Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Former Police Chief Exclusive.

In November 2008 Jersey's most senior Police Officer was (possibly illegally) suspended from duty during the biggest Child Abuse Investigation Jersey has ever witnessed. Regular readers will be aware that the "official line" surrounding this suspension as portrayed by the Jersey government along with its State Media just doesn't stack up and has been torn apart by this Blogsite and others including RICO SORDA'S

The latest turn of events has seen the publication of a 62,000 word document submitted by the former Police Chief, Graham Power QPM, to the Wiltshire Constabulary who were tasked with producing evidence against him to take to a disciplinary hearing. A disciplinary hearing that never could have, or ever did take place but still cost the Jersey Taxpayer in excess of ONE MILLION POUNDS

Mr. Powers 62,000 word, 94 page, submission to Wiltshire was leaked to former Jersey politician and Health Minister Stuart Syvret who most will know spoke out, or blew the whistle, while still in post, on the institutional, decades long, Child Abuse in Jersey State run institutions and "care" homes. Mr. Syvret too was removed from his post as Health Minister. 

The document itself is, as previously described, "DYNAMITE" and for those with an interest in the full picture of this whole sordid and ghastly affair the document can, and should be, read HERE.

It should also be mentioned that Mr. Syvret gave a copy of this document to BBC Jersey State Radio, over TEN MONTHS AGO back in September 2011 and despite reporting on the case AGAINST Mr. Power they have kept his defence case buried ever since. (More about that in an up-coming Blog).

As a result of Mr. Power's document being published we contacted him in order to verify its authenticity and asked him if he could explain to us its significance, how it came about and related matters. This is in stark contrast to BBC Jersey State Radio, and the rest of the island's State Media who have not sought to ask him a single question, either on its authenticity nor its contents, which in a functioning "Democracy" with an independent media would seem quite staggering, but in Jersey, alas it is quite the norm where Bloggers are the only real independent media there is.

Below is Mr. Power's response to our request and we thank him for his willingness to respond to any, and all, questions put to him in order that history can record a true reflection of the Jersey Child Abuse Atrocities and related issues which you'll not find anywhere in the State Media.

I have been approached by the “Voiceforchildren” website and asked if I want to comment on the apparent publication on another website of my 62,000 word written statement to Wiltshire Police which I prepared in response to the disciplinary investigation into my management of the Jersey Historic Abuse Enquiry, when I was Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police. The Chief Constable of Wiltshire was appointed to conduct the disciplinary investigation in December 2008.

I have viewed the website on which the statement is said to be published. I have not read the full publication or compared it word-for-word with my copy of the original. I have however checked some randomly selected extracts from the website and found them to be an accurate reproduction of the original document. It appears from the available evidence that the publication on the website is a true copy of the original document, albeit with some redactions for the protection of third parties. I did not provide a copy of my statement to the website or the person who operates that website.

I prepared the statement in 2009 because I was required to do by the Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Ian Le Marquand, who activated the relevant part of the Disciplinary Code for the Chief Officer of the Force, which requires that such a statement be provided. I should perhaps record at this stage that the provision of a statement was not the first option which was considered. I was at first approached by the Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Brian Moore, and asked if I would agree to be interviewed. It was proposed that the interview would be conducted in a Jersey hotel or similar location and would last for about a week. I know of no precedent for an interview of that duration in a disciplinary enquiry. In a criminal investigation the law would normally prohibit an interview of that length other than in exceptional cases with the agreement of a Court. Terrorism investigations are an example of the type of enquiry where authority might be given for an interview lasting for a week.

In spite of the exceptional nature of the request I nevertheless entered into correspondence to establish whether it would be possible for me to give my agreement to what was proposed. I noted that Mr Moore and his team were benefiting from legal advice funded by the Jersey Government. I therefore asked for a similar facility which would enable me to be advised in respect of the request for an interview, and to be represented during any interview which was agreed. This request was considered by the Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Ian Le Marquand, who decided that he would not allow funding for me to have any legal advice or representation, stating that any legal costs would have to be met from my own personal resources.

