Sunday, February 10, 2013

THE JERSEY LAW OFFICE - THE REAL POWER IN TOWN- THE INDEPENDENT LAWYERS????

Former Bailiff  Sir Philip Bailhache - Brother of William. We have been under the Bailhache influence for a very long time. Sir Philip has been in the Jersey Law Office since 1975. He served as Solicitor General between (1975 -85) and Attorney General between (1986 - 93). He then became Deputy Bailiff in 1994 and became Bailiff in 1995 until leaving office in June 2009. He has just destroyed Independent Political Reform in Jersey -THE FEUDAL KING OF JERSEY 






Former Attorney General William Bailhache & Now Deputy Bailiff. When he is no longer in office - in my opinion - Jersey will become a better place. DROPPED MORE CASES THAN BRITISH AIRWAYS WITH THE HELP OF HIS INDEPENDENT LAWYERS? (CLUB BEDFORD ROW)





Simon Thomas - Independant? Read on. He is just one of the so called Independent lawyers used by the Jersey Law Office in 2008. He Has next to no experience in Child Abuse Cases. His field is Finance. He comes from the 7 Bedford Row Chambers.



"THE CULTURE OF CONCEALMENT"



"THE JERSEY LAW OFFICE"



"THE MULTIPLE DROPPED CASES OF CHILD ABUSE"



"HOW INDEPENDENT WERE THE "INDEPENDENT LAWYERS?"



THE BATTLE LINES HAVE BEEN DRAWN.


We will again be looking at "BLANCE PIEERE"  & THE "B*****'S."  These are high profile cases that were dropped. There are more. This is the first posting where we look at what's gone on.




The Office of Attorney General, in Jersey,have lodged their comments in relation to the forthcoming proposition lodged by the Chief Minister regarding the "Committee of Enquiry" (COI)  due for debate on the 19th February 2013 into decades long Child Abuse in the Jersey care and Fostering system.  As we are constantly seeing the Office of Attorney General doesn't want any  independent Scrutiny.  What are they scared of? All agencies will be looked at. All the actions of these agencies over the decades will be scrutinised but - check this.


 THE JERSEY LAW OFFICE DOESN'T WANT ANYONE LOOKING AT THEM.


I have been calling the Jersey Law Office - the real power in Jersey - The Snakes Head.


The real power in Jersey has been like a monarchy.  I must keep repeating it. The succession of Philip Bailhache, William Bailhace, Michael Birt and Tim Le Cocq has been instrumental in the running of Jersey for decade upon decade. The power of prosecution has been in the hands of these people. Just as we've  seen with the latest Curtis Warren saga these people and the office they have  held are not open to scrutiny.  




How is it that the States of Jersey Police handed over so many files with no chance of prosecution?



The Office of Attorney General  have responded to an Amendment  lodged by the Council Of Ministers regarding the forthcoming Committee of Enquiry and it  states:

  1. Establish the process by which files were submitted by the States of Jersey Police to the prosecuting authorities for consideration, and the process by which the prosecution authorities decided whether a prosecution should be brought and establish whether or not that process – 
    • enabled those responsible for so deciding to take a professional and impartial approach; 
    • was free from any political influence or interference at any level.
      If, for these purposes, or as a result of evidence given under paragraph 6, in the opinion of the Chairman of the Committee, it would be of assistance that one or more of the prosecution files underpinning any prosecution decision should be examined, those files shall be examined by an independent expert or experts in criminal law from outside Jersey, appointed by the Committee, who shall prepare a confidential report to the Committee maintaining the anonymity of witnesses and persons against who accusations are made. Any such expert or experts shall ensure that they are fully informed of the relevant Jersey law at the material time, and shall carry out any such review on the basis of the reasonableness of the decision in question in all the circumstances. 

This is what the Office of Attorney General says abut the above Amendment:

  1. The inclusion of this amongst the terms of reference is of course a matter for political decision. As set out above, the terms of the Standing Orders dealing with Committees of Inquiry require that before members decide to establish such a Committee, they must consider that there is a “definite matter of public importance” to be investigated. The Law Officers are not aware of any evidence that any of the prosecution decisions were taken other than on a proper basis, following a proper process. Differences of view are, of course, entirely possible because there are judgment calls to be made where reasonable people might reasonably reach different conclusions. Nor are the Law Officers aware of any political or other interference or influence of any kind in that process. Undoubtedly, some individuals who believe that their accusations should have resulted in a prosecution, will be disappointed if that did not happen. Such disappointment, however, does not give rise of itself to a sufficient reason to be concerned that the decision was not properly taken. 
  2. Members may recall that the former Attorney General made a number of public statements in this Assembly relating to the basis on which decisions whether or not to prosecute had been taken. They are annexed hereto as Appendix 1. 
  3. The prosecution service is an important public service. If members think there is genuine public concern that those taking the prosecution decisions were not competent, or did not carry out their duties with integrity or were subject to political interference, then we would support the decision to appoint a Committee of Inquiry into these matters. 
  4. It is legitimate to enquire into a process surrounding the taking of a prosecution decision, it would be wrong as a matter of principle to subject individual prosecution decisions to public scrutiny either by a political assembly or by a body set up by such an assembly. There is a fundamental principle that the prosecution process should be free from any political influence or interference in any way (see the answer of the Attorney General given in the States Assembly on 6th July 2010 attached as Appendix 2). In the light of the public statements concerning process attached as Appendix 1, it may be difficult to see how this question will be addressed practically by any Committee of Inquiry. 
  5. No determination by the Committee of Inquiry could require any further prosecutions although it will be open to the Attorney General to re-open matters if there is, in his opinion, a sufficient basis to do so. 
  6. In one case the Royal Court has already considered an application to review decisions not to prosecute cases of alleged child abuse. The Court proceeded on the assumption that judicial review was theoretically possible although in that case the application was also rejected because it was too late. In that case, the presiding judge made observations relating to the public statements made by the former Attorney General and, specifically, at paragraph 72, the judge, an independent Commissioner, now a Judge of the Supreme Court, said this –
    “...On the 26th August, 2008, the Attorney General made a public statement relating to those six cases. Charges were laid in relation to three of them. A decision was made on the fourth that no charges would be brought. Subsequently, on 3rd June, 2009, the Attorney 
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P.118/2012 Com.
General announced that in the remaining two cases, no charges would be brought. In those cases where no charges were brought, the reason was said to be that there was insufficient evidence to justify a prosecution. The reasons for this conclusion was summarised, and legal advice was said to have confirmed it. An attempt to force the re- opening of a criminal investigation now, more than two years later, would be highly prejudicial to the proper administration of justice, unjust to those under investigation who had been exonerated, and quite possibly distressing to victims and their families, who have not themselves sought to challenge these decisions by way of judicial review. No grounds have been given by ........., either in his Order of Justice or in his evidence, for believing that the Attorney General and his advisers were wrong in the view that they took on the available evidence.”
Some of these considerations would be, of course, relevant to any reconsideration by the current Attorney General in any particular case at this stage.
In relation to the historical abuse enquiry, no alleged victims have attempted to make such an application.
Considerations if an Inquiry is to be conducted
  1. A decision to prosecute is a serious decision which has to be taken on a proper legal basis. The test applied, and features of the decision, are as follows. 
  2. Any decision is taken on the papers. The decision-taker does not hear evidence. The decision is taken on the basis of the sufficiency, credibility and admissibility of the evidence disclosed within the prosecution file. It is open to the decision-maker to revert to the police for further information which will supplement the file. 
  3. In making a prosecution decision, the decision-taker first applies what is termed the evidential test. This means that he must decide that there is sufficient admissible evidence to give a reasonable prospect of conviction for each of the charges that fall to be considered. In doing so, he will have to bring his experience of the prosecution process to bear, apply his knowledge of the laws of evidence as far as they relate to criminal matters, identify any problems with the evidence such as inconsistency between witnesses or facts which undermine the credibility of key witnesses (including previous convictions) supporting the counts and other relevant matters relating to the evidence. 
  4. Only if he is satisfied that the evidential test has been passed, will the decision-maker then go on to consider whether or not it is in the public interest for a prosecution to be brought. 
  5. If, and to the extent it is necessary for individual prosecution decisions to be reviewed, then in order to reach an accurate assessment, they should be reviewed on the same basis that any prosecution decision is taken. That would require an assessment by an independent expert in criminal prosecutions. 
  1. It would be structurally unsound for the Committee of Inquiry, the majority consisting of laymen, to purport to assess individual prosecution decisions as it will not, without more, have the necessary expertise and experience. It is also not in the same position as the prosecutors were. It will have heard evidence given under paragraph 6 of the draft Terms of Reference, and it is wholly unclear whether all that it may hear would have been legally admissible in a criminal case. 
  2. Any assessment should be confidential. If not, then any decision will possibly give rise to a public discussion on the merits, including a discussion on the credibility of the complainant and the behaviour of the alleged accused. This would amount to trial by public opinion and would be both unfair to everyone including the complainant and the alleged accused and would undermine the independence of the prosecution decisions. 
  3. Accordingly, the Assembly will wish to ensure that a system is put in place that allows any decision to be assessed on a proper basis. This may need to be a different form of inquiry from the inquiry dealing with paragraph 6 of the draft Terms of Reference. 

