Thursday, 15 July 2010

Operation Blast.




Here is another “Briefing note” sent from CPO Graham Power to ALL island Media. I’ve not seen it crop anywhere on the “accredited” media and re-produce it below.

It sets out some clear “facts” how once more the Chief Police Officer is denied a defence to Ian “Skippy” Le Marquand’s Kangaroo Trial by media prosecution.

It might be worth noting, that CPO Power has given a THIRTEEN THOUSAND word reponse to the Operation Blast "allegations".

BOING!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Briefing note 3.

This briefing note has been issued by Graham Power in order to assist editors in reporting issues arising from the Decision by the Minister for Home Affairs to abandon all disciplinary proceedings.

Topic:
Why any statement made by the Minister relating to the “Haven 2” Enquiry (Operation Blast) may be particularly unfair.


While I would argue that unfairness is not an unfamiliar feature of the behaviour of the Minister for Home Affairs in his dealings with my case, his proposed action, in providing briefings on the matter which he calls “Operation Blast” is particularly excessive. This is because the rules governing the management of sensitive intelligence appear to prohibit the putting forward of any defence to allegations which the Minister may make.

The Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Ian Le Marquand, announced the investigation known as “Haven 2” in June 2009 and in September of the year Mr Brian Moore, Chief Constable of Wiltshire, was appointed Investigating Officer. After completing his preliminary enquiries Mr Moore asked me to provide a written statement and I agreed to do so. I prepared a document of over 13,000 words which was completed on 10th March 2010. In preparing my statement I made reference to confidential intelligence material which had come into my possession in a professional capacity.

I offered the opinion that in view of its content the statement ought to be classified as “Secret.” Mr Moore subsequently offered the view that, after consideration and advice this classification could be downgraded to “Restricted.” What is important about this exchange is that nobody doubts that my statement, which sets out the core of the defence case, should only be seen by those with a legitimate professional interest. It most certainly cannot be part of any public briefing. I am aware that at some stage Wiltshire were seeking advice on what if anything in the statement could be revealed to the Minister. In light of this Editors may see value in asking the Minister whether he has seen a copy of the defence statement and whether he has taken it into account in anything he might say in relation to the enquiry.

It does however appear probable that there is to be a presentation on the “prosecution case” in circumstances which do not allow for any part of the defence case to be revealed at all.

This may well add to the frustration and disagreement which is likely to follow the forthcoming exchanges in this case. People were looking for a “verdict” or at least a clear answer to a long-running and contentious issue. They are likely to get neither. They will get a briefing on the “prosecution case.” They will get snatches of the “defence case.” There will be no hearing, there will be no cross-examination of witnesses, there will be no appeal. In spite of an enquiry lasting 21 months and costing well over a million pounds there will be no definite “answer.”
It is my contention that in these circumstances it is right that we should fall back on the basic principle of justice which decrees that he who is not proven guilty is presumed to be innocent. I have not been proved guilty. Therefore I am presumed innocent. That is as close to a clear result as any of us are likely to get.

It is hoped that this note is helpful. Other notes will be made available as issues are identified.

Submitted by VFC.

28 comments:

  1. "In light of this Editors may see value in asking the Minister whether he has seen a copy of the defence statement and whether he has taken it into account in anything he might say in relation to the enquiry."

    So my question is have any of the "accredited" media put this question to Ian "Skippy" Le Marquand? Just as importantly, has he answered it?

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  2. Perhaps when 'Skippy' has a bit of spare time, he may care to respond to this and other questions and e-mails he has chosen to ignore from yourself, Rico and others over the last week or so.

    Not holding my breath.

    You can bet your bottom dollar even if the 'accredited' media have asked the question the response (if any) will take little or no priority on the hatchet job they are intent on continuing.

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  3. Operation Blast smells bad to me and I wasn't convinced by Graham Power's explanation when compared to what actually occurred.

    The way that GP put it was that his actions were simply passive. His description was something like this (not verbatim): 'when some paperwork crossed my desk that related to a politician, I put it in a secure place so that it could not be used for political or nefarious purposes.'