Given that the subject matter of the interview was entirely concerned with things I had done in the course of my duties as Chief Officer of the Force, and that the investigating Officers and the Minister were benefiting from full legal advice, I did not think that the Ministers decision was fair or consistent with the principles of Natural Justice. I therefore declined to attend for interview but said that I would comply with the Code and provide a written statement. I was then given a list of points to cover and a deadline for the submission of the final document.

It might be worth recording at this point that apart from the lack of fairness, I did not think that the Ministers decision to require me to provide a written statement was wise. In my opinion few people in his situation would have done the same. The consequence of his decision was that I would produce a full and candid written account of the investigation from my perspective. This would include previously undisclosed information regarding the role and actions of Jersey Ministers and other key figures. Once the statement had been created it would exist thereafter, copies would be made, and interest would be expressed in its content. Given the nature of things in Jersey it would inevitably find its way into the public domain by one means or another. If another person had been the Minister they might have preferred not to have compelled the document to be created in the first place. They may have seen it as a future source of conflict and embarrassment. They could have found another way of dealing with the situation. Senator Le Marquand apparently thought otherwise. That might be one of the reasons why the controversy is still live over three years afterwards. In the circumstances another Minister may have sought a way to “close down” the matter of my suspension and move on to address the core issues of the decades of child abuse, and the reasons for the abuse being covered-up by people whose duty it was to act. That has not happened.

If the publication of my statement and any issues which arise from that publication are troublesome to the Minister, then it is trouble that he has made for himself. He took the decision to require me to write it. All that has followed could have been foreseen.

Once it was clear that I would be providing a written statement and that there was a deadline to be met I set about the task. At this time both the Wiltshire Police team and the Minister were benefitting, not just from the comprehensive legal advice which I have described earlier, but also from fully staffed administrative support and modern office facilities. I on the other hand did my own typing on a laptop computer with family members acting as proof-readers. Looking back on those events I am confident that a situation was deliberately contrived in order to create feelings of isolation and hopelessness on my part. This would have been done in the hope that I would break under the pressure and quietly slip away. That did not happen.

It is now a matter of record that in spite of a long investigation and suspension costing well over a million pounds, no disciplinary charges were brought and no hearing was ever called. I retired in July 2010 three years after my “normal retirement age” as set out in my conditions of service.

I was surprised when, shortly before I retired, the Minister made it clear that he intended to publish a redacted version of the Wilshire report. This document was effectively the “prosecution case” which would have been used at the hearing which the Minister never called. I thought that this was unfair and said so in clear terms. It had been made clear from the onset that all documents in the case were to be kept strictly confidential. The Minister was breaching that rule. He also sought to present the Wiltshire report as some form of “independent review” which it plainly was not. The idea of a thorough management review of the investigation, and the lessons to be learned, to which I was happy to contribute, had been considered and turned down by the Minister early in 2009. The document which he eventually published was designed to be presented at a disciplinary hearing which never happened. Had the hearing taken place the contents of the report would have been subjected to significant challenge and opposing evidence would have been brought.

When I learned of the Ministers intentions I said that firstly, the Wiltshire report should not have been published, but if it was to be published, there should be at least a parallel publication of my own written statement. This was communicated by a variety of means including a letter to the Chief Minister dated 3rd April 2010. Under some political pressure Senator Le Marquand promised that he would do this, but his promise was never kept and it has now been overtaken by events.

All that said, I believe that the statement which has now entered the public domain is a valuable contribution to the understanding of a significant period in the Island’s history. I believe that it is revealing, not only with regard to the abuse enquiry, but also the cultures, attitudes, and style of governance which existed at the time.

If it serves any purpose in assisting the victims, or preventing similar events in the future, then the time spent compiling it will have been worthwhile.




Graham Power.

North Yorkshire.

August 2012.(END)

Is there any wonder why this story continues to attract NATIONAL and INTERNATIONAL media interest? 