AND NOW FOR THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. 



AND SO WE BEGIN. 


THE CASE OF THE B*****'S



REMEMBER MY POSTING ABOUT THE SO CALLED INDEPENDENT LAWYER SIMON THOMAS AND THE CONNECTION WITH 7 BEDFORD ROW. 

 Let us now again look upon the press release by then Attorney General William Bailhache on the 26th August 2008


 APPENDIX 1

Press Release – Jersey Historical Abuse Investigation
On 24th June 2008, a man and a woman were arrested on suspicion of criminal assaults against children and subsequently released without charge. The allegations against them were not of a sexual nature but essentially were allegations that they had used excessive force in a quasi-parental situation. Although this investigation was part of the overall child abuse investigation that is continuing, there is no connection between this case and the Haut de la Garenne Children’s Home.
Subsequently the independent lawyers – a Jersey Crown advocate with extensive experience as a barrister in the UK, and barristers from one of the London chambers specialising in criminal law – responsible for considering case files arising from this investigation received a full police file for their consideration. This file, which was received on 18th July, contained important statements and information not available on 24th June. Their job was to consider whether the evidential test was passed – that is, whether a court or jury, properly directed as to the law, would be more likely than not to convict on the evidence which was available. If the lawyers considered that the evidential test was passed, they had authority to arrange for charges to be laid without reference to the Attorney General. If they considered the evidential test was not passed, they were required to present a full evidential review to the Attorney for consideration. It is to be remembered that in a criminal trial, charges need to be proved by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt if a conviction is to be secured.
On 6th August the Attorney General received advice in relation to this file from the independent lawyers he had retained. Three complainants, who were all in the care of the couple at the time of the alleged offences, which took place between 30 and 40 years ago, alleged that they and other children who were also in their care were subjected to excessive corporal punishment between 1967 and 1977. In this case, there is a significant conflict of evidence, which is naturally important in relation to the evidential test which had to be considered. Some of the witnesses, who have been named as victims, deny that the couple ever used any excessive force by way of lawful chastisement or at all, and speak in very positive terms about the quality of care and support which they received from the couple. Some of those who have told the police that no violent behaviour took place, and who speak very highly of the couple, include two of the siblings of one of the complainants.
For medical reasons, an interview with the woman was not completed by the police. The man, however, was interviewed and denied any wrongdoing; and there is significant other evidence and information that undermines the prospects of a successful prosecution. Although numbers of witnesses are not a conclusive test at all, it is to be noted that while there were three complainants who were alleging that offences had taken place, there were broadly speaking seven witnesses, including the prospective defendants, who would give relevant evidence substantially in favour of the defence.
The independent lawyers appointed to assist the police in this investigation have advised the Attorney General that there is insufficient evidence to pursue a prosecution in this case. In accordance with the arrangements that have been put in place to review all cases where the lawyers think that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute, the Attorney has conducted, with a colleague in this Department – who also has extensive experience with the CPS in England – a careful review of the evidence in this case. The officer in charge and the detectives have also been consulted about the proposed course of action.
Taking everything into account, the Attorney has decided that there is insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution in this case.
The Attorney General said: “I realise that this decision will come as a disappointment to the complainants in the case and possibly to others who have made statements to the police or are considering doing so. I am obviously aware that assertions have been made, without any basis or foundation, that justice will not be done in the child abuse investigations that are taking place. Indeed, it is for that reason that I am making this full statement as to why a decision not to prosecute has been taken in this case. The evidential test has not been passed, and it would be simply wrong to bring the prosecution. I would however like to emphasize that the evidential test is based upon an analysis of the evidence that the police have taken and which might therefore be available to a court. I urge all those who have any relevant evidence to give in the current child abuse investigation to contact the police and to make statements. That is the only way the prosecution will be able to reach a fully informed decision on the evidential test in the various cases that come before us for consideration.”
Law Officers Department, Jersey 26th August, 2008.





We must look and study what former SIO Lenny Harper said about the release of the B*****'s. In the next posting we will be looking at the release of this couple,  the affect their alleged actions have had and where it leaves the Law Office.






REPORT TO JERSEY’S ATTORNEY GENERAL FOLLOWING THE POLICE PUBLICLY OBJECTING TO THE OBSTRUCTION OF THE CHARGING OF SUSPECTS AGAINST WHOM SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE WAS PRESENT.

STATES OF JERSEY POLICE REPORT

Submitted by: DCO L. Harper

Submitted to: Chief Officer (For onward transmission to Attorney General.)
MIR Office Manager (For Registration and filing on HOLMES System.)


Chief Officer:

The Attorney General has requested a report into the circumstances and reasons for the issue of the Media Statement following the release from Custody of Mr and Mrs B*****r who were arrested by the Historical Abuse Team for three Grave and Criminal Assaults. The reasons for the release however, do not start with the arrest of the B******s and are outlined in full below.

On 9th April 2008 I met with the AG in the presence of yourself. This meeting was to discuss the provision of Legal Assistance to the Historical Abuse Enquiry. The Attorney General was keen to appoint an independent lawyer to assist the enquiry “in order to prevent you from barking up the wrong tree at an early stage.” There was some discussion over his wish to have the lawyer placed within the Incident Room. I, ACPO, and others saw this as a highly unusual step, and objected to that situation.

Eventually a compromise was reached and Mr Simon Thomas was appointed and given an office in Police Headquarters. Agreement was reached with him, Cyril Whelan, and Stephen Baker that, in a departure from normal practice, we would not arrest suspects whom we hoped to charge until we had submitted a file of evidence to the lawyers and they would then guide us on what charges could be preferred. This was to prevent us from having to arrest a string of suspects and release them whilst the report was being considered. We were reassured that the turnaround in the files would be very quick in order not to delay the process of arrest and charge.

