In November 2008 the then Home Affairs Minister, and current Chairman of Public Accounts Committee, Deputy Andrew Lewis, controversially (possibly illegally) suspended the Chief of Police while his force was investigating (Operation Rectangle) decades of concealed Child Abuse in State run institutions and elsewhere in Jersey.
Deputy Mike Higgins, on 23rd May 2012, lodged a proposition asking the parliament to make public the Hansard of the 2nd of December 2008. The proposition was debated on 26th June 2012 and can be read HERE. Both the December 2nd 2008 debate and Deputy Higgins' proposition were held in-camera (secret)
The full transcript of that Public Hearing can be read HERE. The excerpts published by VFC can be read HERE.
"I feel that I understand what Deputy Higgins has brought to this Assembly. But I am very concerned and I support what the Deputy of St. Lawrence and the Deputy of St. John has said, it seems now that there are 2 germane documents that seem to be missing and that is the summary provided by Mr. Warcup and the actual interim report itself. Because if these 2 things marry-up and look very similar and the content is germane to the whole situation, then there is not, as the Connétable of St. John says, that to me seems, as he said, in the middle of all of that situation with it in full flow you would have to make your decisions as you go along and although I totally understand where Deputy Higgins is coming from, I think those 2 documents would now have to be discovered by certainly the new Members who have not been party to all of this and so I could not support this motion.”
One must also keep in mind that Connetable Juliette Gallichan is the former Chairman of Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) who has questions to answer herself HERE and HERE. Why she was not called as a witness to the Child Abuse Inquiry is still a mystery.
Although in the full Hansard Ian Le Marquand believes Deputy Lewis, it is not the sole reason for upholding the secret Jersey Way as he explains above.............It's about secrecy as well.
Ian Le Marquand has a number of questions to answer also. Not least from HERE.
“It is not specific in this text as to what he is referring to and he refers on the bottom of that page, which is the fourth page that we have, he refers to it again. He says: “I believe if this preliminary report is that damning, Lord knows what the main report will reveal.” So, again, he is referring to a report, which is a synopsis or some sort of briefing situation because I am quite sure………”
"Minister, do not go down this road please." HERE.
People who are economical with the truth in one topic are usually as economical in others. People who attempt to cover up one thing are usually prepared to cover up another.
The fact is that the evidence doesn't look to back up Andrew Lewis' testimony to the Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry. This should be of considerable concern to the island's government and to the general public.
Andrew Lewis is a serving politicians and Chairman of Public Accounts Committee who's honesty, and integrity, should be beyond reproach.
Part one of this series can be viewed HERE.
Part two of this series can be viewed HERE.