16 comments:

  1. Thank you, Mr power, for all you have done to set the story straight. The truth serves a noble purpose and may yet benefit many.

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  2. VFC

    What Mr Power says in the statement you've published here is both extremely important and very alarming.

    It describes well, and with great accuracy, a standard methodology of the Jersey oligarhcy when they decide they have to repress someone who is perceived as a threat to their "image". They isolate that person, and do all the can to make the individual feel as though it is they who have done something wrong; they depict that person to the public as though they were some kind of 'villain' - and the Jersey authorities then abuse public money to spend on their oppressive conduct, whilst the person they seek to oppress is given nothing - no resources at all with which to defend themselves.

    And in the case of the illegal oppression carried out against people like Graham Power, and against me, the Jersey authorities are oppressing ordinary people - especially the vulnerable and powerless - for example, victims of child abuse. The Police Chief and the Health & Social Services Minister are THE two public authorities who are most central to the lawful protection of vulnerable children, and opposing those who criminally abuse children. When the entrenched might and resources of an entire administration can be used to oppress the Police Chief and the Social Services Minister - and, conversely, those two office-holders are denied any resources or defence - then vulnerable children have no chance.

    Be absolutely clear about this - if it wasn't already clear, it certainly is after this statement by Graham Power - that the conduct of Jersey's public authorities and the very nature of the island's public administration is now the central question that must be examined microscopically in any meaningful public inquiry into the decades of concealed child abuse.

    As Mr. Power suggests, the conduct of the Jersey authorities has been so stupid and, frankly deranged, they've made things far, far worse for themselves. Now, they are into "Watergate" territory - whereby the illegal cover-ups are now the central issue.

    Stuart

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  3. I thought Stuart was offered legal aid but turned it down?

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  4. Mr Power thank you and Lenny Harper for all you have done and continue to do to ensure the truth gets told.

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  5. A reader says:

    "I thought Stuart was offered legal aid but turned it down?"

    The legal requirement - which is binding upon the Jersey authorities, but more significantly, binding upon the UK - is the requirement of Article 6 of the ECHR, that in the determination of his civil rights and obligations a person must have access to "effective" legal representation - and representation "of his choice".

    I was - eventually - offered what passes for "legal representation" in Jersey - an unpaid lawyer - not of my choosing - with zero experience or specialism in media law, or human rights - and who worked for one of the big oligarhcy legal firms - a firm with a very clear interest in supporting the Jersey establishment.

    Take simply two of those factors: lack of the relevant specialism - and being unfunded.

    No legal representation can meet the legal requirement of being "effective" - if the lawyer in question has zero relevant specialist knowledge or experience - and nor can it be effective if it is unfunded - especially when ranged against a prosecution that had - literally - unlimited resources and staff devoted to it, as the resources in question were, de facto, being stolen from tax-payers by the Attorney General's Office, to protect itself from its malfeasances being exposed. For any legal proceedings to be Article 6 compliant, there must be "equality of arms".

    But, in any event, you needn't take my word for the fundamentally unlawful and non-ECHR compliant nature of Jersey's legal aid provision. No less an authority than a previous Batonnier, Advocate Olsen, said in a speech to the Royal Court that Jersey's legal aid system was not compatible with Article 6.

    So, no - I was not offered any form of legal aid that could have been remotely described as compliant with Article 6 of the ECHR.

    However - even before the Stalinistic political police and prosecution oppressions were carried out against me - I should have had proper legal resources and effective equality of arms, when I was fighting against the illegal sabotaging of the Health & Social Services Ministry and the illegal obstruction of the Children (Jersey) Law. The fact that the entire Jersey oligarchy was able to oppress the Health Minister to prevent him from exercising the legal obligations of that Office - and the Health Minster has zero resources to call upon in his defence - and when even the Bailiff (Phil Bailhache) illegally prevents the Minister's Official defence report from being published - then the vulnerable children and people the Minister was trying to fight for, have no chance.

