Tuesday, 10 July 2012

You Don't Deserve Your Day In Court Minister.

Now that the Vote Of Censure against Treasury Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf will not be debated in the States (Parliament) he feels a little hard done by. The Senator feels that nobody should be treated in the way he has, in that a damming Report can be released into the public domain, against him, and he is denied the right to defend himself because the Vote Of Censure has been withdrawn. Senator Ozouf clearly has a very short memory and is not able to grasp that this is how business in Jersey is conducted.

Senator Ozouf should actually be thankful that no potential criminal acts (as far as we are aware) have been employed in order to smear his reputation and that he is not bound by "A Freedom Of Information EXEMPT" Clause so can offer his defence without fear of retribution criminal or otherwise.

Regular readers will be aware that the same privileges were not afforded to the Former Chief Of Police Graham Power QPM. Mr. Power was (illegally?) suspended from duty during the biggest Child Abuse Investigation the Island has ever seen, for reasons that still aren't clear to this day, and not only was he denied his "Day In Court" he had the prosecution case against him (possibly illegally) published by Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand and the State Media, while he (GP) was bound by the confidentiality clauses set by the Wiltshire Constabulary, the same FOI Exempt clauses that Senator Le Marquand was bound by, but apparently chose to ignore.

Below is a letter of complaint to the then Chief Minister, Terry Le Sueur, from the Former Police Chief, concerning the discredited and disgraced, Home Affairs Minister Senator Ian Le Marquand and the way he conducts his business.


Graham Power

                                                                                                          North Yorkshire,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Saturday 3rd April 2010.


The Chief Minister,


Cyril Le Marquand House,


Jersey.

Dear Chief Minister,

Request for independent investigation into the conduct of the Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Ian Le Marquand.

The purpose of this letter is to set out the basis of my request for an independent investigation into the conduct of Senator Ian Le Marquand, the Minister for Home Affairs. I also have some additional representations to make concerning the current disciplinary enquiry.

You will recall that I was suspended from duty as Chief Officer of the States Police in November 2008. The suspension occurred towards the end of what, from all independent accounts, was a successful and distinguished period of service to the Island. From the very beginning of the suspension, and at all times subsequently, I have maintained that the suspension was unjustified, and that any allegations against me were false. That position has not changed.

As part of the suspension process I was served with documents and a copy of the Disciplinary Code which clearly stated that “All parties involved in the operation of this Code will maintain confidentiality while proceedings are being progressed.” I have at all times sought to observe this requirement.

In addition, I have at every stage attempted to move things forward, and to assist in bringing the matter to an early conclusion. I have co-operated fully with Mr Brian Moore, the Chief Constable of Wiltshire, who is the Investigating Officer acting on behalf of the Chief Executive. In July 2009 I provided Mr Moore with a statement consisting of over 62,00 words, and in March 2010 I provided a further statement of over 13,000 words.

Nobody should be surprised to learn that since November 2008 I have been approached by a number of journalists, some representing major UK media interests, who have sought to persuade me to provide them with exclusive material relating to the abuse enquiry, the Jersey government, and the circumstances of my suspension. I have consistently dealt with these approaches by declining to make comment, on the basis that to do so would constitute a breach of the Disciplinary Code.

Against this background you are aware that I have made a number of representations, culminating in my letter to the Deputy Chief Executive dated 1st March 2010, in which I set out the history of my suspension, and offered the view that the Minister had by then prolonged matters to a point at which a return to work was impossible, and I had therefore effectively been dismissed. I have not received a reply to that letter. This is entirely consistent with the behaviour which the Minister, and those acting on his behalf, have shown throughout this matter. Letters seeking information are often simply ignored, and the normal courtesies of professional correspondence and fair play are treated with a disdain bordering on contempt. I hope you will appreciate how difficult it has been for me to sustain a meaningful engagement in the face of this behaviour.

You will also know that Mr Moore has formally recorded his own view on the confidentiality of his report, and has provided all parties with a written notice in which he states that the contents of his report are exempt from any Freedom of Information disclosure, and “the disclosure of information would be likely to prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and Jersey.”

