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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

UK Government Are Asked To Intervene.



Two Jersey politicians have released a Press Statement (below) asking for the UK to fulfil its constitutional obligation and restore the Rule of Law and good governance in the Crown Dependency of Jersey.

Below the Press Release is an in-depth, and exclusive, interview with the two politicians, Deputies Shona and Trevor Pitman, who have experienced, first hand, the cost, both financial and emotional, of attempting to obtain justice in Jersey.

PRESS RELEASE:
Jersey Corruption: UK Government fails constitutional obligations
on ‘good governance’

Two Members of Jersey’s Parliament have today called for the UK government – which has overall responsibility to ensure ‘good governance’ in the Channel Islands - to urgently investigate what they describe as the ‘spiralling evidence of the wide-spread breakdown of law within the island’s justice system.’

Child Abuse Scandal
The Deputies say that ‘justice in the island’ (which came under the global spotlight with the unfolding of the ‘institutional’ child abuse scandal in 2008) ‘is being betrayed by a mixture of top level incompetence, corruption and intimidation. Much of this being a direct reaction from those in the island’s Establishment desperate to bury any dissenting opposition to getting to the truth about decades of child abuse cover-ups.’

‘Far from ensuring justice for the people of Jersey our Law Office has become the tool of choice for the clique at the apex of power to try to silence and, if necessary, drive from office or ruin those who dare challenge the established order; or persist in fighting the cause of the ever-growing number of people coming forward to complain of corruption; whether relating to child abuse or abuse of the legal process.’

This has already seen the former Chief of Police (the initiating officer of the child abuse investigations), Mr. Graham Power QPM forced from office by an illegal suspension that failed to result in any disciplinary charges. It has also seen a former Health Minister, at the centre of revelations about the abuse, ousted; and currently being silenced by a blatant misuse of the Data Protection Law within ‘top secret’ Royal Court hearings – all being paid for out of the tax coffers. Files and records relating to children abused within the Jersey care system have conveniently ‘gone missing’ from within both the Police system and government departments. Evidenced cases against abusers have inexplicably not been pursued by the island’s Law Office.

Banning of US Journalist
This manipulation of justice has even seen the contrived banning of a respected US journalist, Leah McGrath Goodman, from the island once it became apparent she was researching child abuse cover-ups and the island links to Jimmy Savile. A ban only lifted following the intervention of UK MP John Hemming and an international petition campaign initiated by Deputy Trevor Pitman himself. Trevor Pitman states that along with two other political ‘backbench’ colleagues the number of complaints alleging corruption received from members of the public has reached deeply disturbing proportions in recent months.

Legal System - Corruption
These complaints have included alleged tampering with court transcripts; destruction of and refusal to look at evidence; inconsistency in sentencing; and even perjury and collusion between lawyers. The recently leaked "BARTON REPORT" of a disciplinary hearing involving police at the centre of the illegal bugging allegations in the ‘Drug Baron’ Curtis Warren case even revealed claims of falsified and unsigned statements being presented instead of original documents.

Yet the Deputies say the cold, hard evidence of the justice system being in desperate need of external investigation; and the depth of the obstacles facing victims of the cover-ups was only brought home to them after they pursued the island’s only, and hugely influential, pro-establishment newspaper, the Jersey Evening Post to court for defamation along with one of its millionaire clients. The newspaper and its estate agent client Broadlands had mocked the couple after Trevor Pitman’s election, falsely claiming they had increased their salary four-fold by entering politics when in reality they had taken a drop in income of thousands.

Jurat Supports Paedophile in Previous Job as Vice-Principle
‘It was shocking enough given the evidence that we then found ourselves losing the case,’ say the Deputies; ‘we subsequently then discovered that the Senior Jurat (lay judge) John Le Breton had been allowed by the Bailiff’s Office to sit in judgement of the case even though he was a personal friend of the newspaper’s longest-serving Director; the two regularly socialising together and even going to dinner at each other’s home. All of this being evidenced’.

An even bigger shock for the Deputies was the subsequent leaking of a government suppressed report (the 1999 Sharp Report) into another horrific child abuse scandal at the island’s Victoria College (an exclusive ‘fee-paying’ secondary school).  The report revealed that John Le Breton, as Vice Principle had refused to look at evidence against a friend and colleague, the predatory paedophile, Andrew Jervis-Dykes. 

He instead wrote in support of him claiming amongst other things that: Jervis-Dykes had served the College in an ‘outstandingly competent and conscientious way’; that unless police decided to prosecute, the abuse would be seen as ‘an unsubstantiated allegation’. Le Breton even appealed for the paedophile to be allowed to stay on at the school and if he had to resign be allowed to do so with ‘some dignity’. Incredibly Le Breton was put forward for the Jurat role by a politician who was both on the College’s Board of Governors at the time and a former president of the government’s Education Committee!’

The Deputies add, ‘when you bring this to the attention of the Chief Minister, Bailiff (Head of Judiciary and Legislature) and Deputy Bailiff, where both Crown Officers just happen to also be friends of the Jurat in question - you are told: ‘if you don’t like it – appeal’.  The Crown Officers know full well, that the above information not only came to light after our case and has implications far beyond this alone; but that it would necessitate at least another £30,000: monies that most ordinary people do not have.

Jurat Le Breton was allowed to sit by two successive Bailiff’s for a period of 14 years – including sitting on some child abuse cases until retiring just after the Pitman’s’ case. ‘This demonstrates just how unfit for purpose Jersey’s system of election and monitoring of Jurats is’, says Deputy Shona Pitman, adding ‘how in the 21st Century can Jurats be elected in secret by only politicians and lawyers – many of whom will regularly be friends of those proposed?’

