LOOKING INTO THE MICROCOSM
Blanche Pierre –
The Anatomy of an On-going Atrocity.
Decades of War.
The Human Costs:
For my Constituents;
For Those Close to me;
“It makes no difference what men think of war, said The Judge. War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be. That way and not some other way.”
“Alison tells me now however, that the Attorney General has asked for full files from you on the law of the situation, the facts, and that there are concerns about over-ruling a previous AG’s decision. My staff feel from their conversation with you that this will set things back some months.”
“I am particularly puzzled by the need for all of this in the light of the new evidence on the sexual assaults and on the similar offences not considered previously. All the time, the risk of the Maguires fleeing or escaping justice in some other way is increasing.”
Lenny Harper to Stephen Baker, 18th June 2008.
“If the decision is taken to charge the offences that were originally discontinued then there will undoubtedly be an abuse of process argument mounted by the defence. There will also be an abuse of process application if we charge the sexual offences which were previously clear on the papers.”
“The unique feature of this case is that a declaration was issued by the then Attorney General that the evidential test was not satisfied. We are unavoidably in new territory from a legal perspective.”
“You will doubtless understand the importance of ensuring that there is no perception that decisions are being made as a result of pressure brought by anybody outside the investigating authorities and the lawyers involved in the case. Any prosecution which follows the investigation must and will follow standard procedures.”
Stephen Baker to Lenny Harper, 18th June, 2008.
“Firstly, you mention the ‘unique’ factor that the AG issued a certificate saying that the evidential test was not passed. I understand that – but surely the then and now argument comes into play?”
“I agree with you about the undesirability of having the perception that there is undue or improper influence on the decision making process, but as I and the Chief emphasised to the Attorney General, that perception is widely held already by the victims and there is little we can do about that other than to progress this as openly, transparently and as speedily as possible.”
Lenny Harper to Stephen Baker, 18th June, 2008.
Recently, I have been obviously thinking about the impending end of my political career. Not really the tactical and strategic details of how it will play out – but, rather, the philosophical, intellectual and emotional landscape that I see from my personal perspective when looking back over the last twenty years.
How has it been for me, as a person? Has the time left me feeling improved and warmed, through experiencing so closely the instincts and behaviours of my fellow men? Has it brought me advance? Any kind of security? Has it been enjoyable? Has it been easy? Has it left me feeling safer and more confident of society, and my existence within it? Has it even left me with many pleasant memories?
No. None of those things.
I am having a war waged against me. A war that has persisted for years – and, as though it were not so bad already as to have driven me into constructive exile, and to have driven my ex-partner and I apart – it is still being waged against her and her children – late last night three police officers having intruded into her home, in what was obviously yet another act of banana-republic type oppression and intimidation.
It is a war against me, against those close to me – and against my constituents – that could only be pursued – if most of the people involved in it either actively – or tacitly, supported it.
A usually supportive reader recently criticised me for having too negative a view of people; for agreeing with the bleak assessment of humanity, to be found in the works of Cormac McCarthy. Rob wrote this:
“I think your misanthropy is born of looking into the darkness too long. Understandable but regrettable.”
I very much admire Rob’s optimism. Perhaps it is as he said – and I’ve spent too long looking into the darkness? But when you’re an honest man – trying to do your best in politics – especially Jersey politics – there is an awful lot of darkness to look into.
In fact – it isn’t a case of looking into the darkness. It’s a case of the darkness being so concentrated, it possesses a gravitational mass – like a black hole, so dense it actually swallows the light and sucks in your vision until it crosses a kind of event-horizon, beyond which all morality and rationality becomes nulled. Especially after twenty years exposure.
I could summarise how I feel in several ways; several different conclusions come to mind. One of the abiding sensations I’m left with most strongly at the end of those twenty years – is that people get the government they deserve. There is something inimical and monstrous about power. You see it everywhere you look. It tends to attract the very worst of society – yet, even though we in the West have long been democratic, still, broadly, the most foul, venal, shallow, corrupt, ignorant and inadequate individuals rise to the surface.
But more than that – perhaps because of that – when I look back at my twenty years in politics – what I see most strongly – is war.
Any attempt to exercise power is to wage battle in a perpetual war.
And war brings out the worst in humans – because it is what humans do best. “The ultimate trade – and its ultimate practitioner.”
Twenty years in politics in little, sunny, Jersey?
It’s like remembering a cratered and blasted battlefield – across which one advanced and retreated and advanced again, experiencing nothing but struggle and danger and hostility and filth – with the only prominent moments being near-misses and actual wounds received amongst the battery.
So now I’m about to stagger out of that struggle – in many ways as maimed and as bleak as the field of war I’m leaving, as though it were imprinted upon me like a kind brail map of scar-tissue.