With these issues in mind I have observed, with growing incredulity, the conduct of the Minister for Home Affairs over recent days. On Sunday 21st March 2010 the Minister was heard live on the BBC Radio Jersey “Talkback” programme. At the time of writing steps are in hand to obtain a transcript of the Ministers comments. Nevertheless, from my notes of the broadcast, it is clear that the Minister engaged in what appeared to be a number of persistent and deliberate contraventions of the confidentiality requirements of the Disciplinary Code. In addition, he also indicated a degree of pre-judgement of the evidence which was inconsistent with his role as a “judge” in my disciplinary case, and which demonstrated complete disregard for my Human Right to a fair and independent hearing under Article 6 of the Convention. My notes indicate the Minister said on live radio that he had a copy of the report with him in the studio, and there is a suggestion that some part of it may have been seen by, or at the least discussed with, another States member who was present. He also took the position that there was mismanagement of the Historic Abuse enquiry, and I was in some way responsible. I regard these claims to be totally false and without justification. I also noted that he spoke of a senior member of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) who is a potential defence witness on my behalf, and described the conduct of that person as "scandalous". The conduct of the Minister on “Talkback” was in its own right a serious breach of the Disciplinary Code, and one which undermined any claim he may make to be capable of properly discharging his disciplinary responsibilities. However, more was to follow.

I have subsequently seen a media report which indicates that Senator Le Marquand has told a Scrutiny hearing that he will release parts of the Moore report to States Members. This would appear to constitute a further expression of intent to contravene the confidentiality requirement of the code, and to undermine my right to a fair hearing. You are of course aware that my ultimate disciplinary authority is the States as a whole. This being the case it is difficult to see the Ministers stated intention as anything other than an attempt to prevent me from receiving a fair hearing before the States, should that eventuality arise.

You will now be aware, that notwithstanding the apparent breaches of the rules of integrity, fair play, and respect for Human Rights, which had been committed by the Minister during March 2010, a further breach occurred on 1st April 2010 which, in the view of most observers, surpassed all which had gone before. An article appeared as a lead story in a Jersey newspaper which left no doubt that significant parts of the Moore report had been leaked, and that the leak had come either directly from the Minister, or others acting on his behalf. The article purported to give details of the Moore report, and was accompanied by a photograph of what appeared to be the cover of the report bearing the Wiltshire Police crest. The Minister is quoted extensively in relation to the Moore report, and appears to be uninhibited in his willingness to discuss publicly a report, the confidentiality of which he is obliged to uphold. The leaks are targeted and selective. They make mention of alleged critical comment of my own role, but omit reference to evidence of political interference in the abuse investigation, or of the difficulties created by the failure of the Jersey authorities to establish proper arrangements for the accountability of policing. In addition, the Minister, in his comments, makes the false allegation that I was in some way responsible for delays in relation to interviews and the provision of statements. He omits to mention that these delays arose entirely from his own refusal to provide for me to have the protection of fair legal representation. The leaks from the report and the Ministers comments appear to be a premeditated and calculated attempt to destroy any prospect of a fair and independent hearing of any disciplinary allegations which may be brought against me. They constitute a gross and premeditated abuse of Ministerial power. In engaging with the media in this manner the Minister appears to have forfeited any right to play a further role in respect of my case. Accordingly, after having taken appropriate advice, I have determined to act as follows:

1. I request an immediate and independent investigation into the conduct of the Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Ian Le Marquand in relation to his breaches of the confidentiality requirements of the Disciplinary Code, and of whatever understanding he may have entered into with the Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Mr Brian Moore, regarding the confidentiality of Mr Moore's report. Given that the Moore report contains personal data, a criminal investigation may be appropriate. It would be logical for an investigation to include any Civil Servants who have supported the Minister in his conduct. I am of course willing to assist with any such investigation and to give evidence if required.

2. I formally give notice that in view of his persistent breaches of both the Code and my Human Rights, I have lost confidence in the Minister for Home Affairs. I consider that my relationship with the Minister has broken down, and that this breakdown has been deliberately engineered by the Minister, and is irrevocable. In consequence, I invite you to consider how matters affecting me should now be progressed. Clearly, in the circumstances it would be difficult for me to have any further dealings with the Minister, and I can imagine no circumstances in which I would agree that he should be entrusted with any information relating to me which is personal or confidential. I leave it to you to make whatever arrangements, or indeed take whatever action you see fit, in light of this decision.

3. I consider that it is now beyond reasonable dispute that any possibility of a fair and unprejudiced hearing of any matters which may be alleged against me has been totally destroyed. I understand from media reports that the Minister may also have admitted that his repeated delays in taking the matter forward have now reached a point at which a disciplinary process can no longer be completed. This being the case I would regard it as a serious abuse of process, and oppressive behaviour, to continue with the pretext that there is some prospect of disciplinary proceedings and I therefore request that all proceedings under the disciplinary code be formally ended.

