Monday, 1 February 2016

The curious incident of William Bailhache in the night-time (and the daytime).

To begin this Blog Posting we thought that it might be a good idea to include a quote from the world’s most famous detective. Disappointingly, this is not Lenny Harper but Sherlock Holmes, whose conversation is reported as follows:

"You consider that to be important?" he [Inspector Gregory] asked.
     "Exceedingly so."
     "Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
     "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
     "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
     "That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
     The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1893)
     Inspector Gregory and Sherlock Holmes in "Silver Blaze" (Doubleday p. 346-7)

In this extract Holmes identifies the often ignored evidential significance of doing nothing. In a world, which seeks instant quotes and instant action the headline “man does nothing” is unlikely to sell many newspapers, but doing nothing can be very significant. It can allow the personwho does nothing to go unnoticed while those who did something become the focus of critical attention. Knowing about something and doing nothing is emerging as a significant feature as more of the truth about Jersey’s Child Abuse scandal unravels.

Former CEO Bill Ogley.

Now we turn to the most recent revelations regarding the role of the key players in the (possibly illegal) suspension of Jerseys Police Chief, Graham Power QPM, in 2008 in what many see as a direct government attempt to shut the lid on the Child Abuse Inquiry which was putting Jersey and its politicians under an unwelcome spotlight. Overseen by the then Chief Minister Frank Walker, the hapless Home Affairs Minister AndrewLewis supervised by Chief Executive Bill (Golden Handshake/Shredder) Ogley, suspended Jersey’s Police Chief, at the height of the Child Abuse Investigation, and did it, so it would appear, contrary to unambiguous legal advice from both then Solicitor General (Tim le Cocq) and the Attorney General William Bailhache. And let us not forget the background to all of this. 

The Island’s force was investigating decades of Child Abuse carried out in institutions run by the Jersey Government and a range of sexual offences, which occurred elsewhere. Some of these offences were alleged to have been committed by people connected to those in government at that time. Questions about who in authority knew what and when were being asked daily. Never before had the force been in such an exposed position, investigating the very government to which it was accountable, and never before did it have greater need of the support and protection of the Crown and its officers. To their credit, when they learned that the Chief Minister and his inner circle were planning to suspend the Police Chief, in what many suspect was a blatant political attempt to bring the investigation to an end, the Law Officers advised them not to do it unless they were in possession of  the full Metropolitan  Police Report. Not the alleged "interim Report" and certainly not a letter from the Deputy Chief Officer and soon to be made Acting Police Chief David Warcup. It had to be the full Met Review which should be without qualifications or caveats. Legal advice does not come clearer than that yet that advice was ignored.

What has yet to emerge is who led the Law Officers to believe that a Review Report could be used for disciplinary purposes anyway? The Met should never allow that and they have said so. They have also dealt robustly with any claim that the report was critical (or to use Andrew Lewis' term "damming" of the Role of Chief Officer Power, DCO Lenny Harper, or anyone else involved with Operation Rectangle. in a separate Report OPERATION TUMA  they said:

"The review does not criticise the investigation. The Review does not criticise any individual involved in Operation Rectangle"

Former Attorney General and current Bailiff
William Bailhache.

So what did Her Majesty’s Attorney General (William Bailhache) for Jersey do in the aftermath of this defiance of his advice and the blatant political intrusion of politicians into a criminal investigation in which they had a clear vested interest? Not a lot it appears.  Like the “dog in the night-time” he did nothing.  Or at least nothing positive that we know of.  But there are some things that we can be sure that he subsequently did or did not do. For example he provided legal support for the Jersey Government in resisting the Police Chiefs attempts to have his suspension reviewed in the Royal Court, and he is likely to have been party to a determination to ensure that the Police Chief was not provided with any representation for himself. He represented the Jersey Government in its attempts to withhold information on when the suspension notices were first prepared (which turned out to be several days before the alleged “evidence” in the Warcup Letter was received.) His actions in these matters were bad enough but his omissions were worse.

Over the past seven years at various times and places the politicians involved have been challenged and questioned on the grounds for the suspension and at every stage they have led us all to believe that they followed legal advice. We now know that they lied (by omission or otherwise). They lied to the public, they lied to the media and they lied in the Islands Parliament and William Bailhache heard what they said and did nothing.  When Brian Napier QC was appointed to conduct an independent review of the suspension it appears that Bailhache did not disclose the advice he had given to Frank Walker and Bill Ogley. 

