St. Lucia gov’t seeks legal help in police prosecution

Prime Minister of St. Lucia Dr. Kenny Anthony

The St. Lucian government has hired legal representation in talks with U.S. officials regarding the controversial extra-judicial police killings.

In a recent statement, the U.S. Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean has criticized the St. Lucia government for its inaction, failing to prosecute police accused of killing suspected criminals as part of the country’s controversial policing tactics to combat a surge in crime. Twelve people were fatally shot between 2010 and 2011 under a previous government dealing with a crime wave it believed was damaging the tourism industry.

But Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony rejected the claim. In his first address to the country for the new year, he assured the public that the government will “I assure you that we will continue to work closely with the United States to bring closure to this matter.”

In a separate statement, the administration said it had done everything “within its constitutional authority” to move the process forward.”

“The Executive brought to Parliament legislation to allow for the investigations into the alleged extra-judicial killings to be undertaken by a body other than the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. It placed at the disposal of the investigating team all of the required resources, and once the report was completed, in keeping with the provisions of our laws to appoint the investigating team, it was passed on to the DPP,” it said.

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