Since the publication of the article in the newspaper I have learned from a public internet site that Senator Le Marquand has stated that he hopes to publish further parts of the Moore report. I would regard this as unacceptable. The report in question was prepared as a “preliminary report” for the purposes of the Disciplinary Code. It contains significant inaccuracies and makes statements which are not true. Should any disciplinary proceedings have followed the report it was my intention to subject its contents to significant challenge, and it's author to detailed cross-examination. I regard the threat to publish the report at this or any other time as an expression of malicious intent, and should publication occur, all of my options are reserved. However, without prejudice to any of the above, your intention is drawn to the existence of my own report on the management of the enquiry which is set out in the form of an extensive statement, a copy of which is in the Ministers possession. Should the Minister decide, in spite of all of the above, to proceed with further publication of the Moore report, then it would appear to be entirely reasonable that my own report be published at the same time.

Finally, please note that I have written separately to Mr Moore expressing my concerns at the leak of his report and asking that no further confidential information relating to my interests be provided to the Minister, or anyone acting on his behalf.


I look forward to an early reply.






Yours sincerely










Graham Power.

Cc Dr T Brain.

Mr. Power received a reply from the then Chief Minister, Terry Le Sueur some THIRTEEN DAYS LATER on 16th-04-10 in which he acknowledged the complaint and said that he was taking legal advice on the content and that he would respond within 2 weeks. Nothing further was heard and around 6 weeks later Mr. Power retired.

So the Treasury Minister, if all are equal in the eyes of the Jersey Establishment, does not deserve his Day In Court. 

Furthermore one has to ask does Senator Ozouf still feel so hard done by?

5 comments:

  1. Spot on!

    Reminds me of Warcup not taking up his permanent job because people had been printing nasty things about him (you know who you are!).

    All the while, Graham Power and Lenny Harper had the massed ranks of the Jersey Establishment and the mainstream media traducing their reputations all over town and beyond.

    Trouble is, every time you guys get a scalp to wear on your belt (we're looking at you, Ogley), they get a 500K payout and retire to the sun.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ever so slowly, you appear to be winning "hearts and minds". Keep up the excellent work.

    Lucy Mason, JEP, 20 July 2012

    http://www.thisisjersey.com/news/comment/2012/07/10/are-we-all-suffering-from-fatigue-on-consultations/

    "Some – for example the likes of PAC chairman Deputy Tracey Vallois and the group who brought the censure motion to the States led by Senator Sarah Ferguson – would now like there to be a committee of inquiry to get to the bottom of this whole controversial saga that has been allowed to go on for far too long.

    But will it actually happen? And even if it does, will everyone accept its findings? We don’t have a good track record with these kinds of things. Just look at the committee of inquiry about historical abuse which is still sat on a shelf somewhere awaiting revised terms of reference or whatever it is that we keep being palmed off with.

    It is true that such inquiries are expensive and time-consuming and take a lot of effort. It is also true that in the past I have been critical of States Members who keep going on about issues like the suspension of Graham Power years after it all happened.

    But having followed the Lime Grove saga from the beginning (something I didn’t have to opportunity to do with the whole historical abuse case and subsequent fall-out), I can sympathise with them.


    I want the truth, and I want some answers to make me, as a voter, feel like this whole issue has not been swept under the carpet. And I am by no means alone.

    I would hope that the likes of Senator Ozouf and his supporters would also like the truth, so that the rest of us don’t wrongly condemn someone at the next election if, like they say, the criticisms of him were unfounded. And the same goes for the Comptroller and Auditor General – it would be unjust to condemn him if he has been wrongly accused.

    In the interests of fairness to all – the public, politicians and the people at the heart of the controversy – Lime Grove cannot be relegated to the pile of unresolved issues blighting our government."

    We all want the truth Lucy, that's why we're here. Some very powerful people don't want that truth to emerge, at any cost. That's the problem. And, as Rob Kent says, they just pay them to go away.

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  3. Hi VFC.

    Just put up 3 Questions without Answers from today, which you & your readers can listen HERE

    will put up the ones about Senator Ozouf & the Independence thing that's not about going Independent in a day or so.

    TJW.

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  4. Re: Comment left at 20:48 -

    This is a nice surprise! Has Lucy Mason come across some solid facts somewhere? Will she be allowed by her masters to continue her call for transparency?

    The comment about slowly winning hearts and minds is a good one. Lucy knows she will have to come to terms with her permanent international record as a complicit propaganda minion of the State Media if she does not address some of the misleading stories she has written regarding the decades of abuse of children and the policemen who heroically investigated it.

    Is this her mea culpa? If so, all credit is to you bloggers.

    ReplyDelete

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