The service that we have received from the legal team has not been as we were led to believe it would be. Since his arrival in mid April we have given Mr Thomas six files. The file for the B******r case, which was a straight-forward file containing only a small number of statements was handed to him in early June. There followed a number of meetings between himself, the Deputy SIO, the Detective Sergeant Team Leader, and the two investigators in charge of that particular enquiry. During these meetings the evidence was discussed and on Friday 20th June 2008 the Detective Sergeant and the two investigators met with Mr Thomas. It was agreed that the B********s should be arrested and charged with three crimes of Grave and Criminal Assault. As always, it was accepted that this was subject to any significant changes in the evidence against them following interview or the arrest process. All three officers are certain of the instructions given to them by Mr Thomas and recall clearly the discussions about the difference between the different types of assault and the directions given in relation to charging.

The B*******s were arrested on Tuesday 24th June 2007. Mr B******r was interviewed first. He denied the offences but offered nothing which changed the evidence against him or his wife. Mrs B******r feigned illness but was declared fit by the Doctor.

At 5pm Simon Thomas declared to the investigators that he had revised his view and said he did not want the couple charged. The officers were extremely surprised and not a little frustrated. I spoke to Simon who, it transpired, was between trains and on a railway station platform somewhere in the North of England. Indeed, as we spoke the conversation was frequently interrupted by passing trains. He said he had revised his opinion because of new evidence that had emerged during the day. I asked what that evidence was and he gave me three “developments.”

1. Mrs B******r was unwell. I explained the situation in respect of her and that the Police Doctor thought she was feigning. I explained that she was obtaining the woman’s medical notes and would further advise at 6.30pm. In the event, the Doctor declared the suspect fit for detention and interview. I questioned however, whether this could be said to be new evidence which affected the decision to charge.
2. Simon then told me that a witness called Drake had rung the Custody Officer and said we had made a mistake, and that we had the wrong people in custody. I pointed out that Drake had made a witness statement which Simon had seen and which he had taken into account when recommending which charges should be preferred. Drake had not added any new evidence to what was in his statement.

3. The B*******s' children had telephoned and said their parents were good people and that they (the children) were now flying to Jersey. I asked Simon how that was new evidence as opposed to character evidence, and he said that they might have evidence relevant to the allegations as they lived in the same house. I pointed out that he knew that previously and also that they lived in a different part of the house.

Simon then said he needed to speak to Cyril Whelan and Stephen Baker who were in Jersey. He did so and telephoned back. He said they agreed with him and wanted to see the interviews before charging. I pointed out that this made the arrangement we had pretty worthless - what was the point of us sending him the file before arrest if he still had to wait to see the interview notes? The idea was that he told us the charges before we released suspects. He then said that he could not do that as things might change during the interview. He said we arrested on suspicion and then interviewed and he decided on charges afterwards. I made the point that we had all agreed that we would not arrest until we had given him the papers and this was to allow us to be given suitable charges to prevent the process of arrest and release. He said that things could always arise during interview. I accepted that occasionally that could happen but that in the absence of anything dramatic, the agreed charges would normally still be relevant. I pointed out that he had met the officers in this case and the Deputy SIO on several occasions and that just before arrest there had been discussion on the charges and he had agreed three G&C assault charges. He said that was not correct. All four of our staff, DI Fossey, DS Smith, and the two UK detectives were frustrated at this development as their recollection was he had clearly agreed with them this course of action. I told Simon that if these two were not charged I was not having the Enquiry Team officers blamed for it. He finished by saying that operationally he could not tell me whether to charge or not.

In view of that comment, I told the officers to get the Centenier in to PHQ to charge. They did so. Danny Scaife came in, Andy Smith gave him the full facts including the discussion with the lawyer, and Danny went off to read the evidence. He did so for well over an hour and then declared that although there was enough evidence to charge, he was not going to.

At that stage I told Louise Nibbs to put the Press Release out. It avoided comment and stuck to the facts. In answer to the Attorney General’s question, the following are the reasons I put it out.

Simon Thomas commented this week that he was anxious there should be no perception that the decisions to charge or not to charge suspects were being made under improper influence of factors other than evidence. I made the point to him, and make it again, that he and others do not seem able to grasp the fact that this perception is already there among the victims. They feel that the decisions are, and have been made in the past, on many factors other than the evidence. It is the need to avoid this perception that was uppermost in my mind in releasing the factual Media statement that evening.

One of the most heartening features of this enquiry has been the trust placed in the officers by very vulnerable victims and witnesses. This is despite them being on many occasions very badly let down by a number of agencies when they have previously tried to report crimes against them. This trust has been based on a foundation of openness and transparency together with an obvious determination to get to the truth. It is in marked contrast to the total contempt that the victims hold the Attorney General and his office in. So suspicious of that office are they, that many victims remain sceptical about the possibility of ever bringing the people who abused them to justice. The need to overcome the doubts victims had about the States of Jersey Police was one of the reasons why we agreed the policy of not arresting anyone until we had submitted the file to the lawyer working with us. In this way we avoided the scenario, seen so often in the UK, of a succession of suspects being brought into custody and then released without charge.
Such a scenario in this case would have damaged the credibility of the investigation and risked us being placed in the same category as those agencies the victims do not trust. This is illustrated by a briefing I have had from the NSPCC Counsellor working alongside us. He has received a text message from a victim (which he has showed me) to say "It is a joke. Another two walk away. No wonder no one will come forward." Here is an illustration of the need for us to maintain our distance and our independence from the office of the Attorney General, and a stark reason for the release.

However, the agreement mentioned above has not worked as planned or indeed promised. Files have been submitted, some of them not very complex and indeed, no more complicated than the normal type file dealt with on a daily basis by the PPU. The time to turn them around by the legal team has been frustratingly long. There is no intention to criticise the ability of the “dedicated” lawyer here, but it is obvious that he has a number of commitments in the UK which makes it difficult for him to be here. The debacle over the B******S case is one example. As stated above, the officers concerned are adamant that they were given the go ahead to charge; subject to the usual conditions that nothing significant occurred during the arrest process or interviews. If this had not been the case, no arrest would have been made. The actions of the UK lawyer himself hardly seem to corroborate the picture of someone giving serious consideration to an evolving investigation with prisoners in custody. Some UK and even Jersey law practitioners may find it rather bizarre that a lawyer found it acceptable to carry out such work on the platform of a busy railway station.

A further example of the poor service given to us is illustrated by the Maguire case. The importance of this case to our enquiry is obvious to all, including the media. The Deputy SIO and I have continually emphasised this to Simon Thomas.

We delivered the file to Simon on the 29th April. The investigators, the Deputy SIO, and I regularly asked him for progress reports. These were not really forthcoming even when he was in Jersey. I had to speak to a Jersey lawyer with experience of extradition to clarify one point. I then spoke to a CPS expert on Extradition to clarify something else in an attempt to speed things up. In mid June I was told by Simon that he and Cyril Whelan had almost finished the work on the charges. Then we were told that the AG had asked for full advice files on the facts and the law. We realised the need for this but were firm in seeking assurances from the lawyers that this would be done quickly. Stephen Baker, after some debate, undertook that the AG would be fully advised within seven days. That period expired last week and the investigating officers e mailed Simon Thomas in the UK and asked if it had been done. The reply from Simon Thomas was “I will answer this question next week.”

This answer to a reasonable and sensible question beggars belief, and is another example of the shoddy and unprofessional service which we are receiving. To return to the question of perception, what sort of perception would this give to the public if they knew of it? Meanwhile, the Maguires remain in France, although we are told by the lawyers that our fear of them absconding is not supported by their information. This is despite that our intelligence comes from those who found them in the first place.

