Monday, 12 July 2010

A proper job. (1)

Briefing note 1. July 2010.

This morning Team Voice were contacted by "The friends of Graham Power" and asked to circulate, to all "accredited" media 5 "briefing notes", the first of which is below.

We believed the "accredited" media would be thankful for these notes as it will enable them to be more researched when Home Affairs Minister Senator Ian Le Marquand sets out the "prosecution case" for them against Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM. It could help the "accredited" media to do a "proper job" and ask some very searching questions of the Minister, and have the public much better informed. It could also offer Chief Officer Power some kind of defense that has been denied him by Senator Le Marquand.

As far as we are aware, the "accredited" media are happy to recieve such communication. That is all except Carl Walker from Jersey's only "news" paper. He sent a reply to the e-mail which we reproduce below. These "briefing notes" from CPO Power are going to be coming thick and fast. Team Voice, and the "accredited" media are in possession of 5 of these "briefing notes" with more rumoured to be coming later today. We (Team Voice) will do all in our power to share with our readers all the briefing notes, that the "accredited" media also have, in order to gauge the job done by our "accredited" media when questioning/interviewing Senator Le Marquand.

This is what we got back from Carl Walker from the Jersey Evening Post.

"Please could you ask Mr Power to email his responses directly.
Thank you."

Carl Walker News Editor


Briefing note issued by Graham Power QPM in relation to statements which might be made by the Minister for Home Affairs. Senator Ian Le Marquand.

Did Wiltshire recommend disciplinary charges and if so, what did the Minister do about it?
Has he really “run out of time” or did he allow time to run out?
It is understood that Senator Le Marquand will make some form of public statement in relation to the disciplinary investigation and report by the Chief Constable of Wiltshire. I have not been told what he intends to say and consequently it is difficult to prepare any response.

It nevertheless remains my position that the abandonment of disciplinary proceedings after around 21 months means that I am now formally cleared of any misconduct.

Some clues as to the Ministers intentions have emerged during his media interviews. At one stage he was heard to say that the investigation by the Chief Constable of Wiltshire made recommendations for disciplinary charges. In the interests of balance it should be known that the defence position is that we do not share this interpretation of the Wiltshire report.

In order to understand this position it is necessary to go back to the original terms of reference set for the Wiltshire enquiry. The terms of reference ask Wiltshire to report on whether my performance met ACPO/NPIA standards. (These abbreviations refer to The Association of Chief Police Officers for England Wales and Northern Ireland and the National Policing Improvement Agency, which has a remit for most of but not all of the UK. Both agencies provide guidelines to police services within their jurisdiction.) From the very beginning I have challenged the fairness of these terms of reference. Jersey does not fall within the jurisdiction of either agency and there has been repeated political confirmation of the principle that policing guidelines from the UK should not enter Jersey without Ministerial approval. No such approval has been given in respect of these guidelines. In my first application to the Royal Court I drew attention to the longer term implications of disciplinary action based on English policing guidelines. I pointed out that if the Chief Officer in Jersey could in fact be disciplined for failing to conform to English guidelines then those guidelines would thereafter become the “bible” for policing in the island. English guidelines do not of course have any regard to Jersey’s unique system of policing and the potential implications for effective working alongside the honorary police are significant. As with many other aspects of this case the Minister decided to press ahead regardless.

The Wiltshire investigation has, as anticipated from the onset, identified areas where my management was not in accordance with English guidelines. That is not a surprise. Given the terms of reference no other outcome was possible.

At the conclusion of their enquiries Wiltshire took advice from an English Lawyer in relation to potential disciplinary charges. The defence interpretation of this advice is that it relates to the disciplinary issues which might have arisen had I been a Chief Officer in and English Force bound by English guidelines. In that context the advice is useful background information and no more. The Wiltshire report does not appear to make any serious attempt to address the core question of whether I had at any time breached the policing procedures applicable to Jersey.

While the Wiltshire report will win no prizes for clarity it does attempt to summarise this position in paragraph 2.1.8 of the supplementary report provided in February 2010. This paragraph is reproduced below in its entirety:

“As Operation Haven has assessed the performance of CO POWER against the relevant ACPO/NPIA standards applicable in the United Kingdom whilst having regard to the States of Jersey Police context, so we have considered identified failings against the conduct standards applicable in the UK. We have obtained legal advice in this regard, and the specific advice relating to misconduct charges that would be applicable in the UK is contained in this Report. It is quite properly a matter for the competent Authority in Jersey to consider and accept or reject the advice we have received.”

