prominent member to “spit” on and “hit” her with his walking stick — for daring to ask questions about results of an internal party meeting held in a government school.

Hunte, Lionel and Frederick were seen and treated by UWPees like Three Labor Musketeers during the election campaign, never mind their party had its own Sky TV and radio outfit with everyone from Peter Josie, Nancy Charles and Nicole Mac Donald to “The Bowtie Man”, “Champagne”, “Mister Theobalds” and “Dr Secret”, plus the near-daily presence of the then Prime Minister’s octogenarian father, Michael Chastanet.

Hunte never felt he wouldn’t have triumphed in the end, but his arrest had the visible effect of hardening his determination to see the back of a regime that had allegedly politicized policing to target citizens for being openly critical of the then government. 

Hunte, as one of the last police guests of the famous Custody Suites before it was bulldozed into another Castries car park, alway insisted his advocacy for regime change and revisiting the laws to deter the politicization of the police. “This is not about me, even though they wanted to make it about me,” he said after the case was dismissed. And revealing his next legal move, he added: “I have to pursue a Civil Suit… because I have to make sure that this cannot happen to anybody, ever again”

Hunte said it was “no fun experience being arrested for sitting in the back of a vehicle drinking water…” and insists while he was “a victim of political victimization”, he was “not the only one…” 

He recalled that day seeing “people who were stopped from passing at places like Anse La Raye” (which he also captured on video) “while others passed freely” and maintains that while others shared the same experience, “I was the one they wanted to name and shame!” Hunte has insisted he was arrested just for doing his job. According to him, referring to the “unauthorized” motorcade, “This was a groundswell of the people and I was documenting it and I was arrested.”

He’s also of the view that “No matter who is in government or opposition, Saint Lucia’s civil rights should never be affronted by people trying to ‘kiss up’ to a government.”

It’s for that reason, Hunte says, that he’s also calling for a review of the island’s laws governing public protests.

St. Lucia News Online

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