Why an independent QC investigating the suspension was not told that on the night before the suspension took place the Attorney General, no less, told the Ministers that they did not have the evidence required to go ahead is another mystery which is yet to fully unfold.

Brian Napier QC.

The fact that the advice has emerged in the public domain at all is only due to the work of the Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry and its extensive powers. Credit has to be given to the Committee of Inquiry for obtaining, and using, this crucial evidence. If William Bailhache, and others, did not disclose this crucial evidence/e-mail to the Napier Review then questions will now have to be asked as to the validity of Napier's findings if crucial evidence had been withheld.

So what was this servant of the Crown (William Bailhache) actually thinking of during all of this? Was he perhaps thinking of the need to defend the integrity of the Criminal (in)Justice system from political intrusion? From what we know apparently not. Which leaves open the possibility of a nasty suspicion. Could it be that he was content to go along with the suspension and do his bit for preserving the reputation of the Island from the damage of the Abuse Investigation, so long he had the “insurance” of the legal advice in his back pocket in case things got really tough? We might never know. But what we do know is that it might be hard to trust him now (that is for anyone who trusted him in the first place.)

As Sherlock Holmes might have said; “it is the curious incident of William Bailhache doing nothing.”

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Lenny Harper. Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry Witness. Part 2 (of 2)

Former SIO Lenny Harper.

Further to our PREVIOUS POSTING and in-depth interview with former Deputy Chief Officer, and Senior Investigating Officer (Operation Rectangle) Lenny Harper. We bring viewers/readers the concluding part of the interview.

Mr. Harper discusses, among much more, The supposed "terminal illness" of Child Abuser Alan Maguire and how it WAS(n't) a factor considered in the refusal to prosecute him for the heinous abuse he inflicted on children at the Blanche Pierre Children's Home. How a document supplied to the ongoing Child Abuse Inquiry apparently supported the view that Mr. maguire's "terminal illness" wasn't a contributing factor in the decision not to prosecute, and how that document actually appeared to prove the opposite.

The debacle that was the questioning of former Deputy Trevor Pitman at the Inquiry (as reported HERE) is also discussed. How, what has been described as, "the most defining report of its era" submitted as evidence to the Inquiry, by the former Deputy, was NOT even mentioned. This Scrutiny Report put pay to a lot of myths spread by the State Media (of the time)/The Establishment, and exposed disgraced former cop Mick Gradwell for leaking confidential police information to an equally disgraced "journalist" with a history of trashing Abuse Victims/Survivors, trashing Child Abuse Investigations and supporting convicted paedophiles. Mr. Gradwell leaked this information while Operation Rectangle was still live. Without the Scrutiny Report we might never have learned about Mr. Gradwell's potential crime.

Former Deputy Trevor Pitman.

The Report has been buried, and recommendations not acted upon, by the Jersey Government. It's been buried by the State Media, and now it looks like it is being buried by the Child Abuse Inquiry. Readers should take the time to read the report which was posted HERE. You will NOT be able to read it as part of the evidence submitted by Trevor Pitman to the Child Abuse Inquiry because that is another scandal involving this Inquiry. Mr. Pitman's evidence has once more disappeared from the Inquiry's website and STILL no explanation given as to why this keeps happening.

One of the most alarming of Mr. Harper's concerns regarding the conduct of this Inquiry is the protection given to suspected paedophiles which is not afforded to him, and more importantly, the Victims and Survivors.

This is something we have reported on previously where apparent upstanding pillars of society can give public evidence under their own name and not answer ANY questions of the multiple allegations made about them concerning their alleged abuse of minors. This "upstanding pillar of society" can insult victims and the Operation Rectangle Team and nobody knows (s)he/they were a priority suspect in the Child Abuse police Investigation.

The very same person can come into the Inquiry the very next day, under a pseudonym, and basically agree with everything that was said the day before regarding the Victims/Survivors/Rectangle Team and the public is unaware it is the same person.

It is a disgraceful state of affairs and readers are encouraged to read THIS BLOG POSTING which explains in a little more detail of the protection offered to suspected paedophiles, and not offered to Victims/Survivors by this Inquiry.

Mr. Harper, who was the ONLY witness to be officially cross-examined while giving evidence, probably kept the best and most poignant points to last.

