CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC)— An opposition legislator says he has asked his lawyers to file a defamation suit against Prime Minister Allen Chastanet following the publication of a government statement regarding the purchase of two vehicles while he served as the island’s High Commissioner in the United Kingdom.
“Previously, I responded to oral statements, insinuations and comments regarding the purchase, importation and ownership of two vehicles. Now, the Prime Minister has shamefully weaponized his official office, misuses the resources of the state and taken matters to a new level,” said Dr Ernest Hilaire, the Member of Parliament for Castries South.
“He has now reduced the Office of Prime Minister to a weapon against a political opponent in executing a baseless and vindictive witch-hunt against me. I am advised that the official statement of September 2, 2020, from the Prime Minister’s Office constitutes a further defamation against me.
“Accordingly, I have instructed my attorneys to take further legal action on my behalf to the fullest extent of the law to protect my reputation and constitutional rights,” Hilaire said, adding that he “will say very little directly about the contents of the Office of the Prime Minister’s Statement, lest I be held in contempt of Court”.
In a statement issued earlier this week, the Office of the Prime Minister said it was duty bound to make public the situation regarding the purchases of the vehicles while Hillarie served as the island’s High Commissioner until October 2015 under the previous St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government.
The statement gave a lengthy detail of the matter based on what it said were “facts, as disclosed by correspondence and official documents”.
“The Government of St Lucia will not be deterred, in the performance of its duty to uphold the rule of law, by the disingenuous rhetoric of Dr Hilaire. No one is above the law, and Dr Hilaire must answer to the people of St Lucia. He must, and will, be held to account. Responsible and transparent governance demands nothing less,” the statement noted.