Saturday, July 10, 2010
POWEGATE 'DEJA VU' NOV 12TH 08 / JULY 13TH 2010
Deja vu (history repeating itself)
On 12 November 2008 Graham Power was suspended under 2.33 of the disciplinary code for the chief of police. 2.33 is for very serious failings.
When Andrew Lewis suspended Graham Power, he did so with the full intention of Graham Power being able to defend himself against all allegations raised in the letter from David Warcup and the Metropolitan Interim Report sent to the chief executive of the States of Jersey on 10 November 2008.
The suspension of Graham Power on 12 November 2008 has been heavily criticised in the Judicial Review and we also await the outcome of the Brain Napier QC report into the procedures followed on said suspension.
Wiltshire Police were called in to conduct a disciplinary investigation into Operation Rectangle. This was led by Chief Constable Brian Moore. Wiltshire is not the end of a disciplinary procedure but is the beginning of a disciplinary procedure. Wiltshire Police were first meant to report their findings in March 2009. This was way before Operation Blast came to the States. In fact Operation Blast came to the States in June 2009 so Wiltshire were already missing deadlines and Operation Blast cannot be used as an excuse.
As I have said before, Wiltshire is the beginning of a disciplinary procedure, not the end. What was meant to happen, and would in any functioning democracy, is Senator Le Marquand gets the Wiltshire Report. He is then advised whether Graham Power should face any disciplinary procedures. Graham Power is then pulled in and is given the allegations of mismanagement so he can then defend himself against said allegations and put his point across.
As you could imagine, it's not straight forward as Jersey is a very small island with a very small police force. What we also need to know is how set in stone are police procedures. Is there a set way of doing things? Personally I am not sure and I hope to be advised on that issue, but one thing that is for sure, is that Graham Power and Lenny Harper called in ACPO/NPIA in February 2008 to advise and mentor the investigation. We have all read the four ACPO reports and we also know that the NPIA also advised on the search of Haut de la Garenne. You will also be aware that the terms of reference for Wiltshire are based on the procedures of ACPO/NPIA, the very two police bodies that Graham Power and Lenny Harper called in.
Now going back to the Graham Power suspension, how in any functioning democracy do the disciplinary procedures get dropped and then the Chief of Police, Graham Power, gets character assassinated, given no right to reply the following week? Has this ever happened before to a Chief of Police in the UK? Is just beggars belief about what is being allowed to happen here. Is there anybody out there who can justify this?
I want to know what happened. I also want to know what Wiltshire have to say, not just some cherry picked report, but what I believe should have happened, being that Graham Power should have been pulled in and put through the procedure. How the hell is it that the media and States members are getting a redacted version of the report, are discussing the report, a press conference being held about the report and the man who the report is about has not even been informed of what he has supposedly done wrong. I find this shocking, in fact I would say absolutely disgusting, that this can happen, in Jersey, in the year 2010. We are meant to be a big player on the world stage yet are conducting kangaroo courts that have no place in this modern society.
The question must now be asked of our States Members. Are they prepared to go along with this shambolic affair of a kangaroo court? The question should now be asked of all our local media outlets. Are they prepared to go along with this shambolic farce of a kangaroo court? Is it a watershed moment for our States members and out local media. Yes we all want the truth, but we cannot forget that suspension is a neutral act and that Graham Power must, and I repeat must, be treated fairly in having his right to reply and no judgement should be made until both sides of the story are out, properly investigated and conclusions reached.
Like I have said before Wiltshire is the beginning of a disciplinary procedure, not the end.
The behaviour of Home Affairs Minister, Ian Le Marquand, has been nothing short of disgraceful. The former magistrate has not got to grips with what being a politician is all about. He is answerable to us, the public, the voters of Jersey, and he is also answerable to other States members, whose right it is to ask and fully expect answers to their questions. If he cannot get his head around that, he should resign. He has also let it become personal between him and Graham Power. I believe that is obvious to anyone who has been following this. When asked on Channel TV about Graham Power staying on for an extra 3 years, he said "What an absolute disaster that turned out to be". What an absolutely staggering and disgraceful comment to make and I believe Ian Le Marquand should take a look in the mirror when using the word "disaster". Let's not forget it was ILM that brought Operation Blast to the States, spent £250k of tax payers' money on Wiltshire 2 and then told States Members that they, and the Jersey public, will have to make their own minds up. (Unbelievable).
Wiltshire will find fault with the investigation. That is an absolute given. You find fault in every police investigation throughout the land. It is one of the reasons they call in outside police forces to conduct reviews. Now if every review led to the Chief of Police getting suspended, then who would ever call in a review. What must be looked at concerning the Wiltshire report, is the level of failings, matching that against a very small police force in the Channel Islands and the obvious problems that would have caused in the investigation, and only then do you start moving forward and finding out what went wrong or didn't as the case may be.
The biggest mistake Graham Power, Lenny Harper, Stuart Syvret and Simon Bellwood made, was deciding to tackle institutional child abuse. All these investigations, tax payers' money, suspensions come down to one thing: protecting Jersey's image. I could go on and on, but as someone is typing as I dictate I believe I should stop now. I will leave you with this.....
Myself and Team Voice have been investigating this now for a very long time. We have never given up and we have done it because we want truth and justice. We have done it because we knew our media wouldn't. We have done it for the abuse victims we have come to know and who don't have a voice and for various reasons cannot speak out. People have no idea of the emotional ride myself and Team Voice have been through this past 18 months or more. We will not stop or give up until the full truth is out.
We would like to thank all members of the public, the good States members for stepping up and the people from all over the world who read our blogs. Our fight continues.
P.S. ILM is holding a kangaroo court