    However, from the Wiltshire Report it appears that there was a small team dedicated to the task and that they not only treated material that came to them in the normal course of their duties - ie, as a result of a complaint, witness report, or charge - but they actively solicited information from the criminal records and other sources such as the police intelligence computer database.

    So there is a big difference between simply securing sensitive information and soliciting information and photographs and keeping files.

    Keeping secret files on politicians sounds like FBI or secret service territory to me.

    However, I am not convinced by the Data Protection Act accusation since the police are already allowed to keep records of all reports they receive.

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  4. Rob.

    I think it is important to remember that Graham Power has submitted a THIRTEEN THOUSAND word response to the Operation Blast "allegations".

    Although Ian "Skippy" Le Marquand's "prosecution case" has gone into over-kill by our "accredited" media, Graham Power has only been given a couple of minutes air-time here and there.

    As is explained in the "briefing note" on the main text of this Blog posting, for security reasons Graham Power's defense is prohibited from becoming public.

    ILM knows/knew this, as do/did the "accredited" media, which further shows the Kangaroo trial by media that ILM has made of this.

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  5. Just to exemplify my previous comment, I took this from the Blast posting on Rico's blog. It's hard to tell whether this a quote from the Wiltshire report or the words of ILM, but that is probably irrelevant (note, my emphasis throughout):

    "CO Power failed in performance of his duty as Data Controller and chief officer of police by allowing personal data on all 53 politicians to be obtained and retained, without a necessary, legitimate or lawful purpose , in contravention of the data protection ( jersey) law 2005 and associated guidance.

    The nature of the information which was kept is referred to in section 1.4. The files contain information collated as a result of politicians, usually in their private capacity, coming to the notice of jersey police in circumstances of legitimate concern together with criminal record and other police intelligence checks.
    "

    Firstly, if it is true that they had files on all 53 politicians, it is highly unlikely that they gathered that information purely as a result of incidents being reported to them. I mean, I know you have a low opinion of your political class but I cannot believe that they are all on the wrong side of the law.

    Secondly, information was solicited from 'criminal record and other police intelligence checks'.

    So it does appear as if GP decided to proceed with his own vetting system in defiance of the wishes of the States.

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  6. Re "I think it is important to remember that Graham Power has submitted a THIRTEEN THOUSAND word response to the Operation Blast "allegations"."

    Yes, and it is a shame we cannot read that and his 62,000 word rebuttal of the Operation Rectangle inquiry.

    I'm just going on the evidence in the public domain but I am perfectly willing to believe that Walker and Ogley were aware, if not the architects, of Operation Blast.

    GP is fighting with one arm tied behind his back. Given that he has retired, it is wrong for the States to even reveal the content of the Wiltshire reports because it is like reading a charge sheet for someone who will never be tried. It is unfair.

    All I am saying is that GP's public statements on Operation Blast do not stack up with the evidence. But I am quite prepared to believe that we have not heard and will never hear all the evidence.

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  7. Rob.

    Also what is worth remembering is that these files were locked away in a safe place and it was vital that politicians never got to see them. If they did get to see them then they would have "dirt" on their rival politicians.

    Now that it appears ILM has seen all of this (and I stand to be corrected) then it could be argued that he is in a very strong position to be able to wield alot of power over any of his political opponents who have something to hide and is now in a position, should he be that way inclined, to influence, propositions, votes and indeed the entire decision making process of our government.

    I would argue that if ILM has seen ANY of these files then his position is now untenable.

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  8. Re "As is explained in the "briefing note" on the main text of this Blog posting, for security reasons Graham Power's defense is prohibited from becoming public.

    ILM knows/knew this, as do/did the "accredited" media, which further shows the Kangaroo trial by media that ILM has made of this."

    In which case, a better strategy would be for GP to just say that outright. That is, that should be his only public comments on the affair. But by giving the explanation he has given, he makes himself a hostage to partial interpretation.

    I am quite willing to believe the 'state within the state' argument because he has already mentioned it with regard to Ogley's conspiracy to get rid of Syvret, which GP refused to be a part of.

