Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Minister of National Security, has spoken of the possibility that several prisoners will be pardoned soon.
The PM told journalists during a recent tour of the North Leeward red zone, that the prisoners, located at the Belle Isle correctional facility, are coping well since the start of explosive eruptions of La Soufriere.
He said that he has requested a list from the Superintendent of Prisons Timothy Hazelwood, and the Mercy Committee will be looking at persons with minor offences, including unpaid fines.
“We will have them released, a few of them,” Dr. Gonsalves said while adding that he does not think the list contains a significant number of persons.
He added also that there is currently no one incarcerated for a marijuana cigarette/spliff, as the fines given for this offence if it reaches to court is “relatively small”, even before the decriminalisation.
“I scour the list from time to time. I get the list sent to me on a periodic basis so I can see. That is part of my responsibility,” the Prime Minister said.
A source at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) said the pardons have not yet been finalised as of the time of going to press.
Also addressing security issues, the PM said he requested the presence of soldiers from the Regional Security System (RSS) and other places, because while at this point we do not have a security situation, that can change overnight and we need to be prepared.
He said that invariably, security challenges do arise in situations like what now exists in SVG, and the government has to take a proactive position on this issue.