In summary, I issued the Press Release to explain to the public, but mainly the victims, why these two suspects had been released. I feel, as do the investigators, that we were badly let down by the legal advice delivered from afar. The three pieces of “new evidence”, even to a police officer, were transparently no such thing. As the conversation unfurled it became obvious that even Simon Thomas did not truly believe that what he was describing to me was evidence. I could not work out, and am still unable to work out, what really did prompt the change of heart and the revision of the advice. I have refused to speculate on that but was determined that the States of Jersey Police would not be criticised for the decision. Subsequent events proved that this was a justifiable fear with the Deputy Home Affairs Minister describing to me how a number of members of the Council of Ministers were already gleefully talking about another “Police Cock Up” in bringing these suspects in and not charging them.


It is also probably pertinent to include some reference in this report to the expressed view of the Attorney General, and indeed the Minister, that the circulation list for this and other police press releases is “too wide and encourages wider comment.” These comments show a distinct lack of awareness of dealing with the media in this type of situation. The list has evolved from the early days of the enquiry because when the first media releases were made, the Press Officer was immediately deluged with media outlets demanding to know why they had not received the release and asking why we were hiding it from them. Apart from an impression of reluctance to communicate, this heavy demand led to our phone systems being blocked, (at one point the Press Officer had 128 messages waiting), and caused unnecessary stress to our staff. It was also expensive in time and cost to send out a Press Release so many times, not to mention extremely unprofessional. Several weeks ago the Press Officer contacted everyone on the list and asked if she could take them off. Only three agreed and they are now removed.

Another aspect and implication of the Attorney General’s comment which he might like to reflect on is what would happen if we did indeed cut our circulation list. When the inevitable questions arrived from the media all over the world and we told them that we had removed them from out list, they would without doubt ask why. When we gave the truthful answer that the AG thought it a good idea to curtail circulation and a wider coverage they just might, in the light of the many allegations of cover up against his office, think that they had here positive evidence of the “wilful obstruction” which he was recently accused of. No matter how unjust that might be, it would be an obvious outcome.

Submitted for onward transmission to the Attorney General.



Leonard Harper, Deputy Chief OfficerChief OfficerDocument

Reader Major Incident Room (For Registration)


THE INDEPENDENT LAWYER AND HIS TEAM ALL CAME FROM THE 7 BEDFORD ROW CHAMBERS..

IT WAS IN-HOUSE 

RICO SORDA

PART TIME INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

We the People of JERSEY cannot thank you along with ex Senator Stuart SYVRET and the sterling Politicians of INTEGRITY that are working tirelessly to shed LIGHT on the CORRUPT bunch of CROWN Officers who have always exhibited egregious CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, extreme BIAS, together with perpetrating MISCONDUCT IN JUDICIAL OFFICE, in addition to relentlessly PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE. The Secular System of Crown Control in JERSEY is a Cancerous Conspiracy of Complicit Compromised Corruption Connected to the Cesspit Cult of the JSG - ALL have Sworn their egregious PRIVATE OATH to DECEIVE, DISSEMBLE, and DESTROY DEMOCRACY. [Authority: Ronayne, Edmond].

Anonymous said...

Rico, I hope you don't mind me posting the excellent blog that Professor Tony did on this subject. I believe it complements you're latest posting quite elegantly. Keep up the good fight.

Tony's Musings.

Prejudging Issues

"At the conclusion of its deliberations, a Committee of Inquiry reports back to the States Assembly. It does not, however, make any finding of guilt or innocence in a criminal sense nor does it determine a legal right."

"Neither the States nor a Committee of Inquiry can give directions to the effect that criminal proceedings should be brought in any particular case or give any direction relating to the investigative or prosecutorial process."

I've been looking at the Attorney-General's comments on the terms of reference for the Committee of Inquiry into Historical Child Abuse, and it states these comments are " to provide legal advice to members considering the Terms of Reference of the Committee of Inquiry into historical child abuse."

One of the more obvious questions which springs to mind is this: why do these comments come dated 31 January 2013, so late in the day. The Verita report on the terms of reference has already been given to the Council of Ministers some time ago, the Williamson report on the terms has also been given. These have been out in the public domain for some time as well. You would have thought that if there was going to be a legal comment, it would requested and been given earlier, and yet, here it is coming almost at the same time as the proposition itself.

If there had been legal matters arising from the terms of reference, why on earth wait until now to bring them to the States attention? This last minute introduction of extra material appertaining to States propositions was almost commonplace under the Council of Ministers of Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur, but I had hoped that was a failing of a previous regime. Sadly, it appears not.

Probably one of the most important sections concerns "Paragraph 6" which is to do with how evidence is heard. Clearly there should be an opportunity to respond to claims of abuse if they are mistaken or malicious, but the Attorney General sees this as descending into a kind of adversarial and drawn out action:

Comments on Paragraph 6 - Evidence of Abuse

"Paragraph 6 of the draft Terms of Reference anticipates that the Committee of Inquiry will hear evidence from witnesses who suffered abuse or believe that they suffered abuse as well as from staff who worked in the services together with other relevant witnesses. It is left to the Committee of Inquiry as to whether or not such evidence will be heard in public or in private. The Committee of Inquiry has a discretion in the interests of justice or in the public interest, to hear matters in private, although the presumption is that evidence before a Committee of Inquiry will be held and heard in public."

Anonymous said...

"The Terms of Reference presuppose that evidence will be given not only by people who have suffered abuse but by people who 'believe that they have suffered abuse'. It must accordingly be anticipated that not all allegations heard before the Committee of Inquiry will be well-founded, and there is nothing to prevent witnesses making ill-founded allegations which are mistaken or simply wrong. It seems equally likely that persons who make allegations that have suffered abuse will wish to name their alleged abusers. One must therefore anticipate that anyone so accused will wish to have the opportunity to challenge the accusations made against them and to defend themselves."

"If the Committee of Inquiry is to hear evidence at length, then it seems likely that the evidence-hearing stage will be preceded by an evidence-gathering stage, a disclosure stage and, possibly, a statement-taking stage, so that the lawyers advising the Inquiry can prepare for any hearings and persons will know if they are to be accused and accordingly prepare their defence. It may be that the statements, either in full or redacted, made to the police by complainants can be made available to the Inquiry if the complainants consent. It is difficult to anticipate how long that process of evidence gathering will take."

"It is accordingly not difficult to anticipate that paragraph 6 of the draft Terms of Reference might potentially result in an extended process with significant evidence being given and challenged. It would be difficult to anticipate a situation in which a robust challenge would properly be prevented by the Committee of Inquiry and accordingly the process of taking evidence may be confrontational and challenging for all concerned. Further, it may be anticipated that such a process will be very costly."

Anonymous said...

"An alternative method would be, should the Committee of Inquiry believe it appropriate to do so, for that evidence to be given in private with the Committee of Inquiry then determining the nature of the report that it should make back to the States Assembly. This may make it possible for the Committee of Inquiry to place more strictures about the way evidence may be given in private and the extent to which it may be challenged, which might obviate the need for the potentially confrontational approach mentioned in the preceding paragraphs."

"It may accordingly be appropriate that the Chairman of the Inquiry should be consulted at length on the correct process for dealing with paragraph 6 before any final decisions are made."

What this means in effect is that the Committee of Inquiry should collect evidence largely in private where any individuals who are still living may be named, and only more general findings be given back to the States. Effectively, it looks as if the Committee of Inquiry is being muzzled from the outset, rather than letting the Committee decide for itself. The reason for this becomes apparent further on.

