Thursday, 12 November 2015
Unhappy Anniversary. (7)
Former Police Chief
Graham Power QPM.
Seven years ago, to the day, the then Chief Police Officer of Jersey, Graham Power QPM, was (possibly illegally) suspended from duty during the biggest Child Abuse Investigation Jersey has ever seen. (Operation Rectangle)
He was (possibly illegally) suspended by the then Home Affairs Minister, Deputy Andrew Lewis, in the only significant Ministerial Decision he made during his very short time as Home Affairs Minister. Deputy Lewis then retired from politics, for six years, only to be re-elected in 2014 as Deputy in St. Helier District ¾ under a banner of “honesty and integrity.”
When Deputy Andrew Lewis suspended Mr. Graham Power seven years ago he, and the Establishment, thought that they would achieve a quick kill, Mr. Power would walk away quietly. As mentioned in the Blog Posting of RICO SORDA “If you had said then that after 7 years of unceasing controversy they themselves would be called to give evidence under oath to attempt once again to justify their actions they would have laughed.”
But last week they had to listen to two days of critical, and damming, evidence from the former Chief Police Officer and soon it will be their turn. Andrew Lewis, who has so far given a number of contradictory accounts of the (possibly illegal) suspension, will be called to give evidence under oath.
Deputy Andrew Lewis.
Deputy Lewis’contradictory accounts include this account to the Island’s Parliament:
"I have read an alarming report from the Metropolitan Police which led me to this decision in the first place.”
And this account from the Napier Review:
“As previously has been noted, neither Mr Lewis nor Mr Ogley saw the Interim Report. Neither did they seek to see it.
Andrew Lewis further added (in the Island’s Parliament):
“If the preliminary report is that damning, Lord knows what the main report will reveal. So my successor will have an interesting time. The report that I was shown gave me no doubt at all.”
Yet according to the Metropolitan Police (OPERATION TUMA)
“The review does not criticise the investigation. The Review does not criticise any individual involved in Operation Rectangle.”
Remember Andrew, telling lies on oath is called perjury! Perjury is punishable by prison (if/when we ever get the Rule Of Law in Jersey). Granted, you or any other politician, can tell lies in the States Chamber with IMPUNITY but which of your many versions of events will you be turning up with on the day? Better get it right this time or you may have more than a bit of bad press to worry about.
Mr. Power’s statement to the COI is believed to be considerably larger than his (94 page 62,000 word) statement to the Wiltshire Constabulary. His statement to Wilts is his interim defence case that has been leaked to all island State Media but despite reporting on the prosecution case against Mr. Power, his defense case has been buried by them including the BBC
Former AG and now
Bailiff William Bailhache.
Mr. Power’s statement to Wilts along with a large number of other documents has been submitted to the COI. It is now hoped that it, and other documents submitted to the COI will be published on its website thus making them public documents and giving the State Media one less excuse for burying them.
It is believed that a lot of what Mr. Power had to say to the COI (in his statement) is new but was not spoken about at the hearing when he was giving evidence. One presumes that’s because it was not contested (rather than any other sinister motive). They also seemed to use Mr. Power as an "expert witness" on the history of the police and government in Jersey. Indeed perhaps too much time was spent on this and not enough time spent on his (possibly illegal) suspension. There was very little mention, or questioning of, Mr. Power’s suspension during his Public Hearing, and to be frank it seemed that it was only mentioned by counsel as a token gesture. Perhaps when Mr. Power’s transcripts are available this will make for an interesting, and informative, Blog of it own?
Also one would have hoped that more would have been mentioned in the State Media of the new evidence relating to a possible "obstruction of justice" by the then Attorney General William Bailhache. Who already has some uncomfortable QUESTIONS TO ANSWER.
Evidence was given in 2008 that Police Officers reported to Mr. Power that children had been abused after they had knowingly been put in a situation of risk by Children’s Services and that front line police staff thought that the neglect of duty by the Civil Servants concerned was so gross that it amounted to a crime under the Children’s Law. Mr. Power asked for an opinion from the AG on the law. He (Mr. Power) said in evidence that William Bailhache responded by saying that he would have a "quiet word" with the then Chief Executive Bill (Golden Handshake) Ogley (who is being called as a witness to the COI).
Former Assistant Health Minister
It is also believed that the COI was able to obtain evidence that supported what Mr. Power was saying. He said that he was "appalled" and that this was the sort of behaviour "which had got us into this mess in the first place." The allegations should have been dealt with openly and transparently, not brushed under the carpet (The Jersey Way.) It is unclear which case was being referred to but we are led to believe it might be the one, which ended up in a civil action against the States of Jersey after the catastrophic failings of BEN SHENTON ANDJIMMY PERCHARD. “Family X”
In conclusion: I repeat the call from Rico Sorda asking Andrew Lewis, when giving evidence to the COI, to finally “do the right thing.” Rid himself of this Albatross round his neck and put those who leant on him in the frame. This could be his final opportunity to put the record straight. Your choice Andrew, what do you want to be remembered for? The bloke who never had the gonads to do the right thing or the bloke who helped put the record straight and assisted in terminating the infamous “Jersey Way?” Will you emerge as the Hero or the Villain?
The six previous “Unhappy Anniversaries” can be viewed from Below.