A statement from Margaret Pratt on comments reported in The Voice

I was shocked to read a report in The Voice St Lucia today, in which it is reported that Hermangild Francis, St Lucia’s National Security Minister, accused me of being “the source of false claims” about the island’s police force and its refusal to accept help from the British police in the investigations surrounding Roger's death.

The Royal St Lucia Police Force moved quickly following Roger’s death five years ago this month, arresting a number of individuals and providing sufficient evidence for four men to be charged with murdering Roger within a few weeks of the attack.

While I have consistently expressed frustration with the ongoing delays associated with bringing those accused to trial, I have at no point requested that the British police become involved and I have never claimed that the Royal St Lucia Police Force has rejected any assistance.

For Mr Francis to make such outrageous and unsubstantiated claims, and for The Voice newspaper to report those claims as fact without providing me with any right of reply, is a grave insult.

I am devastated that Mr Francis, a high ranking politician tasked with making a St Lucia a safe place for locals and visitors alike, has resorted to lying about me in the media as a way of deflecting from the serious crime situation in St Lucia.

On my recent visit to St Lucia I was fortunate to meet with the island’s Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Daasrean Greene. I was pleased to have frank and honest discussions with both men about criminality in St Lucia and my frustrations with how long it is taking to bring those charged with Roger’s murder to court. I have always articulated these consistently and respectfully in public, I do not brief journalists ‘off the record’ and I do not hide behind falsehoods to further my cause.

I am campaigning to achieve justice for my late husband Roger, justice long denied by chaos of St Lucia's court system, and until that happens I will continue to shine a light on the failures in the St Lucian justice system that affect all victims of crime on the island.

I will also continue to campaign to ensure that as many visitors to the island are aware of the dangers they are exposed to as a result of St Lucia's ongoing crime epidemic, something that Mr Francis' department is clearly impotent in its ability to stop.

I will taking legal advice and writing to Mr Francis and The Voice in due course.

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