After paying "a heartfelt tribute" to the Victims and Survivors saying he was "grateful, and moved, by the trust that they placed in him and his team when you consider the way they have been treated by authority figures in the past"

He reminds us, in the interview, that "the focus (of the Inquiry) should be on the Victims who have suffered so much." He told us "it's been my pleasure to do the little that I can do, in this Inquiry, for the Victims and Survivors."

Part 1 of this interview can be viewed HERE.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Lenny Harper. Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry Witness.

Former SIO Lenny Harper.

On the 12th &13th of January 2016 former Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) of Jersey Child Abuse investigation (Operation Rectangle)  Lenny Harper gave his long anticipated evidence to the on-going public Inquiry Chaired by Francis Oldham QC.

Mr. Harper was (rightly) put through the mill and subjected to the toughest line of questioning, in this phase of the Inquiry, than any other witness to appear thus far. Indeed as Mr. Harper explains, in the video interview below, he is the ONLY witness to be officially cross-examined by Counsel to the Inquiry. This is despite claims by the Inquiry that witnesses will NOT be cross-examined. It must be said that Mr. Harper, almost looked as if he enjoyed the cross examination, and certainly came out on top at the end of it receiving his second spontaneous round of applause from a packed Public Gallery during his two day testimony.

As viewers/readers would expect Mr. Harper's testimony was not without controversy. Contrary to inaccurate reporting from parts of the local State Media that DID NOT include a totally corrupt Jersey Police Force (SOJP). Mr. Harper, in our video interview, explains how he told the Child Abuse Inquiry that the SOJP should be proud of itself by being able to root out a "tiny minority" of corrupt officers. They did this WITHOUT involving an outside police force. This was not highlighted by parts of the local State Media which we have now clarified.

In part 1 (of 2) of our interview (below) the former SIO discusses what looks to be a very alarming revelation in that, according to Mr. Harper, not only is there the possibility that the Jersey Law Office' have falsified documents given to the Child Abuse Inquiry as evidence, but the Inquiry itself is using these documents in the knowledge that there is suspicion over their authenticity.

Former Chief Police Officer
Graham Power QPM.

Regular readers  will know that it is not beyond the capability of the Jersey Administration to allegedly falsify dates on documents as we learned through the former Police Chief Graham Power's letter of complaint to the Privileges and Procedures Committee concerning the notes drafted (by person's unknown)of his (possibly illegal) suspension as posted HERE.

A couple of quotes from that letter (above link) to PPC from Mr. Power:

"Following almost a year of requests and applications, information has now been disclosed in relation to the times and dates when documents relevant to the suspension were created. It is self-evident that the facts now disclosed are incompatible with the “Official Version” of events.

Letter from the Minister for Home Affairs notifying me that the disciplinary process had been commenced
It is now disclosed that this was created at 0844hrs on Saturday 8 November 2008. This is three days before the receipt of the information which is claimed to have led to the decision to commence the disciplinary process, and three days before the creation of the letter from the Minister instructing the Chief Executive to take action under the Code. Former Deputy Andrew Lewis in his statement to the Wiltshire Police investigation claims that he instructed that the letter be drawn up on Wednesday 12 November 2008 and he is supported in this claim by Mr Ogley. (Document bundle pages 32 and 31.) The disclosure reveals that these statements are untrue."

So we, and the Child Abuse Inquiry, know that dates on documents look to have been falsified by Jersey authorities in the past. 

Mr. Harper drew the Inquiry's attention to a possibly falsified document back in October 27th 2015 and asked for a forensic fingerprint of the document. This request was NOT carried out. So the Inquiry was knowingly relying on a piece of evidence which it knows to have questions over its authenticity. 

As if this wasn't alarming enough the Law Offices' Department produced another document, for the first time, the day Mr. Harper was giving evidence. This document was to "allay Mr. Harper's fears" concerning the original suspicious document. Firstly readers must be mindful that Mr. Harper asked for a digital fingerprint of the original document some 2-3 months before he gave evidence. The day he is giving evidence, to the Inquiry, a document is produced which looks even more suspicious than the original one! Why was the digital fingerprint of the original document never investigated and why did the Law Offices' wait to produce this second document until the day Mr. Harper was giving evidence? Further why has the Inquiry not launched an investigation into both documents rather than rely on them as evidence with such suspicion hanging over their authenticity?