Editors may see the implications of this paragraph as significant. Firstly it appears to support the defence position that the Wiltshire report makes no recommendations in respect of disciplinary action under the laws and procedures applicable to Jersey. Secondly it provides confirmation that the Minister was in possession of the final Wiltshire view in respect of disciplinary charges as early as February of this year, and was aware that Wiltshire were effectively passing the whole issue back to him as the “competent Authority.” He appears to have taken no effective action one way or the other. However, the Ministers knowledge goes back further than that. Editors should be able to verify that the Minister has made repeated public statements to the effect that he was in possession of the draft Wiltshire report as early as November 2009 and that the final version does not differ significantly from the earlier draft. Far from “running out of time” the Minister appears to have had time in abundance to bring forward what he claims are “disciplinary charges” which he has admitted have been in his possession since November 2009. Editors may feel entitled to challenge him on this point. Has he run out of time, or has he allowed time to run out? Thereby preventing the defence from putting forward their case at a hearing.

As we have been denied the opportunity of a hearing it will not now be possible to put the defence case forward and to test it against whatever evidence, if any, the Minister proposed to submit.

It is however very much the view of the defence team that the current actions of the Minister, in which he seeks to put in the public domain allegations which he did not bring to a hearing, is grossly unfair and constitutes a further abuse of Ministerial power.

For the past 21 months I have been opposed by the Minister for Home Affairs who has made full use of his apparently unrestricted access to legal advice, civil service support, investigative resources and public funds. I on the other hand have conducted my defence while working from home, assisted only by family and unpaid volunteers. Editors may consider that in these circumstances I should now be given the benefit of any remaining doubts in respect of my actions.

Further briefing notes may be issued as more information emerges in relation to the Ministers intentions.

Sumitted by Team Voice.

21 comments:

  1. Re "For the past 21 months I have been opposed by the Minister for Home Affairs who has made full use of his apparently unrestricted access to legal advice, civil service support, investigative resources and public funds."

    Added to that list of resources that the minister has had at his disposal should be added the Jersey Evening Post which from the time that Graham Power was suspended has been shamefully biased against him, Lenny Harper, and Operation Rectangle.

    Every criticism of the investigation or its officers is prominently reported in large, tendentious headlines while any evidence to the contrary is merely ignored.

    It will be a good thing if we get to see the emails in which Graham Power complained about political interference in the investigation (which, I believe in the UK is a criminal offence).

    Can we also expect to see an appropriately large JEP headline: "Senior politicians and civil servants tried to interfere with the HdlG investigation."

    Even though all the evidence has been available for some time - starting from the suspension of Stuart Syvret, which Graham Power refused to be involved with, - neither the JEP nor CI TV has bothered to investigate that evidence nor show any concern about its implications for justice and polity in Jersey.

    Let's wait and see if the JEP's treatment of the heavily and selectively edited Wiltshire report will be consistent with its previous coverage of this subject.

    As Graham Power says, even if the Wiltshire Report did identify disciplinary failings in a UK jurisdiction, this doesn't apply to Jersey, which has different rules, as it has for banking and other legal structures.

    And even then, if there were perceived grounds for disciplinary action, that is only the beginning of the prosecution case. We have yet to hear the defence.

    And yet the comments coming from the Home Affairs Minister imply that Graham Power has already been examined, tried, and convicted, without having been allowed to defend himself.

    Still, I suppose it is all good for the image of Jersey, referred to in Private Eye as the 'septic isle'.

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  2. Re "For the past 21 months I have been opposed by the Minister for Home Affairs who has made full use of his apparently unrestricted access to legal advice, civil service support, investigative resources and public funds."

    Added to that list of resources that the minister has had at his disposal should be added the Jersey Evening Post which from the time that Graham Power was suspended has been shamefully biased against him, Lenny Harper, and Operation Rectangle.

    Every criticism of the investigation or its officers is prominently reported in large, tendentious headlines while any evidence to the contrary is merely ignored.

    It will be a good thing if we get to see the emails in which Graham Power complained about political interference in the investigation (which, I believe in the UK is a criminal offence).

    Can we also expect to see an appropriately large JEP headline: "Senior politicians and civil servants tried to interfere with the HdlG investigation."

    Even though all the evidence has been available for some time - starting from the suspension of Stuart Syvret, which Graham Power refused to be involved with, - neither the JEP nor CI TV has bothered to investigate that evidence nor show any concern about its implications for justice and polity in Jersey.

    Let's wait and see if the JEP's treatment of the heavily and selectively edited Wiltshire report will be consistent with its previous coverage of this subject.

    As Graham Power says, even if the Wiltshire Report did identify disciplinary failings in a UK jurisdiction, this doesn't apply to Jersey, which has different rules, as it has for banking and other legal structures.

    And even then, if there were perceived grounds for disciplinary action, that is only the beginning of the prosecution case. We have yet to hear the defence.

    And yet the comments coming from the Home Affairs Minister imply that Graham Power has already been examined, tried, and convicted, without having been allowed to defend himself.

    Still, I suppose it is all good for the image of Jersey, referred to in Private Eye as the 'septic isle'.

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  3. " Rob Kent said...

    Added to that list of resources that the minister has had at his disposal should be added the Jersey Evening Post which from the time that Graham Power was suspended has been shamefully biased against him, Lenny Harper, and Operation Rectangle."