    But that means we are to assume that with regards to Operation Blast, he was happy to play his role in the 'secret state'.

    Whichever way you look at it - he did it off his own bat, or he did it at the behest or in collaboration with others - it looks bad.

    The police keeping files on all your elected politicians just isn't good, unless it is approved by law as a standard security measure.

    And if the special sensitivity of politicians on a small island (as GP claims) is applied, why stop at politicians? What about local business leader, civil servants, etc. On a small island, they are all equally liable to become the object of blackmail or leverage as a result of police 'information' leaking out.

    But none of this is abnormal in a Jersey context, unfortunately.

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  9. Re "Also what is worth remembering is that these files were locked away in a safe place and it was vital that politicians never got to see them."

    All 53 politicians having dirty secrets is unlikely.

    For other politicians to see them it would imply a course of events like: politician X hears a rumour about politician Y and asks someone at police headquarters to look it up in their files. That would not be allowed anyway whether the files were in the normal records department or a locked cabinet in the CO's office.

    Also, the CO now has the keys to the blackmail box. Maybe on a small island where the police are subject to political interference that is a useful insurance policy. We just don't know.

    The alternative would be for the police to erase any information that doesn't lead to a charge. Is there a policeman out there who can tell us the normal course of events for when a report is received that comes to nothing? Is that information erased after a period of time or is it kept forever?

    If it is normally kept forever then having a special file just for politicians might be feasible. But if is normally disposed of after a few months (if no charges are brought), then to retain such information only for politicians worsens the situation.

    But I agree with you that it is totally unacceptable for ILM to be publicly discussing the whole subject when he knows that GP cannot defend himself because of confidentiality restrictions.

    I would like to hear what GP really knows about everyone in power in Jersey and the real explanation behind Operation Blast. Unfortunately, I doubt we ever will.

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  10. Rob.

    If ILM, or Wiltshire, think it is so bad for these files to be held, then why haven't either of them recommended/insisted these files be destroyed?

    I also believe, in the fullness of time, Graham Power's defense will find its way into the public domain and we could be talking of SEVENTY FIVE THOUSAND words.

    Wonder how many of them will be printed in the JEP?

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  11. Re "If ILM, or Wiltshire, think it is so bad for these files to be held, then why haven't either of them recommended/insisted these files be destroyed?"

    Who has them now? The last I heard was that Frank Walker had taken them abroad in the bilge of his yacht and was ordered to keep sailing around the Mediterranean and not stop until he becomes Foreign Minister, at which point they are all to be extraordinarily rendered to Whitehall in an information exchange with the Americans.

    When I was in Spain last summer, I met Frank Walker and he had all the files out on the deck of his boat and was leafing through them. When I stepped on board to introduce myself, he quickly gathered them up but not before I got a glimpse of Constable Crowcroft's file. Apparently he once wrote a haiku with too many syllables in it.

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  12. Who has the files, knowns as "Operation Blast"? Although CPO Power, claims he never heard of the name "Operation Blast" until ILM came out with it. Was it ILM that codenamed it?

    As to the question "who has these files now"? Well that brings up yet another, (what I believe could be), "bungle" in the Wiltshire investigation, which has been described as "a witch hunt".

    Before Wiltshire got involved, for obvious reasons, these files were a "for your eyes only" document(s) kept, we are led to believe, in a highly secure vault.

    So how many of the Wiltshire team have now seen them? How many of our (in no way corrupt, or incompedent) Law Officers have seen them,How many of our top Civil Servants have seen them? And has ILM seen them making his position as a politician untenable?

    Along with these questions and the expense incured by Wiltshire, and many other discrepencies, one could be led to believe the Wiltshire Report, is by a long chalk, worse than they claim the HDLG investigation ever was!

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  13. Yes, can't wait for them to publish the expenses for everyone involved in the inquiry into the inquiry.

    Anyone know where the Wiltshire people have been staying in Jersey? Anyone know where Chapman stayed in Jersey and what his expenses were?

    Did they eat out in expensive Jersey restaurants? I hear that sauce for the goose tastes quite like sauce for the gander.

