St Lucia DPP apologises, corrects errors in prior communication

Good morning everybody, my name is Margaret Pratt and I'm talking to you this morning with a little update about the progress in St Lucia towards getting a trial for those accused of murdering my husband Roger Pratt.

About a fortnight ago there seemed to be some mixed messages coming from St Lucia. In that blog I outlined the fact that I thought I'd been given a trial date of 4th November, and that I'd received a letter via the Foreign and Commonwealth office here in the UK that said actually that wasn't the case and that no progress was likely to be made, it was something entirely different.

I said in that blog that actually it might be just a very big mistake. And hey it was!

I’ve had another letter via the Foreign and Commonwealth office. In that letter the DPP's office says that the trial date has indeed been set for early November, although of course I mustn't raise my hopes too high because it could all be delayed by other cases overrunning, and that's usual. I understand that caveat.

They also gave me some information that I wasn't previously aware of. At the last case management hearing in March apparently two of the defence attorneys asked for more time to file their defence statements. They were given another month so those defence statements should have been filed by 5th April. I've asked some supplementary questions as to whether they were indeed filed and as yet I've received no indication as to whether that was the case.

The thing that is still outstanding and needs to be resolved, which should have been resolved soon after the first case management in hearing in March, was the fitness to plead hearing of one of the defendants. I don't know what's happening there.

That fitness to plead hearing has not yet been arranged, but I understand from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the Director of Public Prosecutions Daasrean Greene has committed to making those arrangements as soon as possible.

The next step will be to get confirmation of when that fitness to plead hearing is going to take place, when it has been arranged, and I'm hoping that the DPP Mr Daasrean Greene and his office will make those arrangements, and let me know what those arrangements are, before the courts break up for the summer at the end of July.

The video blog that I did last time has been so helpful, I've had so many supportive comments. Someone that I speak to from time to time in St Lucia wrote to say how embarrassed and disappointed he was about what I was reporting. I'm sure those sentiments are echoed more widely in St Lucia. That's certainly the case from the comments I've received.


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