UK Justice Minister fails obligations of good governance
Yet even with the backing of around a dozen equally appalled fellow politicians and prominent justice campaigners, the Deputies say that the injustice they have been dealt is as yet failing to be adequately dealt with as it should by the UK justice Ministry. ‘The evidence in our case is overwhelming,’ say the Deputies, ‘just as it is in many other cases. Yet even when presented with all of the details (as outlined above) and letters of support from other concerned public figures, the excuse from Lord McNally has been that as “Jersey has its own justice system we can’t really interfere’’ (see enclosed correspondence).

‘Most absurd of all perhaps’, add the Deputies, ‘is that ‘the Justice Minister instead offers to ‘forward our concerns’ to the Bailiff – the very individual who has allowed all of this to happen! What this shows is the deeply troubling attitude to justice from those holding power within the justice system here and the UK Minister responsible for ‘good governance’ in a small and apparently ‘insignificant’ jurisdiction’.

‘At the bottom line’, conclude the Deputies, ‘if these failings are allowed to continue, if successive Bailiffs and other Crown Officers can allow an individual who refused to look at evidence against a predatory paedophile yet supported him – to sit as a Jurat for 14 years; including on subsequent cases of abuse what hope, we ask, have the victims of Jimmy Savile and the Haut de la Garenne child abuse scandal of getting justice here? What hope has any ordinary citizen who rocks the Establishment boat? The answer must be a resounding none. It is time the UK government stepped up to the plate and fulfilled its obligations. Should they not do so then it can only be concluded that Westminster must be complicit in all of this.’ Full story: www.thebaldtruthjerseyblogspot.com

For further information contact: Deputy Trevor Pitman 07797 824243/ (01534) 863436
                                                        Deputy Shona Pitman 07797 778561(END)

This Press Statement has been issued to the island's State Media and Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) It remains to be seen what, if any coverage or investigation, it receives other than that  from the independent Bloggers.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

HAS LE MARQUAND “GONE NATIVE” IN THE STATES POLICE?

A “Parliamentary Sketch” by a friend of "The Voice."


For the benefit of anyone who does not know, Senator Ian Le Marquand is Jersey’s Minister for Home Affairs. Under the current arrangements he is the person to whom the Chief Officer and Deputy Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police are politically accountable. The leadership of the Force is accountable to the Minister. The Minister is himself accountable to the States (the Jersey Parliament.) That is the arrangement. Or at least that is how things are supposed to be. But not apparently how they actually are if the Minister’s responses to questions in the States today Tuesday 19th Febrary 2013 are anything to go by.

The background to the questions is straightforward enough. Three police officers have recently been cleared of disciplinary allegations by an independent Tribunal. The Tribunal followed an independent investigation by Hampshire Police. As it happens the allegations concerned their actions in a high-profile case during which the actions of the same officers were criticised by the Courts. Not surprising therefore that there has been some quite legitimate interest in how these apparently conflicting outcomes can be reconciled. Step forward the Minister for Home Affairs. Who could be better placed to explain things to States Members and the public at large? Except that “explaining things” is not exactly a Le Marquand strong point.

On 29th January 2013 questions from States Members brought little information from the Minister. Le Marquand refused to release the written judgement of the Tribunal or to provide any meaningful information. He did however offer the following in response to a written question. In his answer he said “the public can be fully confident that the issues were properly investigated by an outside police force.” Not much “wriggle room” there you might think. Well, with hindsight that appears to be depend on the slipperiness of the wriggler and just how much he is allowed to get away with.

No sooner was the ink dry on the Ministers refusal to release the Tribunal judgement than the same document was leaked to a local leading Blogsite and PUBLISHED. (I hope nobody is ever foolish enough to trust the Jersey Government with any real secrets given their poor record on holding on to the meagre secrets they actually possess, but I digress.)

The published judgement revealed that the hearing was surprised that the Jersey Authorities, including the Police, had apparently failed to fully cooperate with the Disciplinary Investigation which they had themselves commissioned. This failure to cooperate had hindered the investigation and the work of the Tribunal. Additionally, there was a recorded concern at the accuracy of some of the typed, but not signed, witness statements which the hearing was asked to take into account.

No surprise therefore that at the next available sitting of the States interested Members invited the Minister to re-visit his earlier answers and to provide more information. A fair and reasonable exercise of the democratic process you might think. Well not according to the democratic ideals of Senator Le Marquand. Astonished back-benchers were told that their questions “should not have been asked” and were, they were repeatedly told “outrageous” and a “waste of time.” (Readers might be able to form their own view as to who was actually being “outrageous” in these exchanges, but worse was to follow.)

                                        
Deputy Shona Pitman had the nerve to draw to the Ministers attention to the Tribunal findings which appeared to say that the Force had not cooperated with the Hampshire investigation and had therefore prevented that investigation, and the subsequent Tribunal, from being as effective as they could have been. While, in observance of the conventions of the Assembly, nobody was named, all concerned knew that the lead for the Force in respect of the Hampshire investigation was the Deputy Chief Officer, Barry Taylor. But no worries, our worthy Minister had a full and complete answer. These outrageous allegations had been fully and comprehensively investigated by none other than, the Deputy Chief Officer, Barry Taylor. No readers, I am not making this up. I am not that good a fictional writer. Nobody could make this up (someone else’s catchphrase I know but on this occasion he might not mind.) Listen for yourself in the recording on “The Jersey Way” which should be available later tonight HERE or read it in Hansard. Yes, he actually made that claim. He told the States that the esteemed Deputy Chief Officer had spent a good deal of time on the matter. He had listened to the transcript of the hearing and he had spoken by telephone with the Presiding Officer of the Tribunal. At the end of these enquiries the Deputy Chief Officer had been able to exonerate himself totally from any allegation that he, or for that matter anyone else in the Force, had failed to cooperate with the Hampshire Investigation. The Minister appears to have accepted this outcome without question, which is not surprising given that he later told the Assembly that it was his role in the matter to “defend my senior officers against serious allegations.” So that surely deals with that “outrageous” allegation? Well it does if you are an obsessive autocrat who has lost even an elementary grasp of some of the basic principles of democratic accountability.