And this brings us to the other comments:

Comments on Paragraph 10 - Prosecution Process and Decisions

As presently drafted, paragraph 10 seeks to establish the process by which prosecution decisions were taken arising out of the historical child abuse enquiry and to establish whether or not that process -
- enabled those responsible for deciding on which cases to prosecute to take a consistent and impartial approach;
- was free from any political influence or interference at any level.

and the comment which follows on this is as follows:

"It is legitimate to enquire into a process surrounding the taking of a prosecution decision, it would be wrong as a matter of principle to subject individual prosecution decisions to public scrutiny either by a political assembly or by a body set up by such an assembly. There is a fundamental principle that the prosecution process should be free from any political influence or interference in any way (see the answer of the Attorney General given in the States Assembly on 6th July 2010 attached as Appendix 2). In the light of the public statements concerning process attached as Appendix 1, it may be difficult to see how this question will be addressed practically by any Committee of Inquiry."

Anonymous said...

Now it is clear that there is a grey area which the Attorney General is not considering here or further down, when he considers the "evidential test" whether a prosecution should go ahead. There are three classes of people who may come before the Inquiry:

- Those who have been abused, and whose abuse is a matter of public record, as for example in the case of a successful prosecution
- Those who "believe that they have suffered abuse" where they may be mistaken or simply wrong (as in Comments on Paragraph 6)
- Those who suffered abuse, but where the case for prosecution has been turned down on legal grounds for failing the "evidential test"

This third class of people seems to have been forgotten in the comments on Paragraph 6, and yet William Bailhache, when Attorney-General, noted in reply to a question that this class of victims did exist. Taking about the "evidential test", he said that:

"The expression 'more likely than not' means that the test is applied on the balance of probability. These rules apply to all prosecutions whether for historic child abuse or for other cases. The assessments are judgment calls made on a professional, objective basis. It should be emphasised that any decision taken to the effect that a particular allegation should not result in charges does not mean that the allegation is rejected as untrue, nor does it mean that it is considered in some way not to be a serious allegation. All it means is that the prosecutor has reached the view that an acquittal is more likely than a conviction."

And yet in his comments on evidence given, Tim Le Cocq gives virtually no weight to this class of people. As he states ""The Terms of Reference presuppose that evidence will be given not only by people who have suffered abuse but by people who 'believe that they have suffered abuse'." Where are the people who have suffered abuse, but whose evidence was insufficiently strong to pass the evidential test? They seem to have vanished. They have effectively become non-persons, silent victims whose voice has been muted.

What seems to be the case in his comments on Paragraph 10 is that he doesn't want the Committee of Inquiry to judge in effect whether the failure to prosecute was justified or not, or whether the outcome be different today. He makes no mention of the most significant change in the law, which is with regard to what are termed "corroboration rules"

That law, on which Frank Walker's Council of Ministers refused to budge, and which Wendy Kinnard decided to resign on a matter of principle, gave the situation in which a warning must be given to a jury over uncorroborated evidence from certain types of witnesses - children, sexual assault victims and other defendants. It was only altered by the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) (No. 3) (Jersey) Law, which was lodged in 18 October 2011. Hence a number of cases which may have been dropped on the grounds that they would certainly fail might conceivably have proceeded to prosecution. The change in the law must surely change the position on "more likely than not".

Anonymous said...

The change in the law was voted on 17 January 2012, and became law in March 2012. It passed by 41 votes, with no abstentions, but a lot of absences from the sitting. Deputy Roy Le Hérissier asked if more convictions had come about as a result of the changed law in the UK and elsewhere, and Sir Philip Bailhache, acting as rapporteur for this order, replied that: "I am not sure that I can give Deputy Le Hérissier any specific information about the number of cases which have led to convictions in other jurisdictions as a result of the changes in the corroboration rules, but logic would suggest that the absence of the requirement for corroboration has made it easier to bring guilty men to justice and I cannot, I am afraid, say more than that."

Now the statement by from the former Attorney General, William Bailhache on the legal processes in the "Jersey Historical Abuse Investigation", which is an appendix to these comments by the current holder of the post, was dated 3rd June 2009, and so does not take this into account in its deliberations. Of course, changes in law cannot be applied retrospectively to cases considered, but they do mean that - as Sir Philip noted, that this change "has made it easier to bring guilty men to justice."

There is, of course, another factor which needs to be considered, and that is benefit of hindsight. The Jimmy Saville scandal in the UK has exposed cases where the CPS was over cautious in its application of the evidential test. In the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service published a review of a decision in 2009 not to charge Jimmy Savile with sexual offences in relation to four complaints made to police in Surrey and Sussex. It said further action might have been possible had "police and prosecutors taken a different approach", and the current director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer apologised on behalf of the CPS saying that the report represented a "watershed moment". As the BBC reported:

An internal review by the CPS, published on 11 January 2013, concluded that Savile could have been prosecuted while he was alive over three allegations of sexual offences if police and prosecutors had taken a "different approach". The director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, apologised for the shortcomings of the CPS, saying that while their inquiry found "no improper motive", the alleged victims had been treated with "a degree of caution which was neither justified or required". (1)

Reading between the lines, it is hard to not suspect that the approach taken by the Attorney General in his comments on the Terms of Inquiry is designed to head off any potentially embarrassing shortcomings in Jersey's Prosecution Service. Should the Attorney General really prejudge the issue and narrow the scope of the Terms of Reference, or should it be a matter for the Committee of Inquiry to decide for itself, without fear or favour whether there has perhaps also been in Jersey "a degree of caution which was neither justified or required".

rico sorda said...

Why did the Attorney General of the time, William Bailhache, insist on a so called independent lawyer that specialised in financial crime being in the incident room of Operation Rectangle?

Simon Thomas

Cyril Whealan

Stephen Baker

The above are all from 7Bedford Row. The Independent Team?

From Lenny Harper:

The Attorney General has requested a report into the circumstances and reasons for the issue of the Media Statement following the release from Custody of Mr and Mrs B*****r who were arrested by the Historical Abuse Team for three Grave and Criminal Assaults. The reasons for the release however, do not start with the arrest of the B******s and are outlined in full below.

On 9th April 2008 I met with the AG in the presence of yourself. This meeting was to discuss the provision of Legal Assistance to the Historical Abuse Enquiry. The Attorney General was keen to appoint an independent lawyer to assist the enquiry “in order to prevent you from barking up the wrong tree at an early stage.” There was some discussion over his wish to have the lawyer placed within the Incident Room. I, ACPO, and others saw this as a highly unusual step, and objected to that situation.

Eventually a compromise was reached and Mr Simon Thomas was appointed and given an office in Police Headquarters. Agreement was reached with him, Cyril Whelan, and Stephen Baker that, in a departure from normal practice, we would not arrest suspects whom we hoped to charge until we had submitted a file of evidence to the lawyers and they would then guide us on what charges could be preferred. This was to prevent us from having to arrest a string of suspects and release them whilst the report was being considered. We were reassured that the turnaround in the files would be very quick in order not to delay the process of arrest and charge. End

Was the Attorney General putting a lid on this?

Statement from AG:

Subsequently the independent lawyers – a Jersey Crown advocate with extensive experience as a barrister in the UK, and barristers from one of the London chambers specialising in criminal law – responsible for considering case files arising from this investigation received a full police file for their consideration. This file, which was received on 18th July, contained important statements and information not available on 24th June. Their job was to consider whether the evidential test was passed – that is, whether a court or jury, properly directed as to the law, would be more likely than not to convict on the evidence which was available. If the lawyers considered that the evidential test was passed, they had authority to arrange for charges to be laid without reference to the Attorney General. If they considered the evidential test was not passed, they were required to present a full evidential review to the Attorney for consideration. It is to be remembered that in a criminal trial, charges need to be proved by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt if a conviction is to be secured

rico sorda said...

