MARTINUS FRANCOIS SAYS SOMMER OUTCOME OUTRAGEOUS!
Outspoken constitutional lawyer Martinus Francois has said that the decision of the court to sentence Frenchman Eric Sommer, who was charged with murder, to time served, is outrageous.
Sommer, who was charged with causing the death of a local, was sentenced after pleading guilty to manslaughter and thereafter walked away a free man with a manslaughter conviction.
He had spent four years in jail.
Martinus Francois told the Times the development reflects the double standards in the legal system here and the government.
He asserted that the French government, the United States and the European Union have been putting pressure on the administration here to “go gently” with their nationals.
“Our own people have been languishing on remand for umpteen years without any mercy, without any caring on the part of the authorities,” Francois declared, adding that the situation was disgraceful.
Eric Sommer was charged with murder in the May 12, 2012 death of Lucas Francois at Pigeon Island.
It is alleged that the Frenchman pushed Francois off a boat and refused to assist him when he asked for help.
The deceased, Martinus Francois told the Times, is his cousin.
He told the Times that the justice system here will lose all credibility in the eyes of the people.
The French Embassy, which had summoned a news conference on Thursday morning apparently to address the Sommer issue, abruptly announced that it had been called off and that the media would be informed of a subsequent time. Instead the Embassy issued a brief statement on the matter later that day.
“After four years, the Sommer case is closed. The trial which was anticipated by the French authorities, at the highest level, was finally held and led to the release of Eric Sommer. Mr. Sommer left Saint Lucia that night,” the Embassy statement read.