Human Rights Activist and Attorney-at-Law Mary Francis has severely criticised the manner in which the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Victoria Charles-Clarke handled the CARICOM IMPACS Report.
Francis believes that the DPP had adequate time to deal with the report and said nothing should have stopped her from ensuring that she dealt with the issue properly before heading to pre-retirement leave.
“If she received that report since March…in terms of the statements that were missing, couldn’t she have gone back to the source and request that information that was so vital to assist her?” she questioned.
The human rights activist said further procedural lapses should not have even prevented her from doing what she was “supposed to do all those months”.
But Charles-Clarke has played up being swarmed with other important issues, particularly working to reduce the number of persons on remand and the backlog of cases.
“I think she could have behaved differently. From March she had the report and realizing the importance of this whole matter she should have treated the thing with more urgency,” Francis added.
Back in October, Francis had said that Charles-Clarke was being lukewarm in her approach towards addressing the IMPACS Report, while noting that the integrity of the inquiry was being undermined.
Francis had said too that despite the DPP has a whole lot of independence, she also have the duty and is accountable as a public servant to make a statement on this situation.
“We have to continue to advocate for justice for these people. I am not going to let it rest. The image of the Police Force is at stake. People’s confidence in the justice system was shaken,” she told HTS News on Tuesday.
Charles-Clarke, who is heading on pre-retirement leave as of this month, only broke her silence on the matter after she was called out by the Minister of Housing Stanley Felix and asked to resign for not being able to deal “efficiently” with the IMPACS Report.
But Charles-Clarke has maintained that the information she received in the IMPACS Report, did not conform to the laws of Saint Lucia and as a result, she had written to the Minister of Home Affairs and the Attorney General on the matter. She also states that there was no proper evidence.
The IMPACS Report was compiled based on an investigation into alleged extra-judicial killings by some members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) between 2009 and 2011.
The report was handed over to the DPP by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony for action.