Its just all looking a little cosy. Remember we are going back to 2008 when none of this was really being looked at except for Stuart Syvret. Now further down the line it really does begin to look like a closed shop. Where was the lawyer that specialised in Child Abuse?

When you look at Simon Thomas's resumé you realise he has no expertise in this area.

rs

Ex-Senator Stuart Syvret said...

Rico, another very important posting - and an interesting set of comments.

I should, though, point out a factual error by one of your readers. They say this in a comment:-

"That law, on which Frank Walker's Council of Ministers refused to budge, and which Wendy Kinnard decided to resign on a matter of principle,..."

That is not why Wendy Kinnard resigned from the Office of Home Affairs Minister, with only weeks left in her term-of-office.

I know why Wendy Kinnard resigned when she did - and the real reason has nothing to do with the law on evidence in child-abuse cases – or, indeed, any specific child-abuse issue.

In a similar way, many people think that the only motivation the Jersey oligarchy had for illegally suspending good Police Chief Graham Power was in order to sabotage the child-abuse investigations. Yes - that was, most certainly, a key motivation - but not the only - or, remarkably, even the main - motivation.

I know what really did go down.

So much so, that during my investigations last year I was able to pull together the key facts.

I can't say more at present - other than to say it is forming a core part of the imminent legal action against the Secretary of State for Justice, and the Privy Council.

Stuart

Ex-Senator Stuart Syvret said...

You are right to focus on the Blanche Pierre case.

Let us remember certain key facts:

For most of the 1980s a monstrous, terrible and life-wrecking regime of psychological, emotional, violent and sexual abuse was conducted against the vulnerable children in the States of Jersey Blanche Pierre Family Group Home.

Complaints were made during that time - even by visiting external staff.

The complaints were ignored, and the children continued to suffer years of abuse.

Eventually - in 1990 - things became too significant to continue to ignore, so an "internal investigation" was conducted by the then relevant authority, the Education Committee, which, back then, had responsibility for Children’s’ Services. That investigation concluded that child abuse was taking place - but it made excuses for the abusers and failed to inform the police.

That was a criminal conspiracy to pervert justice.

The relevant senior civil servants at that time in 1990 took legal advice at every stage.

Who was the legal adviser?

The then Attorney General – Philip Bailhache.

Purely by accident, the police became aware of the Blanche Pierre child abuse eight years later, in 1998 – and although for too mild and too few charges, a prosecution was belatedly brought against the two abusers.

That prosecution was improperly abandoned - with no legitimate reason – by the then Attorney General Michael Birt – a man who has long had very close professional and commercial relationships to 7 Bedford Row.

At that time – 1998/99 – a law firm was assigned to represent and safe-guard the interests of the young, damaged, vulnerable victims.

That firm was Bailhache LaBesse (now called Applebys) – then Senior Partner, William Bailhache – brother of the Attorney General Philip Bailhache – on who’s watch from the late 1980s the States of Jersey Education Committee to which he was legal adviser had been committing monstrous corporate child abuse through its employees - and had been perverting the course of justice by concealing those crimes. The same Attorney General Philip Bailhache who – as Jersey’s sole prosecuting authority – failed to see that that either the attackers of these children were brought to justice – or that those public employees who had unlawfully concealed the crimes, were brought to justice – throughout most of the 1990s.

Bailhache LaBesse / Applebys utterly failed and betrayed its young clients – the victims of the States of Jersey Education Committee and its Blanche Pierre Group Home.

The police re-investigated the Blanche Pierre abuse in 2008 – and wanted the attackers extradited and prosecuted.

Who was the then Attorney General (2008), who obstructed the police and blocked their wish to extradite and prosecute the abusers?

William Bailhache – the same William Bailhache who was Senior Partner of Bailhache LaBesse / Applebys when that firm was helping the States of Jersey – and former Attorney General Philip Bailhache - bury the whole scandal by betraying its young, damaged vulnerable clients in 1998/9.

And William Bailhache was being assisted in 2008 in obstructing the police objective of extraditing and prosecuting the abusers – by lawyers from 7 Bedford Row – the chambers with which Michael Birt has had a long commercial relationship.

Michael Birt who was the Attorney General in 1998/9 – who improperly abandoned the then prosecution of the Blanche Pierre abusers.

That’s Michael Birt – formerly of the law firm Ogier.

The same law firm – Ogier – who used to have as a Senior Partner, Birt’s friend and former private-sector colleague, current Attorney General Timothy Le Cocq.

The same law firm – Ogier – which has as a Senior Partner, part-time Jersey judge Julian Clyde-Smith.

That being the same judge Julian Clyde-Smith who heard – and then threw out – the judicial review application brought by unlawfully suspended Police Chief Graham Power.

Stuart

Anonymous said...

Yes we are well aware of the legal test deployed by the Corrupt [ie Impairment of Integrity] Crown Officers of Jersey.
We are also well aware that it is down to PERSONAL DISCRETION [that is the Reality]. Some good people of Jersey are prosecuted others - who are execrable are hounded for life.
That more and more of the intelligent analytical people of Jersey with a good moral compass have woken up to comprehend.
If you speak to the ex Bailiff's wife you will know that the man she married was a complete monster - protected by his younger brother & masonic brothers that link inextricably to 7BR!
[Abuse of Power, Abuse of Trust, Conflicts of Interest, Perverting the Course of Justice, Misconduct in Judicial Office, Bias, Breach of the two cardinal Rules of Natural Justice ("Audi Alteram Partem" or Hear the Other Side or EVERY PERSON {IN JERSEY} is entitled to a FAIR HEARING + "Nemo Iudex In Causa Sua" or No one {IN JERSEY - not even the oh so seemingly mighty Crown Officers filled with Hubris and have contempt for "those beneath them" who identify the senior Crown Officers as corrupt, arrogant, dictatorial, sanctimonious, deceiving, dissembling **** who, based on the evidence, have abused power, abused the trust placed in them, perverted the court of justice and have not accounted for the extent of their extensive breaches of law and continue to abuse their positions of TRUST} should be the Judge of their Own Cause or Impartial Arbiter or NO BIAS)[The rule is VERY STRICTLY APPLIED to any APPEARANCE of a possible BIAS, even if there is actually none: "Justice must not only be done, but must be SEEN to be done"), Patronage, Nepotism, and Cronyism in the Feudal Fiefdom "Crown Dependency" of JERSEY, CHANNEL ISLAND abounds in volumes...]

rico sorda said...

I believe the name Operation Rectangle came from the Police system that gives names to these big operations. i could be wrong but I believe it's that simple.

The below transcripts from the States of Jersey are from the the lodged comments of the Attorney General and are very revealing. The then AG, William Bailhache seems to hold the politicians in contempt.

EXTRACT FROM STATES OF JERSEY ‘HANSARD’ TRANSCRIPT OF 2ND JUNE 2009

2. Oral Questions
The Greffier of the States (in the Chair):

We come now to Oral Questions. There was one question deferred at the request of the Attorney General at the last meeting and I will take that question in addition to the 90 minutes allocated for the questions listed for today’s meeting.

2.1 Deputy M.Tadier of St.Brelade of

H.M.AttorneyGeneral regarding criteria for the pursuit of so-called ‘historic’ child abuse cases:
Will Her Majesty’s Attorney General inform the Assembly of the criteria used to judge whether or not to pursue cases in relation to the so-called historic child abuse and, where the likelihood of conviction principle plays a part, roughly what percentage of certainty is usually required?

