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Acting Prime Minister Guy Joseph

Gov’t “ready” to pursue legal action over St. Jude reconstruction row

Acting Prime Minister Guy Joseph told local reporters on November 27, plans are advancing to serve legal papers on the firms and agents suspected of being culpable in the supposed mismanagement of reconstruction works on the delayed St. Jude Hospital near Augier, Vieux-Fort.

Guy Joseph oversees the Economic Development Ministry in the Allen Chastanet Cabinet which is the chief agency responsible for the financial administration of Saint Lucia’s hospitals.

Weeks after assuming office last June, the Allen Chastanet government led by his Economic Development Minister halted all construction on St. Jude and ordered a $980,000 taxpayer funded technical audit be conducted. Prior to the formal handover of the technical audit carried out by FDL consults, the Economic Development Minister publicly indicated his intentions to exert legal pressure on parties deemed to be culpable of mismanagement in the technical audit.

Addressing the weekly pre-Cabinet press briefing Monday, the Acting Prime Minister explained that he is ready to mail out legal papers pending a final go-ahead from the government’s legal counsel. Minister Joseph noted that he has deliberately avoided making public pronouncements to prevent prejudicing  a potential legal case. [Watch video]

Approximately $80 million dollars of an estimated $118 million dollar budget has been spent on reconstruction works at Augier since a 2009 fire destroyed the surgical wing of the St. Jude Hospital at a previous site.

Primary healthcare in the south remains available at the crumbling George Odlum Stadium.

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