Security Minister Senator Hermangild Francis issued a [prepared] statement September 4 during the weekly pre-Cabinet press briefing to address the grievances of three British nationals who are each still awaiting justice after falling victim to separate crimes committed in Saint Lucia.In August, various British media outlets and at least one advocacy group published a videotaped interview with Georgina Mortimer, who was allegedly raped in a Rodney Bay villa in 2016, Margaret Pratt who witnessed the murder of her husband Roger Pratt in 2014 and Anne Pearson whose mother was killed in 2011.
The interview, which centers on the frustrations of the victims in their respective quests for justice has stoked national debate and has led to increased scrutiny of Saint Lucia’s law enforcement agencies and judicial system.
In an attempt to alleviate concern and restore confidence in the judiciary, Senator Francis relied heavily on what the incumbent says are the accomplishments of the United Workers Party government as outlined in their 2016 Election manifesto. These include the appointment of an Acting Director of Public Prosecution, the recommencement to activate the national forensic lab and increasing resource capacity across law enforcement and judicial agencies.
Security Minister Francis told the local press that he was ‘surprised’ at the video. Without indicating the progression of the three cases, he explained that there has been, ‘constant contact’ between two of the victims and the DPP but, explained prosecuting the matters is not ‘simple and straight forward’. [Watch video]
As the improvements in the local judiciary touted by the Security Minister continue to take shape – Georgina Mortimer, Margaret Pratt and Anne Pearson like hundreds of other Saint Lucians affected by crime continue to endure the slow pace of justice.
The Security Minister remains resolute that all victims of crime will have justice under his watch.