Mr. W.J. Bailhache Q.C., H.M. Attorney General:

I would like to thank the Deputy for his courtesy of agreeing a deferral of this question from 2 weeks ago when I was out of the Island. The decision to prosecute an individual is a serious step. Fair and effective prosecution is essential to the maintenance of law and order. Even in a small case, a prosecution has serious implications for all involved: the victim, the witness and a defendant. I have published on the Law Officers’ website a code on the decision to prosecute. As will be seen from that code, there are 2 stages in a decision to prosecute, the evidential test and the public interest test. I have already said in relation to the historic child abuse investigation that it would be surprising if a decision were to be taken not to prosecute on public interest grounds, although that possibility is not ruled out. So far no decisions not to prosecute have been taken on public interest grounds. The evidential test is that the prosecutor must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against each defendant on each charge. It means that the prosecutor must consider whether a court or jury properly directed in accordance with the law is more likely than not to convict the defendant of the charge alleged. The expression “more likely than not” means that the test is applied on the balance of probability. These rules apply to all prosecutions whether for historic child abuse or for other cases. The assessments are judgment calls made on a professional, objective basis. It should be emphasised that any decision taken to the effect that a particular allegation should not result in charges does not mean that the allegation is rejected as untrue, nor does it mean that it is considered in some way not to be a serious allegation. All it means is that the prosecutor has reached the view that an acquittal is more likely than a conviction.

2.1.1 Deputy M. Tadier:

Is the fact of whether a suspect is not currently present in the Island a consideration when deciding if a case should be pursued?

rico sorda said...

The Attorney General:

If a suspect is not currently in the Island that can give rise to questions as to whether it is feasible to get the suspect back to face trial, but the evidential test and the public interest test as to the decision to prosecute are applied before one thinks of the difficulties, if there are any, in getting somebody back from outside the Island.

2.1.2 Senator S. Syvret:

The Attorney General has explained how there is a degree of judgment call in deciding whether to prosecute. For example, say in a case where there was substantial evidence from a number of victims about such things as being beaten, badly injured, being battered to the floor and held down while Dettol was poured down their throats and including the sexual abuse of some female children, would the Attorney General say that a case of that nature, which is evidenced by about 2 substantial lever-arch files of evidence, would merit prosecution?

The Attorney General:

I am certainly not going to discuss any particular cases before this Assembly, and the Senator is trying to encourage me to make a response on the basis of what he believes to be the facts in a particular case. All I would emphasise to the Assembly is that the prosecutors take the decisions sensitively, objectively and professionally; language which the Senator may no doubt wish to adopt at some point.

2.1.3 Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier:

I am just interested in what the Attorney General has told us about the difficulties with other countries. Could the Attorney General just explain whether France is one of those countries where there would be problems in extraditing people to face investigations?

rico sorda said...

The Attorney General:

France and Jersey, through the United Kingdom, are members to the Council of Europe Convention on Extradition, and I would expect that the terms of the Convention should enable in any proper case extradition from France to be possible. Indeed, there have been numbers of occasions when there has been extradition from here to France and the other way round.

2.1.4 Deputy P.V.F. Le Claire of St. Helier:

In the instance where it has been decided by Her Majesty’s Attorney General that a case should not proceed due to the evidential test not having been met, would that be revisited if new evidence surfaced?

The Attorney General:

The Deputy is another Member who is seeking to put the facts of a particular case to me in the guise of ...

Deputy P.V.F. Le Claire:

On a point of order, I certainly am not. I strongly refute that. That was just a general question. I am not trying to assert any particular case. I do respectfully suggest that Her Majesty’s Attorney General has completely misread my supplementary. I was just asking for general ...

The Attorney General:

I am very pleased to have that reassurance. The position is that whenever a decision has been taken not to prosecute the probability is that there would need to be a very significant reason for reopening that decision. That may arise because there is new evidence that was not available and could not reasonably have been ascertained at the time of the original decision. Broadly speaking, when a decision not to prosecute has been taken, there is a very strong public interest in maintaining that decision. It is right that members of the public should be able to rely upon a decision which the Attorney General has taken.

.1.5 Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier of St. Saviour:

Under what circumstances would the Attorney General refer a possible prosecution case for review from outside of his department?

The Attorney General:

I expect the Deputy is aware that in the historic child abuse investigation I have already made it plain that in all those cases the files are first going to be considered by private sector advocates who are, therefore, naturally by definition outside my department. It is only if those Crown Advocates consider that the evidential test is not met or that for some public interest reason the prosecution should not be brought that the case would be referred to my department. When it comes into my department in these particular cases, it is then reviewed by one of the senior lawyers in my department. It is also reviewed by me and there are some occasions when we have thought it appropriate to get outside advice as well.

rico sorda said...

2.1.6 Senator S. Syvret:

Would the Attorney General inform the Assembly as to on what grounds a decision not to seek extradition may be taken? Would he agree with me also that anyone who has made a formal, credible complaint to the police of criminal conduct has a right to be informed of the status of that complaint, whether it is being fully investigated, whether it has been decided that there is no merit in the complaint, or whether it has been parked, whether it is going to be taken forward for prosecution? Can the Attorney General state whether complainants have a right to that knowledge and would he also undertake personally to write to the victims of the 2 abusers in France and explain to them what is going on?

The Attorney General:

There are about 100 questions in there. The general rule is that the police do try to keep complainants informed about the conduct of the case, about the way in which the investigation is going – the progress of the investigation – and what the likelihood is of a prosecution and, once a prosecution decision has been taken, to advise the complainants of that decision. Where the decision is taken not to prosecute, the police are very careful to advise not only the putative accused but also all the complainants so that they do not receive this information via the media or on the radio or reading it in the Jersey Evening Post. That is a sensitive approach which is to be commended and it is one of the reasons why I am simply not going to discuss particular cases in this Assembly. I think the first part of the question was the extent to which objections can be made to extradition or something of that kind. Perhaps the Senator would repeat that part of his question.

Senator S. Syvret:

The grounds upon which the decision would be made whether to seek extradition. The Attorney General said in answer to an earlier question that it would, in fact, make things more difficult to make a decision to prosecute if it had to involve extradition.

The Attorney General:

The position there is that if the decision is taken to prosecute and the prospective accused are outside this jurisdiction, I will do everything in my power to ensure that they come back to face trial. If – and it sometimes is the case – getting such people back from the other jurisdiction is impossible, either because there is no extradition treaty or convention or for some reason the extradition arrangements turn out not to be able to work, then, of course, the Attorney, the Crown is stuck with that position. But
once a decision to prosecute is taken, if it is possible to bring such people back by making an application for extradition, I would.

2.1.7 Deputy D.J. De Sousa of St. Helier:

Can the Attorney General inform the House who, how many are involved in making a decision, and what criteria is used to decide that it is not in the public’s best interest to prosecute?

The Attorney General:
I do not understand what decision is being talked about.

The Greffier of the States (in the Chair):
Are you able to clarify, Deputy?

Deputy D.J. De Sousa:

Any decision not to prosecute, sorry, in the public interest.

rico sorda said...

The Attorney General:

Numbers of decisions are taken by Centeniers at Parish Hall Enquiries. Particularly where the prospective accused is a person under age, it is thought there is a better way of dealing with the particular incident than by having a prosecution take place before the court. So, the first part of the answer is that Centeniers in effect apply a public interest test week-in, week-out in deciding whether or not to prosecute before the Parish Hall Enquiries. Otherwise, the lawyers in particular cases who are handling a prosecution may well take a view that the public interest requires that the prosecution should not proceed or should be withdrawn. In sensitive cases or cases which the lawyers believe to be sensitive, those decisions may be referred to the Law Officers for review. If they are referred up to the Law Officers for review, then that may be considered by the Law Officers personally or it may be considered by the Principal Legal Adviser who is the senior criminal lawyer in my department. I am afraid the question is really too wide to give a better answer than that.