    Stuart

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  6. Stuart makes an excellent point. If those who are in an official position to protect you - such as police chiefs, lead detectives, and popular elected senators - can be oppressed to the point of being removed from their protective roles, what safety is there for any innocent Jersey citizen?

    These men have asked that question. If it can happen to them what makes you think it can't happen to you?

    Whether or not Stuart turned down of free legal aid is a red herring. Why would any of these men trust a legal advisor who is assigned by, beholden to and closely associated with the very powerful oppressors themselves?

    An ominous example of the Jersey power structure thwarting the effective legal representation of one of these men can be seen in the details of the hurried cracking of Graham Power's office safe when Mr Power's witnesses were not in place. It appears that among items "lost" afterwards was Graham Power's contractual paperwork guaranteeing him cost coverage for legal representation. This coverage presumably entitled him to hire much better quality legal assistance, and that may have been seen as unaffordable to the mafia running the Jersey enterprise.

    Graham Power's case is powerful, with factual evidence on his side, and his intelligence, articulate recall and integrity make him a most formidable opponent. One can only imagine what he could have done earlier within the judicial system, bent though it is, had he been properly represented by a strong and effective (independent) legal advocate.

    Nevertheless, his story is now on permanent record and it is the only believable version of events.

    Elle

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  7. 'Nevertheless, his story is now on permanent record and it is the only believable version of events'.

    Elle - this is so very, very true. The honesty and openness of Mr Power shine through in all he has said and writes.

    That most certainly cannot be said of all those involved in the sorry tale of his illegal suspension.

    Shame on them all, and thanks to Mr Power for continuing to engage, something you should not be having to do when you should be enjoying your retirement.

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  8. "Elle - this is so very, very true. The honesty and openness of Mr Power shine through in all he has said and writes.

    That most certainly cannot be said of all those involved in the sorry tale of his illegal suspension."

    A clear example, or "evidence" of your observation Jill.

    "The Former Home Affairs Minister told the island's Parliament (in a secret session that was never meant to see the light of day) regarding his suspension of the Former Police Chief.

    "As far as the accusation you raise about the Metropolitan Police, when I saw the preliminary report I was astounded. So much so that my actions, I believe, are fully justified. If the preliminary report is that damning, Lord knows what the main report will reveal.

    But running alongside that statement we have, in the subsequent Napier Review in paragraph 101;

    "As previously has been noted, neither Mr Lewis nor Mr Ogley saw the Interim Report. Neither did they seek to see it.”

    "We now also know, thanks to the tenacity and determination of the Senior Investigating Officer of the original Child Abuse Investigation, (Operation Rectangle) Mr. Lenny Harper to ensure the truth behind the lies are told that, and quoted from OPERATION TUMA "In the Heads of Complaint made by Mr Harper he states that the review criticised a number of areas of the investigation. The review does not criticise the investigation. The Review does not criticise any individual involved in Operation Rectangle."

    Staying with the EVIDENCE

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  9. "I was - eventually - offered what passes for "legal representation" in Jersey - an unpaid lawyer - not of my choosing - with zero experience or specialism in media law, or human rights - and who worked for one of the big oligarhcy legal firms - a firm with a very clear interest in supporting the Jersey establishment. "

    I know I probably sound like a broken record, but that is EXACTLY the same tactic that is being employed in the secret family courts all over the UK - my son was forced to have a lawyer for 18 months approx who he was never even allowed to meet, and that lawyer was so corrupt, he wangled the case so that my legal aid was paying for the person who had taken me to court's fees, and the person who had taken me to court was also having all his paperwork arranged free of charge by my solicoitor. At the time I didn't know enough about the law to understand that what they were doing was illegal, they didn't even bother to hide what they were doing.

    The court in Jersey seems to be run on exactly the same principles as the UK secret family courts.

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  10. Just when we thought it couldn't get ANY WORSE

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  11. Coming soon on my blog: what the evidence in the Graham Power case means; what it says about Jersey - what it says about Crown corruption - and why we have a prosecution system that helps to oppress vulnerable children, and protect those who have abused them.

    Stuart

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