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  14. Give me over a million quid (probably closer to two Million) and the best part of two years to scrutinize ANYBODY'S enquiry and i'll rip it apart.

    Let's think about ILM and Wiltshire. The Report's Terms of Reference, were based on UK guidelines, ACPO/NPIA. And ILM was happy to go along with that.

    But the disciplinary process for Chief Police Officers (Jersey) is, by ILM own admission, totally flawed and not fit for purpose! CPO Graham Power and his representative Dr Brain suggested, and offered to help finding a disciplinary code used as best practice in the UK, but good old "Skippy" refused to do this!

    In conclusion, ILM is happy to have a report done (for disciplinary purposes) based on UK standards. But when it comes to disciplining the Chief Officer, the UK standards, it would appear, are not good enough and would prefer to use a completeley not fit for purpose (by his own admission) disciplinary code of Jersey!

    BOING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  15. Re "Although CPO Power, claims he never heard of the name "Operation Blast" until ILM came out with it. Was it ILM that codenamed it?"

    What I imagine happened is that the files were put on ILM's desk and as he started going through them he said to himself, "Wow! I now have dirt on all the politicians in Jersey. What a BLAST!"

    And the name stuck.

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  16. Re "In conclusion, ILM is happy to have a report done (for disciplinary purposes) based on UK standards. But when it comes to disciplining the Chief Officer, the UK standards, it would appear, are not good enough and would prefer to use a completeley not fit for purpose (by his own admission) disciplinary code of Jersey!"

    I noticed that in the transcripts of the suspension hearings. On the surface you would think that the whole of Wiltshire was a completely futile waste of money because it could never be used to discipline GP because his contract of employment is based on a different set of rules.

    At the best the lawyers could have chewed it over till the cows came home. See what happens when you use imported semen.

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  17. Rob.

    Exactly, this is where GP was proved right! He explained to the Royal Court that ILM was dragging this all out and it will become a "dismissal by stealth".

    ILM, as far as I remember, assured the court that this wasn't the case and that, GP woul/could face a fair disciplinary hearing and be able to deliver his defence to an independent tribunal.

    Of course the Royal Court found in favour of ILM and believed him. But the truth is Graham Power was right, ILM (in mine and many other's opinion), had absolutely no intention of giving Graham Power (just like the JEP) a fair hearing!

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  18. Re "But the truth is Graham Power was right, ILM (in mine and many other's opinion), had absolutely no intention of giving Graham Power (just like the JEP) a fair hearing!"

    Yep. That was their modus operandi, otherwise they would have started a disciplinary case back in November 2009 when they got the Wiltshire report.

    Given that GP is not now going to get a fair hearing and his defence mostly cannot be heard for reasons of confidentiality, he is, as he stated, exonerated.

    And all that baloney from ILM and the JEP is just flim-flam intended to throw the last spade-full of dirt onto the child abuse cover-up.

    They all must be very pleased with themselves.

    A friend of mine who grew up in Jersey but is now a barrister in London said to me when the HdlG investigation became public, 'They will cover it up.'

    How percipient of her.

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  19. Rob.

    If you were to talk to any (half decent) Journalist, Lawyer, Barrister, Policeman they would tell you that there is no such thing as “coincidence”

    But for those who do believe, here’s a “coincidence” for you. Simon Bellwood, Stuart Syvret, Lenny Harper, Graham Power and doubtless many others all exposed Child Abuse in our States of Jersey “CARE” system. All have either been trashed in the local media, or discredited by our “powers that be”

    Maybe there is such thing as “coincidence” but what does it say if there’s not?

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  20. Re "Maybe there is such thing as “coincidence” but what does it say if there’s not?"

    It says that you are a paranoid conspiracy theorist who should be ashamed to call himself a Jerseyman.

    Are you really trying to tell me senior figures in the Jersey establishment colluded to cover up institutional child abuse aided and abetted by a compliant local media for no other reason than to protect the government, the image of Jersey, and several well-connected abusers or their powerful protectors?