This is an alarming turn of events and unfortunately doesn't bode well for the credibility of the Public Inquiry and until these documents are authenticated (or otherwise) how can any document submitted by the Jersey Authorities/Law Offices' Department be relied  upon?

There could be a plausible explanation concerning these documents (and why they haven't been investigated) but unfortunately  it is not forthcoming and until it is they must be viewed with suspicion.

Part 2 of the interview with Mr. Harper will be published soon.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Jersey Lieutenant Governor and "Crown Interest(s)"

Current Lieutenant Governor.
(Credit JEP photo)

What does the term “Crown Interests” mean exactly and who is responsible for them in Jersey? Who are Crown appointees and who appoints them?

We know that the Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff, Attorney General, Solicitor General, and the lieutenant Governor are Crown Appointees but as far as my limited knowledge on the subject (of Crown Appointees and Crown Interests) goes I believe it is the Lieutenant Governor who represents the interest(s) of the Crown in Jersey.

The Jersey Government House WEBSITE has a short “job description” of the LG but it is a little sparse on any real detail, including any accountability, who is he accountable to if he becomes part of the Jersey rot and corruption?

What does his job entail exactly? I see it that he has (Crown) responsibility for the rule of law and good governance on this Crown Dependency of Jersey. Is he adequately preforming this role? Who is watching over him? How is he appointed? Who appoints him?

According to Government House website (above link) “The Lieutenant-Governor is appointed by Her Majesty The Queen for a period of 5 years to be her personal representative and impartial adviser.”

But according to WIKIPEDIA: In 2010 it was announced that the next Lieutenant Governor would be recommended to the Crown by a Jersey panel, thus replacing the previous system of the appointment being made by the Crown on the recommendation of UK ministers.”

So the people he is supposed to be watching over recommend him to the Crown? Who exactly is on this “Jersey Panel” that recommends him for appointment? According to the BBC “A selection panel made up ofthe Bailiff, a senior Jurat and a member of the appointments commission wouldthen make the decision.” 
How can it be that the very people he should be grassing up for any wrongdoing effectively get to appoint him? Why is there no mention of this change in the appointment process on Government House’ website?

William Bailhache.

The Chief of Police is not a “Crown appointee.”  He is appointed by the States but thereafter becomes (according to a legal opinion by William Bailhache) an "Officer of the Crown."
This is explained in paragraph 458 of former Chief Police Officer, Graham Power’s statement to the ongoing Child Abuse Inquiry:

“458. During my time in office there were many examples of ways in which there were subtle attempts by Ministers to control the SOJP. At one point, there was a draft employment law being debated where Ministers would be responsible for disciplining police officers and it was also suggested that they should be “employees” of the States. I asked the Attorney General (William Bailhache) for support and he gave a helpful opinion that police officers were not “employees” but “officers of the crown.” I cannot avoid observing that being an “officer of the crown” did not do me much good when I was removed from office at the stroke of a pen by a single politician. I do not remember the representative of the Crown, HM Lieutenant Governor for Jersey, having much visible influence in the matter.”(END)

Surely it must have been of interest to the Crown when (officer of the crown) Graham Power QPM, was (possibly illegally) suspended by the then Home Affairs Minister ANDREW LEWIS?  But apparently NOT.

Regular readers will recall that the former Chief of Police (after being possibly illegally suspended) wrote a letter to the Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC), which was NOT shared with the Committee by its Chairman Constable Juliette Gallichan.

VFC published this letter HERE and strongly recommend that readers take a close look at it. It’s difficult to single out the most damming paragraph but offer this one as an example of the letter’s content and alleged criminality and of “a government within a government.”

“It may be that I have provided sufficient information to enable the Committee to consider a way forward on this issue. However, in the hope that it may be helpful, I will offer some personal thoughts and additional information which may assist.
On a straight reading of the available evidence it may occur to many people that the most likely probability is that the former Minister for Home Affairs knowingly provided an account which is distant from the truth. That may be the case, but there are other possibilities. One is that he was not the main author of the process. The known facts allow for an alternative explanation. That is, that the decision to suspend was in fact taken by others for motives of their own, and that the then Minister was brought in at the final stages to provide his signature, and thereby appear to legitimise a process which was conceived by others. Such an interpretation would of course raise the possibility of a “Government within a Government” in which unidentified and unaccountable individuals exercise power outside the parameters of the law. If that was the case then the constitutional implications would be significant. This would be particularly true in the context of a potential impact on the independence of a part of the Criminal Justice System.” (END)

We know by the statement submitted, by the former Police Chief, to the ongoing Child Abuse Inquiry that the Lieutenant Governor (Crown Appointee with responsibility for the rule of law and good governance in the island) received a copy of Mr. Power’s letter to the PPC.