    In the words of Joseph Goebbels....

    "Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play."

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  4. As usual, Tony the Prof's latest posting is well worth a read -

    http://tonymusings.blogspot.com/2010/07/wiltshire-mud.html

    There are many specific definitions of "redact" but they all pretty much amount to the same thing - to leave out completely or otherwise black out specific parts of a document so that the reader cannot see the full "unedited" version of the original.

    There can often be very good and genuine reason to "redact" documents. Equally, there can often be very disingenuous reasons for doing so.

    Given the controversial circumstances surrounding the suspension of the Police Chief and the imminent publication of a redacted version of the infamous Wiltshire Report, it will be vital that Senator Le Marquand explains fully - and truthfully - what has been redacted and the reasons for such redaction. If he does not do so, then we - the public - can draw only one reasonable conclusion.

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  5. ILM is a lawyer and former Magistrate. If he had never become a politician, I wonder what he would have to say about a case where -

    1. An accused person has been on bail for 20 months whilst the Crown spends more than £1 million building a case against him.

    2. All attempts to obtain details of the charges or, indeed, the nature of any prosecution evidence are flatly denied.

    3. Shortly before the trial date, the Crown decides to abandon the case against the accused and announces this fact - whilst at the same time announcing that they nevertheless believe that the accused is guilty and will soon publish the evidence against him despite the abandonment of the case.

    4. A few days later, the evidence is sent by the Prosecution to the "accredited" media but all requests for a copy by anyone else are refused.

    Could such a situation possibly arise in "real life"? Surely not??

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  6. The writing is on the wall as to how the flithy rag is going to cover this after the response you got from carl walker.

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  7. If you attack Carl Walker like this then how the hell can you expect the JEP to take you seriously?

    Totally tactless as per usual and bleeding desperate putting it mildly.

    Its this kind of stupidity which will just make the reporting for Graham Power even worse and 'freinds of Graham Power' who the hell is a friend of Graham Power?

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  8. Re "The writing is on the wall as to how the filthy rag is going to cover this after the response you got from carl walker."

    To quote a recent JEP Leader comment:

    "This may not be a fair or accurate picture of the real state of affairs, but, as so often in life, perceptions can be as influential as objective fact."

    How true!

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  9. Team Voice....

    So everything we suspected all those many months ago, is finally coming to fruition exactly the way we thought it would.

    So predictable.

    And they don't think that the accused has planned ahead!!!

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  10. In regard to this prargraph

    "It is however very much the view of the defence team that the current actions of the Minister, in which he seeks to put in the public domain allegations which he did not bring to a hearing, is grossly unfair and constitutes a further abuse of Ministerial power."

    Will any of our elected "represenatives" be taking a complaint to the PPC?

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  11. Carl Walker sounds very pompous.

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  12. Monty's very quiet on all of this?

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  13. VFC,

    What happened or is happening to Graham Power's signed dated and stamped Afradavid?

    Surely they are going to have to take that seriously? After all Mr Power didnot take all of that time and effort to put it together for it to be ignored?

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  14. Terry Le Sueur does not see a sworn Affidavit from our most senior police officer as "evidence" and yes it has been ignored.

    Where in any other western "democracy" would you see that happen?.............beats me!

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  15. Is it not the job of a news editor to source any new developing stories? This is one is certainly highly significant.

    All handed to him on a plate and he turns it down. It is timely accurate information for Jesey Evening Post readers.

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  16. Monty's very quiet on all of this?

    They are all very quiet on this
    We the electorate are watching.
    The forelock tugging has got to stop, you will be judged and if you do not stand up to this miscarriage of justice you will always be remembered in Jerseys history as the cover-up merchants

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  17. "Where in any other western 'democracy' would you see that happen?"

    Might happens sometimes in other places but never have I seen another First World country where the blog comments include advise not to criticise the press for clear bias because of fear of even greater retribution.

    Time and again Jersey online commenters admonish the public for failure to butter up the offending press. Very perverse, this ironic recommendation to PLEASE the JEP in order to be taken seriously!

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  18. Quote: "Please could you ask Mr Power to email his responses directly.
    Thank you."

    Whats wrong with this? Mr Power is a big boy he can email the JEP if he wishes to put his side of the issue into the public domain.
    It is your eqo that has a problem with this, and the fact you can not be taken seriously as a media outlet. Lets face it you are as biased, albeit in a different direction as the JEP. If you wish to be taken seriously start acting responsibly. If you behave like a ***t you will get treated like a ***t.

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. I don't think you can say that they are all very quiet on this. A few have done their best to get a fair outcome for mr Power, where he must face up to any shortcomings, but also doesn't get shafted just to save the Establishment face. I suppose Monty was highlighted because he was one of the great hopes for transparant politics and reform, yet appears to do very little. You could hardly expect the same of TLM or Benny "I'm just nipping out to my day job" Shenton.

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  21. come on, hurry up with the other briefing notes, time is ticking!

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