If on the other hand you think that the right to vote is not in itself a guarantee of democracy and for any system to be genuinely democratic there needs to be active processes which include checks and balances, and proper accountability, then you might have a problem.

So what is going on here? Has the Minister simply “lost the plot” "gone native" in the police and totally forgotten that it is for the Force to be accountable to him and for him to be accountable to the States? Or is there yet another “cover up” with some bigger secret waiting to be revealed? It is difficult to be sure, but there are some basic facts which, while not providing all of the answers, at least give some of the background.

Le Marquand was selected to be Minister for Home Affairs by the new administration which came into office in 2007. It is now 2013. Having been rejected for any other significant position in Government he hangs on in the first and probably the only position he will hold in the Government of the Island. Like his predecessors he is involved in the selection and appointment of senior police officers, and like his predecessors he follows UK guidelines which encourage such appointments to be made on a fixed term basis, usually of no more than five years. The reasons recorded in the UK for this policy are in the public domain and make reference to such issues as “unrecognised staleness” and the danger of Chief Officers potentially becoming too close to other senior figures and members of their own staff. Is it time for Le Marquand to take a long look at himself in this context, or if he will not do so, for somebody else to do it for him? Is there anybody out there who seriously thinks that he is now adding value to the governance of the Island by his increasingly strange behaviour in the States and elsewhere? Or is he making us all a laughing stock as he slips further towards the edge?

More to the point, can Jersey’s democratic institutions prove themselves capable of dealing with the Le Marquand problem or are they just spellbound, waiting in trepidation for the next twist in the downward spiral which is the governance of Jerseys Home Affairs Portfolio?

If it were not so serious it would be funny and entertaining. But it is serious, and nobody should be laughing.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Curtis Warren....The fall-out continues.

In continuance of our Curtis Warren car bugging saga we offer our readers another exclusive. Another exclusive trusted to Bloggers as Jersey's Mainstream media's credibility and trustworthiness  continues to plummet.

Below is a redacted letter, sent by a serving Police Officer, to an island politician that tells us not everything is rosy down at Police HQ.

It raises further questions concerning the conduct, honesty and ethics of those at the top of the Police Force and Law Officers Department. The letter suggests not all are happy with the leadership of Chief Officer Mike Bowron, Deputy Chief Officer Barry Taylor and Home Affairs Minister Senator Ian Le Marquand.

We are unable to substantiate ALL the claims in this letter but have been able to substantiate enough for it to be considered authentic. Readers are encouraged to draw their own conclusions as to its authenticity.

"Re: Curtis Warren Enquiry

I am writing to ask if you can please ask some questions in the States, as I feel there still needs to be some 'answers' and that the Attorney General, The Home Affairs Minister, Chief Officer Bowron and Deputy Chief Officer Taylor have to-date not been truthful.

Firstly in the Secret Disciplinary Hearing, Deputy Chief Officer was asked 'Who is the complainant in this matter" DCO Barry Taylor didn't even think about the answer, he replied The Attorney General'. The Home Affairs Minister claimed on the 29th January 2013 that Deputy Chief Taylor was confused with the question.

Paragraph redacted

The Home Affairs Minister claimed in the States that he has a 'Duty of Care' towards Police Officers. Why then has he not responded to a letter written to him by one of the Officers who has had his pay reduced due to illness as a result of the Disciplinary?

During the Disciplinary Hearing Chief Officer Bowron's lawyer Adv. (name redacted) lied in a deliberate attempt to tarnish the Officer's characters !!!! Adv. (name redacted) must have been instructed to do this - it is not usual for a Lawyer to act in this unprofessional manner!

What Duty of Care from Chief Officer Bowron, Deputy Chief Taylor and The Home Affairs Minister has been shown to the three Police Officers and their families?

Nothing had changed from the Curtis Warren investigation, arrest and conviction so why did Chief Officer Bowron commence an internal investigation? (redaction)  
 
Attorney General advised the Police Officers that they could not attend the Privy Council Hearing. They actually had flights booked and had to cancel them. One of the Officer's has this week written to the Attorney General to remind him of this fact - Why could the Attorney General not remember this?

It also appears that Chief Officer Bowron and Deputy Chief Officer Taylor have been breaking all the rules. For example one Officer (name redacted) was 'dismissed' by Deputy Chief Officer Taylor for taking time off for sickness and was hospitalized. He appealed, and Chief Officer Bowron said Deputy Chief Officer Taylor's decision stands. This is in breach of the Police Force Jersey Law. He has been unable to appeal to the Home Affairs Minister as he states he must liaise with the Chief Officer, the Chief Officers advises him to liaise with the Home Affairs Minister ! 

Paragraph redacted.

Chief Officer Bowron has had the crime figures manipulated to make himself look good, I understand that (name redacted) could not work with him so has moved to (another States Department).

