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.
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.