Looking back across those 20 years – there are no highlights. None at all. The only prominent features compete to outdo the next in their sheer wretchedness. However – some moments were so implacably awful – so startling bleak in their savagery – that if I live to be 90 – I’ll remember them on my death-bed.
Which moments were the worst? Even though there are so many to choose from – one incident stands out – above all others – like some kind of obsidian monument to just how disgusting the average Jersey oligarchy politician is.
It was 1:19 p.m. on Wednesday 5th of December 2007.
I was standing at my desk in the island’s parliament – where, in my capacity as Father of the House, I had just attempted to deliver the customary Christmas speech which marks the end of the assembly’s final meeting before the seasonal recess.
These speeches traditionally focus on the year gone by and consider what the New Year may hold. True enough, such addresses normally deal with smug, mutually self-congratulatory banalities. But this time circumstances required a departure from the shallow and hackneyed trivialities which usually serve on such occasions.
For that Christmas marked the end of a year that had – finally – belatedly – seen many decades of concealed child abuse – exposed. For nearly all of that year, I had been working – investigating – researching – networking and meeting – and had become the first ever member of the Jersey parliament to recognise and expose the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster. I had made my dreadful discovery public – when answering a question in the island’s parliament in July 2007. Exposing the truth led directly to me being sacked – supposedly for “undermining staff morale” – but, in truth – sacked, in a desperate attempt to maintain the cover-up. The chief, criminal engineer of the unlawful plot to have me removed was Bill Ogley; the self-same gangster remains – to this day – the Chief Executive to the States of Jersey. A fact which – of itself – speaks so powerfully of just what trying to work within the Jersey political environment was like.
But – it could be said that having one’s dismissal engineered by spivs and crooks is an occupational hazard of politics. The dismissal wasn’t the worst.
For sheer, existential bleakness – nothing approaches the time I tried to give that Christmas speech.
The speech – for those interested – can be read in here, in the posting The Speech the Jersey Parliament Refused to hear”: http://freespeechoffshore.nl/stuartsyvretblog/the-speech-the-jersey-parliament-refused-to-hear/
I was, perhaps, about a quarter of the way in to it, when the interruptions and barracking started. I had been trying to express some recognition and empathy towards the many abuse survivors I had come to know of.
Below the States chamber, there are a number of meeting rooms, and it was in those chambers I would often meet survivors. Over a period of months, I had had meeting after meeting in the building – morning, afternoon and night.
Some of those encounters were utterly harrowing.
Not least amongst them, meetings with many of the Blanche Pierre survivors.
On one occasion, I had met with a young woman and her brother – one of the female, and one of the male – victims of the Maguires’ psychotic barbarisms in the Jersey government Blanche Pierre group Home. Together they explained to me what had happened to them – during those years when they were small children.
Though now adults – towards the end of this desolate recounting of the destruction of their childhoods and the damage to their lives – they had to stand, and hugged one another, and sobbed on the others shoulder – the brother vowing that as long as he had breath in his body – no-one would ever again harm his sister.
Which was why – some weeks later – standing at my desk in the States chamber on the 5th December 2007 – about 30 seconds walk from the room where that harrowing encounter had occurred – I had an image of those two people so strongly in my mind – as I stood there in a state of shell-shock – having just been barracked and my microphone cut to prevent me expressing any empathy and recognition towards them and other abuse survivors.
The States meeting was adjourned in disarray – thus allowing members rush off to their waiting, tax-payer-funded, Christmas lunch in the neighbouring Old Library.
In the remonstrations that followed – naturally – I was the villain of the piece. The editorial leader comment from The Rag – Jersey’s only “newspaper” – was beyond the usual merely sociopathic – and instead straight into the realms of scarcely disguised pro-child abuse.
Back in those days – I was still foolish enough to bother speaking to the local hacks – so after ten minutes or so – staring out of a window – of trying to grasp the sheer barbarism of what had just taken place – whilst my “esteemed colleagues” were already off & seated and troughing into the turkey & wine – I wearily exited the building into the Square – to deal with the predictable range of Jersey mafia media assaults – all of which being variations on a theme of “how dare you be so rude and inconsiderate – such an irresponsible and disgusting anarchist – as to upset States members at Christmas time by speaking of such things?!?!”
How to describe how I felt during the hours which followed that moment in the Jersey parliament? My chest and guts felt knotted and I couldn’t really think. After the local TV interviews, as I walked back down King Street people must have thought me strange – as every time thoughts of the incident entered the shocked void of my mind, I would shake my head in simple disbelief. Already deeply concerned for the survivors, I knew exactly how the oligarchy and its media would respond to this incident. The local “newspaper” would condemn me in customary fashion; I would be the “troublemaker” – and the baying mob of States members and the Bailiff who stopped me speaking of the suffering of child-abuse victims, would be depicted as the “voice of moderation”.
