Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Advocate Philip Sinel Interview.

Advocate Philip Sinel

With the recent revelation that the Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry announcing that it won't be publishing its report until the first quarter of 2017, and with the departure of the Lieutenant Governor VFC was keen to capture the thoughts and opinions of local prominent Lawyer, and constitutional expert, Advocate Philip Sinel who we have interviewed once before on similar matters which can be viewed HERE and HERE. Of particular interest and relates to this posting also is the submission Mr. Sinel made to the Carswell Review which we published HERE.

In our in-depth, and exclusive, interview (below) Advocate Sinel explains why he believes Jersey's constitutional arrangements are a barrier to the Child Abuse Inquiry's report to effect any change on the past and present regime run by "an oligarchy that will support itself and intimidate those who disagree with it." (Usually through its "Justice" System.) He goes on to tell us that he believes the Child Abuse inquiry's work has been and is "being undermined by the Attorney General's Office, the States of Jersey Police and the Data Protection Commission."

Lieutenant Governor

Unlike parts of the State Media Advocate Sinel is not fawning over the Office and departure of the Lieutenant Governor and we think it would be fair to say he (like many others) has very little confidence in the LG due to his dealings (or not) with him. Mr. Sinel tells us (interview below) that he has had to go over the head of the LG and contact HM Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt  who appears to be as unwilling to deal with "the Jersey problem" as the Queen's representative on the Island.

This is a compelling, insightful, and somewhat alarming interview from the perspective of a prominent Lawyer who has first hand experience of how the constitution and "justice" system operates in Jersey. Much more is discussed in the interview than has been highlighted here which makes for compulsive viewing.

Part two coming soon...................

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Child Abuse Inquiry Report Delayed.

The Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry has published a (very) short statement (below) declaring that its final report will NOT be published until the first quarter of 2017. This is despite an agreement with the Chief Minister/States that the report will be published before the end of December this year after the Inquiry was given extra funding.

We find this very short statement a little concerning, in that it offers NO explanation(s) as to why there is a delay. Haven't Survivors/Victims been through enough? Why publish a Press Release offering NO answers? Why not wait a little longer and publish a statement explaining the delay? Publishing such a vague  Press Release could/will invite speculation and conspiracy theory as to why there is the delay and further uncertainty for the Victims/Survivors.

Chief Minister Ian Gorst.

Will the Chief Minister publish a statement in response, if not, why not? As the COI will be taking up to three months longer than it was agreed in the States, are there any implications coming from this if so what are they?  Up toanother three months work might mean the COI will need more money to complete the report? It could just be down to other work commitments of the Panel (or something similar) causing the delay and won't need more money but a valid question nonetheless. Will the funds be available if needed?

Has the Law Offices Department, or Data Protection Office, leant on the Inquiry? Was the December deadline, set by the Chief Minister, an unrealistic target?

The delay could work in favour of Victims/Survivors and Anti Child Abuse Campaigners. It could mean the final report will be that much more comprehensive than originally anticipated. It (the report) won't/can't get buried as easily in January-March as it can over the Christmas period in December.

Press Release from COI:

"The Panel Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is progressing with the drafting of its report into the abuse of children in Jersey's care system over many years. It confirms that the report will be published during the first quarter of 2017 and not at the end of 2016 as previously published. Further information in respect of the publication will be provided in the New Year."(END)

We think it would be unfair to blame the COI for the delay without knowing the reasons for it and Team Voice have a certain amount of confidence in the panel and its final report. We do feel it is a little insensitive to Victims and Survivors to publish such a vague Press Release and hope the panel will (very soon) rectify this by explaining the reasons for the delay.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Unhappy Anniversary (8)

Graham Power QPM.

On November the 12th 2008 Jersey's (then) Chief Police Officer, Graham Power QPM, was (possibly illegally) suspended from duty during the biggest Child abuse police Investigation (Operation Rectangle) the island has ever seen or is likely to see again and the original suspension smells just as much (if not more) today than it did back then.

The official version of events, concerning Mr. Power's suspension from duty, has not only been torn apart by Team Voice, but has now been discredited by evidence given to the Independent Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry. (COI) That evidence includes the evidence given by the then Home Affairs Minister, and now Public Accounts Committee Chairman, Deputy Andrew Lewis who originally suspended the former Police Chief.

Deputy Andrew Lewis.

We have Blogged extensively on the evidence given by Deputy Andrew Lewis to the COI and that is where one of (if not the biggest) smell comes from. Readers can view parts of the Deputy's evidence/transcripts HERE, HERE and HERE. Notwithstanding Team Voice attempted to (before he gave evidence to the COI) glean answers form Deputy Lewis concerning his apparent contradictory statements over his suspension of Mr. Power. We did this in an open letter HERE. He refused to answer our (legitimate/public interest) questions and the COI faired little better in gaining any coherent answers from him when he gave evidence to it.

Every year since the controversial suspension of the former Police Chief, Team Voice has published a Blog (links at bottom of post) marking the event because it is one of the most significant decisions/acts made during this ghastly/dark period in Jersey's history. Suspending a Chief of Police in such suspicious circumstances, while his force is investigating alleged "STATE SPONSORED PAEDOPHILIA" in State run "care" homes, and elsewhere on the island, has got to be unprecedented.

We must also recall that on the 12th November 2008 Mr. Power had just returned to the island after visiting a sick family member when he was called to a suspension meeting with (then Home Affairs Minister) Deputy Andrew Lewis and the then States of Jersey Chief Executive Officer Bill Ogley. Mr. Power was not told this was to be a suspension meeting, he was not offered any representation, he was not shown any evidence and he was not given time to prepare for a suspension meeting........ Because he wasn't told it was one.

Mr. Power, at the beginning of the meeting, was offered less than an hour to "consider his position." He declined the offer setting in motion a chain of events which has contributed to the setting up of the Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry.

This year's "Unhappy Anniversary" Blog is possibly the most poignant and well timed of them all. The COI could (should) be publishing its report, findings and recommendations within weeks. It has, according to it own timetable, until the end of December this year to do so.

Will the COI back the Jersey Establishment line or will any of the great and the good be shown to be guilty of abusing their positions to the detriment of Abuse Survivors/Victims and those who attempted to get them justice?

Victims/Survivors have been able to tell their story, and horrendous ordeals, to the COI. Those accused of the abuse, those accused of covering it up, witnesses and whistleblowers have given evidence to the COI. Within weeks, the COI being the "jury" should be publishing its eagerly awaited "verdict." We just wonder who will be considering their position when (if not before) the Inquiry's findings are published?

As far as the Team Voice jury is concerned (regarding the COI) It's still out. It has done some fantastic work in some areas and not so good in others. It's not been perfect but a "perfect" inquiry does not exist. We only need look at the UK CSA Inquiry (IICSA) to see what a shambles an inquiry of this nature can be. Jersey's COI, in comparison with the UK's, deserves an amount of credit.

Team Voice will deliver its verdict once the COI has published its report.

The seven previous “Unhappy Anniversaries” can be viewed from Below.