Finally, Chief Officer Bowron and Deputy Chief Officer Taylor are the worst, most spiteful bullies the States of Jersey Police has ever seen, and both should now do the decent thing and RESIGN.

I am not able to give you my name, as I do not want to be bullied and picked on like the Warren Officers, it's not a good place to work just now.

Can you please bring a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE to the States against The Home Affairs Minister."(END)




Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Former Police Chief Exclusive. ("Evidence Did Not Come From me.")


Further to our PREVIOUS POSTING where we "Exclusively" published the written judgement of Chief Constable Mike Barton involving the disciplinary Hearing of three Police Officers involved in the Curtis Warren car bugging case. We now bring our readers another exclusive in the form of a statement issued by former Jersey Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM. 

Mr. Power issued the statement as a result of questions put to him by VFC in the hope to clear up yet another anomaly thrown up in the "Barton Judgement." 

Re-produced below is extracts from the e-mail sent to Mr. Power outlining the discrepancy contained in paragraph 3 of Chief Constable Mike Barton's report/Written Judgement.

E-mail extract From VFC to Graham Power QPM.

I was hoping that you could be of some help in order to clear a little something up concerning the recent disciplinary case against the three Jersey Police Officers involved in the Curtis Warren car bugging case.

In paragraph 3 of Chief Constable Barton's Report he writes;

"3. It is alleged that these three officers not only misled foreign law enforcement officials
 but also senior officers within the States of Jersey Police Force and members of the 
Law Officers' Department in relation to the audio surveillance of the vehicle as it
 travelled through the foreign jurisdictions."

Highlighted (bold) is where I'm a little confused. You are on record as recommending the three Officers for a commendation for their work in capturing the drug gang. Yet they stand accused of misleading their superior Officers in the Jersey Force which one might be led to believe includes you as Chief Officer.

Could you please shed some light on this? Did you give evidence, either to the Hampshire Police Investigation (Invicta) or the disciplinary investigation presided by Chief Constable Barton to the effect that either yourself, or any of their superior Officers, were misled by the three accused Officers?

With the research I have already conducted, I can't see that you gave any evidence to either investigation but it is always possible that I might have missed something and hope that you are able to fill in any gaps?(END)

   

STATEMENT ISSUED BY GRAHAM POWER QPM.  FORMER CHIEF OFFICER OF THE STATES OF JERSEY POLICE

I have been asked to make comment on media reports concerning the findings of a recent Disciplinary Tribunal relating to three Police Officers who, during my time as Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police, were involved in the investigation of Curtis Warren and others. The Disciplinary Tribunal apparently arose in consequence of an investigation by Hampshire Police which was requested by the relevant authorities in Jersey. The Presiding Officer at the Tribunal was the Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary. At the end of the hearing the Tribunal acquitted all three officers of all allegations against them.

It is a convention in senior levels of the Police Service that a former head of a police force should avoid making comment on matters arising under the command of his successors. This is a sound convention which exists for good reasons. Accordingly I have declined to make general comment in respect the disciplinary investigation or the Disciplinary Tribunal.

However, I do not believe that this convention applies to matters which relate specifically to my own actions or to any views or opinions which may have been attributed to me. This is particularly the case when such alleged views or opinions may be inaccurate.

In reading what is reported to be the findings of the Disciplinary Tribunal I have noted that in paragraph 3 of the findings it is said that the three accused officers were alleged to have mis-led senior officers within the States of Jersey Police. Given that at the time I was the Chief Officer of the Force and that at least some of the documents relevant to the activity undertaken by the officers would have crossed my desk, I think it is reasonable to assume that it appears to have been alleged that I was misled in some way and that this allegation formed part of the disciplinary allegations against the three officers. Readers of the findings of the Tribunal may also have assumed that I was to some extent a party to the allegations that Senior Officers were deceived. In this context I feel that, notwithstanding the convention I have described above, it is appropriate that I briefly make my position clear on this issue alone.

I therefore wish to make it clear that I have no knowledge of any occasion on which I, or for that matter any of my senior staff at the time, were misled by any of the officers concerned. I have never alleged that I was misled by any of them in any way whatsoever. I have never been asked to assist in any disciplinary enquiry relating to this case. I have not been interviewed by Hampshire Police. I have not made any written statement relating to the disciplinary enquiry. I have not been asked to give evidence at any Disciplinary Tribunal.

If any evidence was presented to the Tribunal which purported to show that I was misled in any way whatsoever then such evidence did not come from me.

I hope that this statement clarifies my position in respect of any allegation that I was misled by any of the three officers who were subject of the disciplinary action. I have made no such allegation and if any allegation was made by any person purporting to represent my views, then it was a false allegation made without my knowledge or agreement.

North Yorkshire.

5th February 2013.
(End)

The obvious question must now be "where is the evidence to substantiate the claim that the three Officers misled their superiors?"

Will Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand, be issuing a statement explaining this latest, in a long line of (tax payer funded) debacles, to take place under his watch?

Will the Jersey Law Offices' Department now be investigated.....If not, why not?




Sunday, 3 February 2013

Curtis Warren Car Bugging Disciplinary Hearing's Written Judgement

Not for the first time Bloggers are once more having to put their necks on the line in the name of public interest, openness, transparency and integrity. We are having to do this as we have a local mainstream media that is not trusted and keep stories buried.

Today we publish the written judgement of the Disciplinary Hearing conducted by Chief Constable Mike Barton of the Durham Constabulary who presided over the Hearing against the three Jersey Police Officers accused of illegally bugging a car used by a Curtis Warren "Gang Member" while conspiring to import a large quantity of drugs to the island.