The first time ever a member of the States assembly had stood and acknowledged their suffering – and the member was shouted-down and prevented from speaking. What would the victims think? How, in the name of God, could I explain the behaviour of my “colleagues” to them?
I just didn’t know.
I knew how bad it was going to be – because, already, in September – we’d had a similar experience. The same conflicted Bailiff, Philip Bailhache – the same gangster establishment – had already unlawfully prevented what a number of child-abuse survivors had been confidently expecting to be the first official publication of evidence which showed the abuse they’d suffered. On that occasion I’d had to spend the evening counselling at least two people against suicide.
I got back to my flat, cast off the despised suit and replaced it with jeans and T-shirt and looked about the room at various mountains of documents and books; at the PC, the telephone, the fax-machine – and contemplated them with some kind of detachment borne of the shell-shock; an internal, icy desolation which I immediately set about trying assuage with the sustaining warmth of large quantities of red wine and the wracked and empathetic melancholia of Tom Waits songs which growled – freighted with human misery – from out the speakers of the CD player.
I laid on the futon – contemplating the wreckage of the day whilst I drank a bottle of wine by the neck. Alternately casting my eyes around the room and looking at the ceiling as I drank from the bottle. As though ambushed by the idea, this was the point I found myself seriously considering how to kill myself.
I roused myself to prod resignedly at the computer before switching on the local TV news at 6.30, knowing that, hoping to do as much damage to me as possible, the BBC in Jersey would, for once, actually use the part of the interview I considered to be most relevant. Sure enough, I was a little uplifted at the fact they broadcast my description of the States assembly as “largely a collection of gangsters and halfwits”.
After watching the regional news I staggered off to my desk and lay back, slumped in the swivel chair, already self-medicated with the wine, and tried to begin dealing with the day’s accumulated e-mails and telephone messages.
Another reader of this blog – in a comment under the previous posting – suggested that they didn’t believe me when I said I was frightened by the things I am confronted with politically. Oh that isn’t so. That evening – after that conduct by the States of Jersey – I knew I had to telephone a number of the survivors – and try and gently explain to them what had happened – why it had happened – how it could have happened. Knowing that several of them would be wracked with tears on the other end of the phone. That was frightening.
Politics: it is all war.
Even – in truth – on territory all would claim to be uncontested.
What sublimated, savage instincts must grip most politicians – that obstructing their enemies – is of greater importance to them – than expressing some empathy for the victims of child abuse?
I don’t know.
And frankly, I don’t, especially, wish to run the risk of becoming that way myself.
But fear is an intrinsic feature of war – and there are many things to be afraid of in politics – in addition to being afraid of becoming some kind of barbarian.
There are hard, day-to-day realities to be frightened of. I’ve been unafraid for twenty years – but I wonder just how many people understand the brute reality – of the personal costs – of warring against the Jersey oligarchy?
I thought about trying to illustrate just what it costs me to be as I am – and do what I do in Jersey politics – trying to be an honest man – when I read a comment that another reader submitted under the previous posting. In Part 3 of this series – to illustrate the kinds of oppression I suffer – I published the latest threatening letter from Emma Martins, Jersey’s profoundly politicised & perjuring Data Protection Commissioner & daughter of BBC Bergerac actor & friend of jimmy Savile, John Nettles; a letter that is – quite obviously – an exercise in threat and intimidation.
The reader’s comment struck me as so important, I thought I’d address it directly. This is what they wrote:
“Can you clarify for this reader why you found that letter from Emma Martins threatening? I personally just read it as a statement of facts. Sure you would rather that than not know what was going on?”
The letter in question can be found in the previous posting – and it simply constitutes an intimidation directed at me, by Ms. Martins, in the name of seven individuals – all of who have committed various gross malfeasances – but all of who enjoy the invulnerable protections of the Jersey oligarchy.
‘What is threatening – about threatening letters from Emma Martins?’
A part of me wishes the reader was trying to have a laugh. Sadly – I don’t believe they are.
“Just a statement of facts”?
As though someone stating facts – cannot be making a threat.
A Mafioso on trial for running a protection-racket may as well say to the court – “hey – I was not intimidating and threatening that witness. When I said someone would come around and smash his kneecaps – that was just a statement of the facts.”
But, if only we were dealing with such metaphorical exaggerations.
Any and all communications from her – are – as the facts and as experiences show – exactly that. Threats.
Sometimes – not even faintly disguised.
Simply promises of overt, direct, oppressive action – unless you stop saying things that her powerful and influential friends don’t like.
People like the corrupt, legally conflicted, child-abuse concealing, lying, perjuring criminal, William Bailhache – and his bent cop puppets – such as Dave Minty.
You see – the latest unlawful threat from Ms. Martins – like those issued and carried out before – is designed to intimidate me into not publishing the kind of evidence you are able to read here.
