Today saw the final Public Hearing of Jersey's Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry with Counsel to the Inquiry delivering its final submission to the Panel. The submission, and transcript, should be available on the Inquiry's website soon.
Today's submission from Counsel addressed a number of issues including the correction of the Law Offices' Department assertion where, in its submission it was claimed, that former Senior Investigating Officer Lenny Harper offered no evidence of corruption. Counsel to Inquiry read out a list of evidence (as contained in Mr. Harper's own evidence) to back up Mr. Harper's claims.
Counsel to Inquiry went on to suggest the Panel might want to question the honesty of former Home Affairs Minister, and current Deputy, ANDREW LEWIS who has given a number of different accounts to different bodies which, on the face of it, can't all be true.
Perhaps one of the biggest stings (for the Establishment) was the closing statement made by the Chair Francis Oldham QC. The Chief Minister's Department, States of Jersey Police and the Law Offices' Department have all asked for a dialogue with the Inquiry before the publication of its final report. I believe the three parties (who are in effect under investigation by the Inquiry) want sight of the panel's final report 28 days before it is made public.
This twenty eight day window could (to those of us skeptics) give the Law Offices' Department/police/Chief Ministers Department the opportunity to launch legal proceedings/injunctions on the panel, or its report. Which could mean that it never sees the light of day, or at least would have been redacted the living daylights out of after going through the Law Office washing machine a few times a-la Napier/Wiltshire.
Thankfully Francis Oldham QC (below) sought to enforce the independence of the Inquiry/Panel and rebuff that/those requests and, it appears will not be having any dialogue with these Interested Parties. She will NOT be giving them the report 28 days before publication. She will NOT be sending out any Maxwellisation or Scott Letters to those who might be criticised in the final report. Those who have been criticised have had the opportunity to respond to that criticism already, Francis Oldham explains in the video.
Some much needed confidence was gained in the independence of this Inquiry as a result of the Chair's closing statement today.
The final report should be published by December this year.