2.1.8 Deputy M. Tadier:

The last question is a simple one: are there currently any extradition applications pending in relation to child abuse that has happened in the last 30 or 40 years?

The Attorney General:
No.

rico sorda said...

This is a very telling part. The Lawyers outside of the office of Attorney General but have they previously worked through that department? What we are looking at here is a CLOSED SHOP. They will just prosecute who they believe will less problematic fro them. Who represents States Departments in legal action?



.1.5 Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier of St. Saviour:

Under what circumstances would the Attorney General refer a possible prosecution case for review from outside of his department?

The Attorney General:

I expect the Deputy is aware that in the historic child abuse investigation I have already made it plain that in all those cases the files are first going to be considered by private sector advocates who are, therefore, naturally by definition outside my department. It is only if those Crown Advocates consider that the evidential test is not met or that for some public interest reason the prosecution should not be brought that the case would be referred to my department. When it comes into my department in these particular cases, it is then reviewed by one of the senior lawyers in my department. It is also reviewed by me and there are some occasions when we have thought it appropriate to get outside advice as well.

Ex-Senator Stuart Syvret said...

Rico, you ask,

"Who represents States Departments in legal action?"

It is the Office of Attorney General and his department of Law Officers.

That is one of the reasons the Crown & Secretary of State for Justice are acting unlawfully.

They persist in allowing a situation to exist in Jersey whereby key parts of the apparatus of the rule of law, are so fundamentally conflicted, as to be permanently structurally unlawful.

A prosecution function cannot be a lawful prosecution function - if it is structurally conflicted with other considerations - such as being the legal adviser to senior civil servants and States Departments that are acting criminally and should be prosecuted.

For example - the prosecution decisions made by Philip Bailhache - then Michael Birt - then William Bailhache - in respect of the Blanche Pierre abusers - were - and are - ultra vires.

Quite plainly and indisputably; by any standard relevance of established case-law.

But forget about attempting to enforce that fact upon, and within, Jersey's gangster-regime.

The real guilty party here - for letting this happen - is the Crown and its agents in London.

But as far as the snake's head here in Jersey is concerned, it isn't even our coterie of bent judges & their brought-in friends from London. You'll find the real snake's head in Government House -half-way up St. Saviour's Hill.

Stuart


Anonymous said...

Rico,

This is another impressive blog posting, which contains examples of cozy duplicity inside the inner circle controlling Jersey's power structure.

For the sake of your international readers, I would suggest interpreting the very popular term "Public Interest," to mean "In The Best Interest Of The Cabal."

Go ahead, read the posting and all commentary above, substituting the "Cabal" (for "public") interests.
Now, doesn't the extremely peculiar or suspicious make a lot more sense?

It works like a charm to explain quite plainly, how Stuart Syvret's "Public Interest" blog disclosure of a possible grave danger to the public, was discounted and disqualified for no coherent reason. Try it with most other Jersey blog posts.

Plainly, it was never in the Cabal's best interest to prosecute most of the child abusers implicated by Lenny Harper's abuse investigation. As Staurt Syvret has explained, child abuse was a currency of sorts in the concealment industry that is tax avoidance, wearing the mask of modern democracy.

Who are in the Cabal? They obviously include the Bailhache Brother and the Crown Appointees, the lawyers of 7 Bedford Row, and those affiliated with their aims through obligation, mutual fear and greed, or oath. They are well supported by an acquiescent or apathetic segment of the public, and by the Finance Industry.

This simplistic interpretation will go a long way in helping a foreigner grasp the underpinnings of a criminal enterprise masquerading as a democratic system. It will also add to the respect some brave independent bloggers have earned as voluntary journalists.

Anonymous said...

Out of interest Rico what do you plan to do next with these serious claims?

Zoompad said...

"Out of interest Rico what do you plan to do next with these serious claims? "

Rico, keep your plans close to your chest, dont post anything you dont want to, sometimes the less people know certain things the better, the bad ones find it more difficult to trash legal challenges and investigations, keep chipping away xx

Anonymous said...

Zoompad the reason I ask is because this information is only of use to abuse survivors and not Rico personally. At the moment you can write countless speculative posts on Jersey's justice system but because Rico is not an interested party where can he possibly go with it? The States are not compelled to do anything unless a proper complaint is made from a victim if you follow me and questions in the States get nowhere?

Zoompad said...

Rico, look at this! I have just been sent this on Twitter, look who the journalist is, DAVID ROSE!!! What on earth is going on?

http://t.co/BQ8zhxcq

rico sorda said...

Sorry, just didn't have time to reply. All going well I would like to hand all my evidence to the forthcoming Committee of Enquiry.

This will all be done professionally. All clearly marked in lever-arch files.

Rs

Anonymous said...

Ok, good luck Rico. I wish you all the best with this. Make sure you lay all the evidence out in a coherent & easy to follow manner.

GeeGee said...

Off tangent a wee bit Rico, but this morning on BBC Radio Jersey Andre Bonjour, the recently promoted police officer (courtesy Bowron), is taking early retirement.

Is this coincidence or convenience I wonder?

Ian Evans said...

In search of the LAW TRANSLATIONS we were promised!

Ian Evans said...

Jersey guide for the NEW MAGISTRATE

Anonymous said...

Another copper arrested for leaking confidential info, no payment involved.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/14/operation-elveden-met-police-officer

Ian Le Marquand, when are you going to make a criminal complaint to Lancashire Police about their officer, Mr Gradwell? You told the States Assembly all about your investigation into the source of the leaks to the Daily Mail.

Rico, do me a favour. Please send a link to this comment to Mr Le Marquand, explaining that your readers are very concerned about his failure to make a criminal complaint to Lancashire Police. Thanks.

Ian Evans said...

Another Jersey STITCH UP

Ian Evans said...

"Ignorance of the law is no excuse"....EXCEPT IN JERSEY

Daniel said...

The AG wrote in his comments on the Council of Ministers proposition for a Committee of Inquiry into child abuse:

"There is a fundamental principle that the prosecution process should be free from any political influence or interference in any way"

Quite so.

But who checks on the prosecution service, then? There HAS to be a check-and-balance somewhere, surely?

This is how they do it in a jurisdiction not far to the North of our little island:

"The Director (of the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service)) is accountable to the Attorney General for the exercise of his or her functions. In turn, the Attorney General and the Solicitor General (the Law Officers) can be called to account by Parliament for the decision-making and other acts of The CPS. In exercising his or her prosecution functions, the Attorney General acts independently of the government.

The superintendence of the Attorney General over the independent CPS, the details of whose decision-making usually cannot be discussed publicly, is an important constitutional safeguard for the public. In practice, the Director consults the Law Officers or keeps them informed about the conduct of appropriate cases; consults them in the development of aspects of CPS policy and practice; and may discuss with them the whole range of casework and organisational issues.

Since September 2000 both the Headquarters Directorates and the Areas provide direct briefing to the Law Officers.

The Law Officers answer oral questions in Parliament and in addition respond personally to correspondence about the CPS from Members of Parliament. This is an important element of our public accountability. In both cases, The CPS must provide full information about the points raised."

That is from the website of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the UK


http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/statutory_duties_and_powers_/

Note that in Jersey the AG and the SG ARE the Law Officers. In the UK the AG and the SG are quite separate from the prosecution service.

What this extract from the CPS website shows is that the UK prosecution service DOES NOT run above all challenge, above all conversation about what it does and how it does it.

So why should it in Jersey?