(CMC) – The St Vincent and the Grenadines government Monday said it had recalled one of its diplomats accredited to the United Nations amidst a report that he punched his wife, also a diplomat, in the mouth last Friday, in the presence of her mother.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said his government had recalled “for consultation”, Sehon Marshall, 43, a counsellor at the island’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
Gonsalves has further instructed Xandra Marshall, the Deputy Counsellor General in New York and her husband, not to report for work until further notice.
Gonsalves said his government is treating the matter “with utmost seriousness and is considering all the alive legal options in this matter.
“From what I have said, you can deduce certain possible conclusions, certain outcomes, really, but, as always, we have to act sensibly, deliberately, firmly as all circumstances and the law and the guiding principles admit,” he told listeners to Star FM, a radio station owned by the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP).
The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) had called on the government to recall the diplomat after the New York Post newspaper reported last Friday that police officers who responded to the incident at the family’s home where Mrs Marshall was allegedly slapped in the face, could not arrest her husband because he has diplomatic immunity.
The NDP said that it is “deeply concerned about allegations of domestic abuse and violence against women,” adding that the “reported allegations are extremely serious allegations of violence and domestic abuse and they cannot be treated lightly.
“We in the NDP categorically condemn any and all forms of violence against women,” the party said, noting that the incident allegedly occurred as the global community observed International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women on November 25.
Gonsalves said that the government had condemned the alleged incident, which he said “degenerated into domestic violence.