Hopefully readers, with an interest in this story, will have read our previous postings on this unraveling debacle where we brought you the story, or anomaly, concerning "EQUALITY OF ARMS". We then brought readers attention to the way Jersey does "Democracy" where an urgent question, submitted by a democratically elected Member of Parliament, (legislator) surrounding the "Equality Of Arms" was disallowed by the Bailiff  (head of the Judiciary) HERE. We then made our readers aware of a criminal investigation (conducted by Hants Police) into the three Police Officers, and others,  involved in the "car bugging incident" which was codenamed "OPERATION INVICTA."  Finally we brought you, the reader, a TIMELINE of events which brings us up to date where we publish (below) the written judgement of the Disciplinary Hearing.

Before you read the judgement we must remind our readers of a Blog Posting we published back in August 2010 where we set out our case that Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand, SET A PRECEDENT the day that he published the Wilts Report, which as regular readers will be aware is the prosecution case, for a Disciplinary Hearing (that never took place) against Former Police Chief Graham Power QPM. After reading the Confidentiality Clauses set out in the Wilts Report, it was clear that it should never have been made public, unless there was an "outcome" but as Mr. Graham Power QPM was denied the opportunity of a Disciplinary Hearing there never was "an outcome." Senator Le Marquand abandoned the disciplinary Hearing and not only published a heavily redacted version of the prosecution case he actually took it on a media ROADSHOW. The precedent that Senator Le Marquand had set was that it is now acceptable for Disciplinary "prosecution cases" against Police Officers, and possibly others, can now be put into the public domain regardless of whether the Disciplinary Hearing takes place or not or of any confidentiality clauses.

We were convinced that Senator Le Marquand had breached the confidentiality Clauses contained in the Wilts Report and e-mailed him on a number of occasions in order to either verify or refute our understanding but he just chose to ignore the e-mails which has left us with the understanding that we are correct and he HAS breached the confidentiality clauses. Readers will be aware that, in the interest of fairness and balance, Mr Power QPM had asked that his submission to the Wilts (the interim defence case) be published by the Minister, which he has refused to do.

Regular readers will also be aware that the local State Media were a part of Senator Le Marquand's "Roadshow" with publicising the prosecution case against Mr. Power QPM yet now that Mr. Power's interim defence case is in the public domain not one of them have reported it. An un-redacted copy of this document was leaked to managing Editor of BBC Jersey, Jon Gripton, by former Health Minister, Stuart Syvret on September the 22nd 2011 yet over one year and five months later the BBC still refuse to publish it, something we discussed with Mr. Syvret in an interview back in August 2012 which can be viewed HERE. This will also go some way to explain why Bloggers (Jersey's only independent, and trusted, media) have been leaked these latest documents and the State Media hasn't....................Yet again.

Senator Le Marquand was also asked in the States (the island's parliament) if he would publish the written judgement of the disciplinary Hearing into the car bugging case and the Minister has refused.

Notwithstanding the precedent set by Senator Le Marquand we believe there is a huge public interest in publishing this written judgement  and that is why we are taking the equally as huge risk by doing so. The opening line of this Blog Posting makes reference to "putting our necks on the line" that is because we believe we have a corrupt and politicised judicial system on the island, there are very powerful people in the Law Offices Department who will want to keep this written judgement out of the public domain for reasons that will no doubt become apparent after reading its contents. We believe that the Law Offices (the real power in Jersey) will ensure we will pay for this. We fully expect some severe repercussions and are unable to obtain a fair trial in Jersey due to its politicised judiciary.

We make no comment on the findings in the written judgement other than to say that the three cops damn well should be hauled over the coals and be held to account for their actions or inactions and believe they have been. They have been investigated by an outside police force in a criminal investigation and found with no case to answer. They have been subject to an internal Disciplinary Investigation and Hearing presided over by an outside Chief Constable and found with no case to answer. Not only have they been found with no case to answer but, as we previously posted, this all started with Former Police Chief Graham Power, Former Acting Police Chief David Warcup, and others recommending a commendation for the three Officers for the part they played in the Curtis Warren Investigation. After being subject to a criminal investigation AND a disciplinary investigation it has ended with the same recommendation. It is now time for the Law Officers to be subject to the same scrutiny and intense investigation as the cops have. With what has been revealed in the written judgement (below) we argue that there is a case for a criminal investigation into the activities of the Law Officers but encourage readers to come to their own opinions/judgements based on the evidence.

Some readers might not understand some of the findings set out in this written judgement but help is at hand. We are publishing this Blog Posting in conjunction with fellow Blogger, and Team Voice Member, Rico Sorda.

Rico has obtained, from local experts with experience in cases of this nature, a document that explains, in laymen terms, the meaning/significance of some of the most crucial paragraphs contained in the written judgement which can, and NEEDS to be read HERE.

Some names/identifications have been redacted.


In the Matter of Disciplinary proceedings
And in the matter of the Police (Complaints and Discipline Procedures)
(Jersey) Order 2000

Detective Chief Inspector David Minty,

Inspector Louis Beghin Detective Sergeant Lawrence Courtness

Decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal


Introduction

1. This matter concerns the police investigations into the criminal activities of Curtis
Warren and others which commenced in or around June 2007.

2. In broad terms it is alleged by the Presenting Officer that the three officers who have 
been charged with disciplinary offences namely, Detective Chief Inspector David
 Minty, Inspector Louis Beghin and Detective Sergeant Lawrence Courtness, all
 agreed to mislead foreign authorities in relation to their activities with regard to the
 Warren investigation and particularly all three officers were involved in misleading
 the foreign authorities particularly the French, Dutch and Belgium law enforcement
 authorities in relation to audio surveillance of a vehicle which was used by the
 Defendants in the furtherance of their criminal activity.