So this begs the question whether the LG considered what it revealed to be "good governance?" If he did then one has to wonder what he thought bad governance would look like? If it was not good governance then what exactly did he do about it and where can we read about the outcome?

Letter of acknowledgment from LG.

The relevant paragraph of Mr. Power’s statement to the Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry, which reveals the LG received the letter to PPC, is paragraph 571 but it needs to be read in the context of paragraph 569-571 reproduced below.

“569. I believed then and I believe now that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that Bill Ogley and Andrew Lewis conspired to commit perjury in respect of the circumstances leading to my suspension. I drew my overall concerns to the attention of the Jersey Authorities by way of my letter to the Privileges and Procedures Committee dated 30 October 2009, attached as my Exhibit GP71

570. On 13 November I had a reply from the chair of the committee, Juliette Gallichan, saying that they would not deal with my complaints. The response is attached as my Exhibit GP72. I subsequently learned that the matter was not in fact put before the committee and members learned of it indirectly at a later date. Given that I had provided detailed evidence indicating that a number of senior government figures had apparently conspired to commit serious falsehoods, the response I received was disappointing but not surprising.

571. The letter was shared among a number of friends and supporters who were assisting me at the time. It appears that someone within that group sent a copy of my letter to the Lieutenant Governor for Jersey. I know this because I received an acknowledgement dated 4 November 2009, at Exhibit GP73, which appears to assume that I sent the letter which was not the case. The responsibilities of the Lieutenant Governor include the “good governance” of the Island. It is not known what action if any was taken in response to receiving a copy of my letter.”(END)

Constable Juliette Gallichan.

Juliette Gallichan's response to Graham Power was published HERE. Note the Committee (PPC) Was not made aware either of Mr. Power's letter to PPC or of the Chairman's (Juliette Gallichan's)reply. 

Did the Crown “OK” the (possibly illegal) suspension of the former police chief? Did the LG mention (to the crown) the alleged illegality contained in the letter sent to the Privileges and Procedures Committee and received by the LG himself if not why not?

As far as I understand it, the LG exists in order to represent British Crown interests in the Island and part of his remit is to observe and come to a view on whether the Island has "Good Governance" and can therefore be left to its own affairs or whether there are any grounds for UK intervention?

The letter, from Graham Power to PPC, draws to the attention of the reader a sequence of events which cast serious doubts upon the integrity of the Island's government at the highest level. It falls plainly within the remit of any interest in "Good Governance" and yet we know nothing about what (if anything) the LG did. It might be that things were done behind the scenes. If they were their effects were/are not visible. 

The existence of the Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry now raises an interesting question. The Inquiry has repeatedly and publically asked for anyone with relevant evidence to make contact with them. It could be argued that for anyone in public office to be in possession of evidence and not to declare that evidence to the Inquiry is a breach of duty. Particularly as the Inquiry is being repeatedly drawn into the question of whether the Islands institutions are capable of providing a level of protection of the vulnerable which meets UK standards. 

So has the Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry asked the LG, to give evidence if not, why not?  Will he be offering evidence from the files on the whole episode, which will undoubtedly exist in Government House? Does Government House have a view to offer? If not, then exactly what use are they when evidence of corruption and malpractice lands on their desk? Does this make the LG (the crown) complicit in the Jersey cover-up?

The Lieutenant Governor MUST be called as a witness to the Child Abuse Inquiry, as Must Juliette Gallichan.

Friday, 1 January 2016

VFC All Time Top Ten.

Further to the Top Ten most hit Blog Postings of 2015. Below are the top ten most hit VFC Blog Postings of All Time.

Mario Lundy

Child Abuse Inquiry.

Ted Heath.

Ian Le Marquand.

In Seventh Place. No-Body-Remains.

William Bailhache.

Philip Bailhache.

Lenny Harper.

Child Abuse Inquiry.

Andrew Lewis.

In Second Place. Complaint To PPC (2)

Stuart Syvret.

Thank you again for supporting this Blog and Happy New Year to all our readers.