    The next thing you will be asking me to believe is that Bill Ogley told Graham Power, "This could bring down the government." And that Graham Power made contemporaneous notes of the conversation because he did not want to be involved in a plot by a 'government within the government' to illegally remove a minister from power.

    And then you will ask me to believe that the new police team brought in to replace the old team shredded evidence, lied about the existence of cellars at HdlG, and sent a piece of coconut shell to Kew Gardens to prove it wasn't the piece of skull originally dug up.

    Wake up, man. Where do you think you are living - the Soviet Union in 1936?

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  21. This now paves the way for Warcup to become Chief of Police and Le Marquand to become Chief Minister.
    With no defence allowed.
    It absolutely STINKS!!!

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  22. Rob - how on earth could you say such a thing?! Likening Jersey to the Soviet Union in 1936 (tee hee!).

    And that from a true blood Jerseyman as well. I am well and truly shocked.

    However, as a non Jersey person I can confirm that you hit the nail right on the head, and furthermore your exchange with VFC was very good.

    By the way, you forgot that we will also ask that you could actually take on board that a large granite 'bath', that was quite important evidence, was removed from Haut de la Garenne, and no-one seems to know where it is!! And...65 children's teeth fell quite by coincidence through a gap in the floorboards, courtesy of the tooth fairy, and we have to believe that because good old Skippy told us so.

    Nah Rob, this is good old honest, upright, transparent Jersey where such things could never happen.

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  23. Jill, I forgot all those other things that happened but apparently never happened. Let's hope they never not happen again.

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  24. VFC,
    You are so right with what you said on the 'moan in' today. (and every day for that matter). I just want to mention how much I admire you and how grateful I am to you for all your up hard work on this up hill.

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  25. Anon.

    Thank you for your words of encouragement.......they help. And Chris Rayner, who I have been critical of in the past, is giving me a fair crack of the whip, so thanks to him also.

    On another note, I hope to be publishing a Blog, in the next day or so, that will throw a completely different light on the "redacted" Wiltshire Report. And those, like myself, who have been critical of Wiltshire just might have to show a little humility!

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  26. Hi VFC

    I think you might be right

    Interesting times lay ahead and we have the whole recess for the hard work.

    No matter ho heavy the storm its always amamzing ho w a ray of sunshine breaks through

    rs

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  27. VFC & Rob,

    In addition to always following every money trail, it could be helpful to keep searching for the original roots of Operation Blast.

    In Jersey, it is not just WHO you know that matters. True power often really lies in WHAT you have on them.

    For example, what if some within Jersey's ruling elite hold hidden sinister powers primarily because they already have some serious dirt on several other individuals with influence?

    To use secret personal information to exert control, an individual may not need to have evidence of actual criminal or legal wrong doing by another; in some cases just implied threat of release of embarassing personal or family information, whether true or false, might suffice to keep the more cowardly politicians in line.

    It could be a as simple as a hypothetical threat to expose a former teacher who is rumored to have violated the trust of a few female students before running for office and then holding some responsibilty for the scrutiny of his elected colleagues.

    We still do not know exactly who ordered or knew about Operation Blast, and for all we know now, GP was even set up for just this public relations outcome.

    However, with GP and LH already investigating decades of such entrenched child abuse and government/police coverups, along with government interference and a few named officials as actual abuse suspects, might GP have had very compelling reasons to examine the "hold" Jersey's politicians had on each other?

    Without knowing more, it is awfully easy to speculate about these secret files, but if GP hoped to unravel the motives behind such outrageous government obstruction of the abuse investigation, he needed to understand exactly what power certain authorities had over others.

    For a police investigator or journalist, it is always relevant to know who in power holds secret influence through fear of exposure or retaliation, and there is already evidence that Jersey's power base remains at least partially structured that way.

    Child abuse on the scale it apparently occurred required an awful lot of complicity within government for at least a generation. Files from Operation Blast might throw light on just how that was managed.

    Boo

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  28. Looking forward to Skippy Le marqaund and Connetable Simon Crowcroft on talk back tomorrow, somehow i think Skippy will be out of his league

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