3. It is alleged that these three officers not only misled foreign law enforcement officials
 but also senior officers within the States of Jersey Police Force and members of the 
Law Officers' Department in relation to the audio surveillance of the vehicle as it
 travelled through the foreign jurisdictions.

4. It is also alleged that Dl (name redacted) and DC (name redacted) were also involved in this deception 
although neither appear before this tribunal as Dl (name redacted) has now retired from the 
police force and DC (name redacted) has apparently been dealt with by the States of Jersey
 Police. In all cases the officers are charged contrary to paragraph 2 of the Discipline
 Code under the Order of 2000 namely that they acted without honesty and integrity in 
relation to Operation Koala-Floss (the code for the Curtis Warren investigation) and
 secondly, that their acts or omissions in relation to their activities in the furtherance of
the Curtis Warren investigation were likely to bring discredit on the States of Jersey Police Force contrary to paragraph 13 of the Discipline Code of the 2000 Order. These charges were particularised by the Presenting Officer and whilst a number of submissions have been made in relation to them, I have ruled and I am satisfied that the final version of the Particulars as circulated, gave all three officers ample opportunity to know the case that was being put against them and what they had to do to meet that case.


5. I am aware of the law in accordance with which I have to decide this matter and I am 
familiar with the test for 'honesty and integrity' as well as the test for 'disreputable 
conduct'. For ease of reference these tests and references to the law are set out 
very clearly at paragraphs 11 to 18 inclusive of Advocate MacRae's Skeleton
 Opening and the Human Rights legislation insofar as it is relevant is also set out very
 clearly at paragraphs 19 and 20 of the same document. No one has taken issue with 
these definitions and I fully endorse their accuracy. I should also point out that I have
 to determine the issues before me on the balance of probabilities and at the outset I
 would like to thank Advocate MacRae and Advocate Sinel for their advocacy in this
 case. Advocate MacRae has referred me to all of the relevant evidence in this
 matter and has done so in detail and has been of great assistance to me in reviewing 
the evidence. Advocate Sinel, albeit late in the case, has tackled his brief with great 
enthusiasm.

6. I should also say that I could not have presided in this case without the expert, 
knowledgeable and wise counsel provided by Advocate Santos-Costa. I would like to 
make it absolutely plain that all decisions made in this case are my own although 
Advocate Santos-Costa has advised me on the law and has made it clear to me that I 
have to determine this case on the balance of probabilities.

7. I should point out at this stage that not all advocacy in this case has been as good.
The officers can, quite rightly, feel aggrieved that Advocate Gollop did not recognize 
an immediate conflict of interest. I also deprecate the manner in which Advocate 
Whittacker left the officers unrepresented. I remain perplexed where the money set
 aside for the potential expert McKay has gone. I also stated when I gave my verbal 
decision on Thursday 10 January 2013 that I did not expect to see my comments in 
the media and whilst I was not gagging others, I did make it clear that I did not
 authorise the use of my comments other than for this hearing and I do not authorise 
the publication of this written judgment other than for the purposes of this hearing.


8. I should also point out that when I gave my verbal decision in this matter, I referred 
specifically to a letter written by Assistant Chief Constable Pryde of the Hampshire
 Constabulary to the Attorney General dated 28 July 2011 did not receive an
acknowledgement let alone a response. This was the evidence given by Detective 
Chief Superintendent Cessford who was a representative of the Hampshire Police. I
 am, however, informed that this letter although shown to me and confirmed by Mr
 Cessford as having been sent, was not actually sent to the Attorney General in 
Jersey and therefore my comments about finding it odd that there had been no
 response to this letter were, at the time that I made them, inaccurate. Be that as it 
may, and having now been informed that the letter was never sent, the position in
 relation to the co-operation by the Attorney General and the States Police in Jersey 
remains the same. I do find it odd that having asked the Hampshire Police to 
investigate the matters surrounding the Curtis Warren police operation, the
 authorities in Jersey did not co-operate fully in the way that I would have expected
 given that it was they that asked for the enquiry to be carried out. Mr. Cessford made 
this very clear and I have no reason to doubt it and that caused me some
 considerable surprise. I maintain that this lack of co-operation or, perhaps more 
accurately, lack of complete co-operation, can only have compromised the
 Hampshire enquiry and limited the full facts available to me to make a decision in this
 case. I stress again that this is just one of the unsatisfactory elements of this case
 which have either been decided upon or effected the Crown about which more later.

The Facts

9. I do not propose to go into the facts of this case in any great detail. The Disciplinary 
Hearing has been fully recorded and all of the facts fully ventilated by Advocate 
MacRae both in oral submissions and in his skeleton opening. In essence, however,
 the facts are that in June 2007 the States of Jersey Police received intelligence
 suggesting that John Welsh (one of Curtis Warren's co-defendants) intended to
 orchestrate the shipment of a consignment of drugs, namely cannabis, into Jersey. 
As a result of the intelligence received, the States of Jersey Police sought to deploy 
intrusive surveillance on Welsh's motor vehicle, a Jersey registered VW Golf,
J(number excised)

10. Initially an application was made under RIPL for 'property interference', in the form of
 a tracking device. That application was granted by the Solicitor General as Acting
 Attorney General on the 15 June 2007.

