CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Thursday December 4, 2014, CMC – A British parliamentarian has called on the United Kingdom (U.K) government to assist with the investigations into the murder of prominent hotelier Oliver Gobat, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has reported.
It said that the Conservative Member of Parliament for Esher and Walton, Dominic Raab, made the request during a sitting of the British parliament.
“The foreign secretary knows my constituent Ollie Gobat was brutally murdered in St Lucia in an apparent assassination. I’m very grateful officials are discussing assurances on the death penalty to allow UK police to support the investigation at St Lucian request,” Raab told the parliament.
However, the issue of contention is that the United Kingdom cannot examine cases where a suspect could face the death penalty.
While the death penalty had not been applied in St Lucia for 19 years, the island has not abandoned the old law.
Most importantly, request for support in investigating high-profile cases are considered carefully in the UK, including taking into account human rights concerns.
The MP which represents Surrey, the village where Gobat was raised, also requested that the foreign secretary to make contact with St. Lucia Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, to work out the arrangements.
The aim is to get St. Lucia to agree not to seek the death penalty in the matter.
Gobat’s body was found in his Range Rover on Cap Estate, north of here, on April 25, burnt beyond recognition.
According to the BBC, the British Foreign Minister James Duddridge told legislators that he had written Dr. Anthony on 14 October, to seek assurances that any person convicted of this crime will not have the death penalty applied.
St. Lucia has not responded, but the British foreign minister assured Raab that he would follow up with Dr. Anthony, if there is no response during a certain period.
Oliver’s parents, Helen and Theo Gobat have been pushing for foreign assistance. The family has already employed a forensic team from the UK to assist with the investigation. This was made possible through a fund created by friends of Oliver.
In an effort to encourage persons with information on the murder to come forward, the family has now doubled the reward from EC$250,000 to $500,000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents).