From the Courts
August 20, 2004
Justice denied!

No one will be prosecuted for the February 11, 2002 murder of three French nationals and a Belgian.
After more than two years of investigations, and after one year of requests by this country for evidence from the French investigating authorities in Martinique, no one is presently charged for the crime. {{more}}
Five months after the four foreigners were murdered and their yacht burnt, four Vincentians were arrested and charged. But, after two years on remand awaiting preliminary inquiries before the magistrates court, they were discharged by Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman.
On June 30, 2004, Julius Jeffers, 17, Sylvannus Williams, 19, Ken Charles, 24, and Leonard OíGarro, 36, of Barrouallie were released from the charge of murdering French nationals Pierre De La Londe, 20, Annie Astier, 19, Jean Noel Martin, 51, and Belgian Simonne Rolus, 59. The Chief Magistrate had said then that if the prosecutor got the evidence they were awaiting the discharged men could be re-arrested and charged for the crime.
On June 30,head of the Criminal Investigations Department, Superintendent Ernest James told the court his department was still awaiting evidence from the French authorities which was vital to the prosecution’s case. He asked Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman for a one and a half month adjournment, telling the court that the office of the Attorney General had informed his department that the evidence requested would be available by the middle of August.
Now, more than one and a half months later, there is no report or indication that the evidence requested has been received by local authorities. When contacted on Tuesday the Attorney General’s office could not confirm whether the French authorities had responded to the latest request, or whether the evidence would be forthcoming. Also, Director of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams said he had no knowledge whether the French had complied, or intended to comply with the request.
When contacted on Wednesday, chief detective Ernest James said he did not know whether the French authorities had decided to comply with the request. He, however, said he was expected to meet with an official from the Attorney General’s office to get an update on the matter.
Meanwhile, reports say DNA testing has long been concluded to determine the identities of the four murdered foreigners, but prosecutors are facing difficulty in getting their family members and the doctor to come here to testify. Also, the view has been expressed that the difficulty encountered in getting vital evidence from the French authorities is based on the difference in the systems of justice.