11. On the 3 July 2007 a separate application was made under RIPL for intrusive
 surveillance in the form of an audio device or 'bug' to be placed in Welsh's motor
 vehicle to monitor conversations between Welsh and his associates. The application
 was recommended by Sergeant Beghin who was, at the relevant time, the sergeant 
in charge of the drug squad. Again, the application was approved by the Acting
 Attorney General, Stephanie Nicolle QC, on the 3 July 2007. DCI Minty was 
ultimately in charge of the investigation particularly with regard to the surveillance 
and his subordinates in the operation were Dl (name redacted) and DS Beghin.

12. On 10 July 2007 a decision was taken to set up a covert monitoring post in the SOCA
 premises in the UK. The intention being that any product obtained from the audio
 device could be monitored and evidenced in the UK.

13. On 13 July 2007, the covert tracking device and audio recording device which had
 been authorised was deployed in Welsh's vehicle, J(number excised), and monitoring
 commenced.

14. It soon became obvious that Welsh intended to travel in his Jersey vehicle to Holland 
via France and Belgium and both Dl (name redacted) and DCI Minty were informed at a 
meeting with SOCA on 11 July 2007 that SOCA would not commit to recording of the
 audio product from Welsh's Jersey motor vehicle in the event that it travelled through
 Belgium, Holland and/or France without permission from the countries concerned.
This was because the United Kingdom was a signatory to their Schengen Convention
 which required the consent of foreign nations to intrusive surveillance on their soil.
 The officers were therefore aware that in order to obtain further audio product there 
had to be a requirement for Letters of Request or Commission Rogatoires to be
 made by the Attorney General of Jersey and granted by the relevant foreign state.
 Advocate Jowitt was informed of this requirement by a telephone conversation on 1
 July 2007 and he directed the officers to Rebecca Boxall of the Law Officers' 
Department who then undertook to make three urgent applications for permission to 
track and to undertake audio surveillance in Welsh's Jersey VW car.

15. The result of these requests were that neither the French authorities nor the Dutch
 gave their consent for audio tracking to be monitored within their jurisdictions and in
 very broad terms the allegations are that the officers knew this and knew that they
 needed French and Dutch consent to monitor the audio product in those jurisdictions, 
didn't have it and proceeded without it.

16. To a large extent this is a factually accurate summary of events, however, the French 
and Dutch authorities did give consent to track Welsh's Jersey vehicle through 
France and Holland as did the Belgium authorities and, Commissions Rogatoires 
were in place in relation to that particular vehicle. There was however, no permission 
granted by the French or the Dutch authorities at any time to install and monitor
 audio tracking devices in their jurisdictions. Both DS Beghin and Dl (name redacted) (as they 
then were) did speak on 11 July 2007, to Advocate Jowitt, the Crown Advocate with 
 conduct of the criminal prosecution against Warren and others, about the likelihood 
of receiving the necessary permissions for this technical tracking and audio 
monitoring in other jurisdictions. In essence, Crown Advocate Jowitt stated that this
 was essentially an operational decision for the police but he also stated that any
 audio evidence obtained was unlikely to be excluded by a Jersey Court regardless of
 whether consent had been obtained or not. He went on to say, "if it was me I would
 go ahead and do it but don't quote me on that". The Presenting Officer makes it
 clear that in his view, this was not 'legal advice' and should not have been relied 
upon. Whilst I accept that this was not legal advice as such, I nevertheless think that 
it was a comment made by a senior Crown Advocate having conduct of the
prosecution of the case which could only serve to encourage the officers in deploying 
the audio monitoring device in the vehicle and obtaining the product to see later
 whether it would be admissible in Court or not. It is right that this was an operational
 decision but, nevertheless, it cannot be the case that the officers are not entitled to at 
least take some comfort from what they are told by the Crown Advocate prosecuting 
the case. Ultimately, it became clear that Welsh would not be travelling in his own
 vehicle but would be travelling as a foot passenger to France where upon he would
 collect a hire car. Ultimately the officers decided to ascertain the identity of the hire
 car and obtained the permission of the hirer namely, (name redacted), to install devices into the 
hire vehicle. As far as fitting the tracking devices on the hire car were concerned, a
 police to police request was made of the French police to allow the installation of a
"tracking device on the rental car". No mention was made of an audio device and
 ultimately the French police apparently gave consent for a tracking device to be
installed.

17. The hire car company certainly gave its consent for the hire car to be wired and this 
is clear from the fact that they handed over the hire car to the Jersey police in the first
 place and the Jersey police had to pay for the rental of the vehicle until such time as 
they could remove the tracking devices so they did not impact on anyone else who 
may have hired the car.

18. It is also right to say that the foreign authorities assisted the Jersey police in relation
not to the VW in respect of which Commission Rogatoires had been obtained but in 
respect of the Citroen hire car.

19. The allegations therefore are that DCI Minty and DS Beghin (as he then was), lied to
 foreign authorities by not informing them that an audio tracking device had been 
deployed in the hire car and that they were going to monitor the audio product from
 Jersey.

20. As far as DC Courtness (as he was then) is concerned, then he is accused of being 
party to a lie to the French police because he was called on duty to travel to France 
in order to fit the tracking and audio devices and prior to leaving the Jersey police 
headquarters to catch the boat to go to France he asked DS Beghin (as he then was) 
what he should say to the French if they asked what he was doing fitting the audio 
device and DS Beghin told him to say that this was a back-up tracking device which 
was clearly not the case. In the event, DC (name redacted) who accompanied DC Courtness to
 France was there as an interpreter and it was she who told the French police that the
 audio device was a back-up tracking device and that is essentially the allegation
 against DC Courtness.

