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National Security Minister Hermangild Francis has assured that action will be taken in the IMPACS report shortly, given recent discussions relating to the matter.
The minister said that he has held discussions regarding the matter with the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Daasrean Greene.
“He has spoken to me and we should be seeing action very, very shortly….We have seen it and we have had some discussions, but again the DPP is independent and I cannot force him to push forward. He has to work on his own time,” Francis explained.
Francis recalled that the DPP Chambers had requested assistance from the crown counsels and police officers, but said he has not asked for any additional assistance at this time.
Greene who was appointed to the post of DPP in October, 2016 had promised to deliver a verdict on the IMPACS matter within 90 days, but nothing has been said by the DPP ever since.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet had expressed hope that the new DPP could appoint a special prosecutor to deal with the IMPACS matter and the long outstanding Lambirds Academy scandal.
Former prime minister Dr Kenny Anthony had in 2013 commissioned an investigation by the Caribbean Community IMPACS agency and received a report early 2015, which was handed over to the previous DPP for review.
In his address to the nation on March 8, 2015 on certain aspects contained in the report, Dr. Anthony said, among other things, that the police staged fake encounters and planted evidence in the 12 fatal shootings that took place.
However, there has since been no action on the recommendations, prompting the European Union representatives to write Dr. Anthony seeking clarification on the status of the report and calling on those responsible to ensure due process in accordance with St Lucia’s criminal law system.
In August 2013, the United States suspended all forms of assistance to the RSLPF, citing allegations of serious human rights violations.
“The Department of State has made a policy decision to withdraw training and material assistance to the Royal St Lucia Police Force due to credible allegations of gross human rights violations,” the US State Department said in a statement then.
Francis said he would not allow the IMPACS matter to cloud his judgement in dealing with the police, even as he acknowledged that the issue is taking a toll on some officers, especially those who were involved in the “Operations Restore Confidence” exercise that resulted in the death of a number of people.
The then opposition United Workers Party had promised the electorate that, within the first 100 days of getting into office following the June 6 general election, it would announce the terms of reference of an independent tribunal to deal with the IMPACS report.
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