The United States Embassy on Thursday April 6th 2017 announced the donation of office equipment worth EC$100,000 to Saint Lucia’s Crown Prosecutions Service.
In attendance at the brief ceremony at the Department of Justice was Prime Minister Honourable Allen M. Chastanet, Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Linda S. Taglialatela, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Justice and National Security Dr. Cadelia Ambrose and Director of Public Prosecutions Daasrean Greene.
Speaking before the official hand-over Ambassador Taglialatela explained that Saint Lucia and the United States enjoy excellent and productive relations.
“I thank Prime Minister Chastanet and DPP Greene for their friendship and collaboration on topics of mutual interest and commitment to public service. Today we are making a donation of equipment through the Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Office to the DPP’s office,” the Ambassador explained.
The donation includes 28 desktop computers, 12 laptops, 8 printers, 2 scanners and 24 filing cabinets.
“This equipment is intended to modernize the DPP’s Office and afford the prosecutors and the staff the tools they need to work effectively and efficiently,” noted the Ambassador. “Mr. Greene who took office just last year brings fresh energy to the DPP’s office and he deserves our collective support to ensure that law and order prevails in Saint Lucia. This equipment represents a vote of confidence by the Government of the United States for his good efforts.”
Similar donations by the US Embassy will be made to the Saint Lucia High Court and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. The Ambassador explained that the donations complement training which has been done with local prosecutors, judges, custom officers and correction officers. The work, she says, continues on helping Saint Lucia with modernizing and streamlining criminal justice proceedings.
The US Ambassador went on: “As you can see we are committed to supporting Prime Minister Chastanet’s efforts to strengthen the rule of law here in Saint Lucia. The United States and the Embassy look forward to continuing our long lasting relationship and partnership with Saint Lucia and to making the country stronger, safer and more prosperous.”
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet in his remarks thanked the Embassy for the donation on behalf of the Government.
“Today symbolizes that Saint Lucia does not have to confront the problems we are facing from a criminal element by itself. There are people who have a vested interest in how we perform as well as the vested interest of our citizenry,” said Prime Minister Chastanet.
“Our Government has indicated a clear strategy in terms of how we will deal with tackling crime. There is no one magic solution. The first thing is to take control of the things we can control. The Judicial system is objective number one. There is no point in having police apprehending anyone if we don’t have the ability to convict. In this regard I really want to congratulate the new DPP in how quickly he has jumped into the saddle and ridden the horse.”
The Prime Minister further commended the DPP on the cases which had been undertaken and resolved. PM Chastanet added the Government was also focused on improving evidence collection. Recently the Government of Saint Lucia partially reopened Saint Lucia’s Forensic Lab which had been closed since 2015. The Prime Minister reiterated that Border Control was also a priority of the Government as well as the housing of the Courts.
DPP Greene said the equipment would be put to use immediately by his office as he profusely thanked the U.S. Embassy.
“On behalf of the Crown Prosecutions Service and by extension government and people of this country it is a great privilege and honour to express our gratitude to the Government and People of the United States of America for the donation of this most generous package of critically needed equipment.”
The DPP added: “In coming into office I recognized immediately that we really needed this sort of investment. Based on fact that we don’t have the resources necessary justice is suffering to a really great extent. This generous donation by the Embassy of the United States is vital to us and will complement our normal budget allocation and will inevitably improve our department’s productivity and the capacity by reaffirming our overall mandate which is to implement a comprehensive policy framework to enable the department to address crime in a coordinated, expeditious and focused manner. This equipment will enable us to effectively respond to the reasonable judicial expectations. We pledge our commitment to continue working closely with the U.S. Embassy.”
Minister with responsibility for Home Affairs, Justice and National Security Honourable Hermangild Francis was unable to attend the ceremony due to a Senate Sitting at the same time, however, his thanks were also conveyed to the U.S. Embassy.