Evidence

21. I found all of the officers to be open and honest. They were working 20 hours a day
 for a month at a stretch. Any errors, omissions or partial briefings in e-mails or
 similar are understandable. This case spanned far more than whether the Dutch had
 agreed to the listening of an audio device in the hire car. For example, there were
 Commission Rogatoires in place - indeed the three countries, Holland, Belgium and
 France, fully co-operated with surveillance assets, interestingly for the red Citroen
hire car, not the VW Golf that Rebecca Boxall had stipulated in her requests for co
operation. I found DS Courtness' evidence to be utterly convincing. He was placed in an unenviable position and has approached his role professionally. He was asked to do a particular job on a particular day and was not directly involved in communicating anything at all to French police officers. Indeed, he could not speak French and they could not speak English so I fail to see how he could have misled them in any way. He asked, understandably in a covert policing operation, what he was to say to French police in the event that they asked questions about the audio device and his superior officer told him what to say. In the event he didn't say anything at all to the French Police and, therefore, I find it difficult to see why he is in this position defending disciplinary charges.

22. I find that on the evidence as a whole (hire car firm) did consent to the property interference
 in relation to their car. This is implicit from the fact that they allowed the officers to 
install the devices, made the car available and charged the States of Jersey Police to 
be able to remove the kit.

23. I find some of Detective Inspector Beghin's evidence to have been eroded by time. 
His fortitude in giving evidence against a doctor's advice has gone in his favour. He 
was working incredible hours and he is a witness of truth. I can see why he feels he 
was thrown to the wolves. I also understand that since the time of my verbal decision 
in this matter and this written Judgment, Dl Beghin has fallen ill and was admitted to 
intensive care. I wish him a speedy recovery and I hope that he is able to move on
 with his life once he does recover.

24. DCI Minty had more of a pivotal role in allegedly mis-informing colleagues. Much has
 been made of his e-mail traffic and influence on others. His evidence in recollection 
also has been affected by time but I found his evidence to be compelling. It was also 
helpful to have the perspective offered by retired Inspector (name redacted). One could see 
the passion of the team for crime fighting.

25. I do not find it sinister that there are similarities in evidence given by witnesses. 
Officers will have discussed matters and there recollections have been tested in
 more than one Court.

26. I stress that this was a covert operation in relation to the investigation of serious 
crime with regard to serious criminals particularly, Curtis Warren, who was apparently
 seeking to get a foot hold in Jersey which would have been very detrimental indeed to
 the Jersey community.

27. It is, of course, right to say that when analysed objectively and in a vacuum, some of 
the e-mails that Advocate MacRae has referred me to, together with some of the
 exchanges that have taken place, do not necessarily depict the entire truth of the 
situation. In my view, however, this is not a deliberate attempt on the part of the
 officers to mislead but more an incomplete picture which is very much influenced by
 the extremely long hours that they were working and the pressures they were under
 throughout this investigation. Decisions had to be made quickly and evidence had to 
be obtained quickly otherwise it would be gone forever.

28. I am, of course, mindful of the Privy Council decision. Indeed, I agree with the 
Learned Law Lords (for what it is worth) as they have overturned in my view what
 was bad law in relation to the impact of admissible evidence tainted with police 
malpractice. Insofar as concerns the monitoring of the audio device and the use of 
its product, it may well be deemed to be unlawful insofar as concerns the lack of 
specific foreign consent to these actions but, this is not because it is contrary to 
RIPL. It is not RIPL that creates the unlawfulness as RIPL is an enabling Statute.
The unlawfulness is simply caused by the fact that it is simply unlawful to obtain
 intrusive surveillance in foreign jurisdictions without the consent of that jurisdiction.
 Be that as it may, the Privy Council ultimately ruled that the evidence was admissible 
and this evidence was clearly important evidence in the conviction of Curtis Warren 
and his gang. As a result of the obtaining of this evidence, a serious criminal had
 gone to jail for a very long period of time.

29. As far as the Privy Council case is concerned then this is a different hearing. In 
relation to this disciplinary hearing I have heard different evidence, evidence that the
 Privy Council did not hear and that is why I have come to a verdict which some may 
say is contrary to the comments made by the Privy Council but I disagree that it is
 contradictory because as I have said I have heard different evidence. I have tried my 
best to be fair to all parties throughout these proceedings. I have let matters run 
within a reasonable time and I have read all the evidence offered in documentary 
form, even the unsatisfactory elements such as statements that have been submitted
 to me unsigned and transposed onto Hampshire Police paper without the signed 
versions being put to the witnesses. It may well be that these statements are
 identical to the signed versions but when a witness calls the statements into question 
I am in some difficulty when the signed versions are not put before me. Moreover, it
 was made clear to me that the Presenting Officer had put forward all of the evidence that was necessary in this case and that did not include signed versions of the statements. I have, however, listened carefully to all of the witnesses and I have balanced all of the evidence to come to my conclusion. In my conclusion I have no doubt that the officers have done nothing reprehensible. They have not broken the disciplinary code. Indeed, the evidence has shown me that they were part of a professional and effective investigation team.

30. I  have heard the reported remarks attributed to Messrs. Warcup and Power about
 commendations for these officers and I agree with those sentiments. These and 
other officers protected the Island of Jersey from one of the UK's worst criminals, for
 that they should continue to take professional and personal satisfaction.

31. In all the circumstances, I find that none of the charges against these officers are
 proved and I dismiss all charges accordingly.


Dated this 15th day of January 2013(END)

Time now then to investigate the Law Offices' and ask why the State Media were not trusted with this document?