St Lucia courts set trial date for Roger Pratt murder case

Hello, my name is Margaret Pratt and I'm talking to you because my husband Roger Pratt was murdered over five years ago in St Lucia.

When I saw the DPP with my attorney Leslie Prospere in St Lucia in December, Mr Greene was confident that we could probably be setting a trial date for late January.

The courts didn't reopen on time, that was early February, and then it went back into what's called 'case management'.

The first of the new case management hearings was last Friday 8th March.

I had some feedback yesterday to say that a trial date has been set, but it is for the 4th November. Still in 2019 but only just.

Obviously this is a great disappointment. I was hoping for a trial date much sooner than that. All the conversations I've had with the people in St Lucia are that the trial is good to go. Why have further delay?

Part is me completely outraged that, here we are after more than five years, there has been another delay. I don't have a high degree of confidence that a date set so far in the future will be able to be delivered.

I'm trying to find out more about what drove that decision, whether there has been a reassessment of the criteria and the order in which these cases will be heard.

I'm told there are about 100 murder cases outstanding in the system. Obviously, after the courts were closed in St Lucia for nine months there's a very significant backlog of other criminal cases that still have to be heard.

I am just so disappointed, firstly that I don't understand the reasons and the drivers for this change, but also that the case seems to have been slipped by a further eight or nine months.

The position relating to the other nearly 100 murder cases isn't fair to the people like me who are still mourning their loved ones and want justice and resolution. I guess, like me, they will be facing these further levels of very significant delay.

As and when I find out what is going on I'll keep you posted.


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