Evidence published on behalf of my constituents who are child-abuse victims – evidence which goes to the proof of the abuse they suffered – and evidence of the crimes of which they are victims – including the corrupt cover-ups of which they are on-going victims – crimes being carried out now – here – by people like William Bailhache, Emma Martins, Bridget Shaw, Dave Minty – and the rest of the London-protected Jersey gangsters.
For example – all this evidence of the Blanche Pierre atrocity – and, of the criminal concealment of that atrocity. Including – the e-mail correspondence you are able to read below.
But – specifically – “what is threatening in the letter from Emma Martins?”
The prospect of yet more – of what I have already suffered. For example –
The fear – of not knowing when the next bang on the door is going to come.
Not knowing when I’m next going to step outside – and a squad of ten cops will descended upon me.
Police raids – like something out of the Nazi occupation.
Having my partner, her children and her extended family terrified.
Having her children’s’ bedrooms turned over by the Weirdcop’s bent crooks.
Having our relationship destroyed – quite deliberately – through the above-actions and the subsequent constant fears of not knowing when the police are next going to turn-up – mob-handed – and storm through the house – because of my presence.
Fearing that my constituents’ private data will be repeatedly stolen by gangster cops like Dave Minty & Mick Gradwell – under Ms. Martins “authority”.
Having my ability to function as an elected parliamentarian – repeatedly destroyed – by this continuing stream of criminal threats and oppressions from Martins and her Bosses.
Knowing that – anytime I do my job effectively – of holding the executive – holding power to account – a collection of gangsters under the “authority” of people like Ms. Martins and Philip Bailhache, Michael Birt and William Bailhache – all gangster – invulnerably and unassailably empowered by the personal ‘Letters Patent’ of the Queen – will storm my home.
Being monitored and harassed by gangster cops – people like Dave Minty – who has been directly – pro-actively – and criminally supported in his corrupt protections of Terry Le Main – by both William – and Philip – Bailhache.
Having the Data Protection Law nakedly misused and abused by people who have no locus whatsoever – to oppress me, thus preventing me from holding them to account and representing my constituents.
The constant stress.
Getting locked-up in a windowless police cell for seven and a half hours.
Getting jailed – for trying to stop my frail, elderly constituents from being murdered.
Getting dragged before court – and then actually being obstructed – by the criminally conflicted Bill Bailhache – from summoning my witnesses.
Getting dragged before court – and then being told – as soon as I’ve won the argument – “actually – err – right – um – now, we’ve suddenly decided your evidence is deemed ‘no longer admissible’ – three months into the data protection case – because we have no answer to it – we’ve lost – and it’s terribly embarrassing.”
And having to endure all of this crypto-Nazi oppression – with zero effective legal representation.
Those are just a few of the actual – real – consequences – that have happened – following the various threats made against me by Emma Martins.
Because of the actions of Ms. Martins – I have been driven into constructive exile. My partner and I have had our relationship destroyed by the perpetual threat and expectations of further oppressive, unlawful police raids. I have had my career destroyed. My constituents’ cannot communicate effectively with me. I face constant biased oppressions via what passes for the “judiciary” in Jersey. And I face the constant threat of further such gross breaches of my human rights – every time I try to do my job as a politician – and hold the executive to account – and represent Jersey’s many child-abuse victims.
The actions implicit in Ms. Martins’ letter – are not even mere “threats”.
They are promises.
Promises of yet further acts of warfare – against me – against my constituents – against Jersey’s child-abuse victims.
Acts of war – designed to protect people like Jane and Allan Maguire – and those who have concealed child abuse.
Acts of war – designed to stop me working on my constituents’ behalves – by obtaining – and publishing – the e-mails you can read below.
Indeed – as will be very – very – clear – to any thinking person when reading the e-mails below – they themselves illustrate a battle underway. A battle in which – Lenny Harper and his police team – were struggling to bring clearly evidenced child abusers to justice; but – on the other hand – Stephen Baker, Simon Thomas of 7 Bedford Row, and the then Attorney General – William Bailhache – were battling to shelter those abusers from facing justice.
Because if those abusers – whose original offences were “clear on the papers” – were actually returned and prosecuted – it would raise very – very – serious questions – about the conduct of the then Attorney General – Michael Birt.
That being the Michael Birt who – in his capacity as Deputy Bailiff – improperly advised the then Council of Ministers in 2007 – that it was acceptable for them to abandon due process – and adopt an ultra vires procedure – in their and Philp & William Bailhache’s and Bill Ogley’s efforts to have me sacked as Health & Social Services Minister – in order to prevent me from exposing these kinds of historically concealed crimes against children.
The kinds of crimes Michael Birt failed to prosecute.
Twenty years of war – just to try and do that which is right. As I remarked at the beginning of this posting, it’s very difficult to escape the conclusion that people get the government they deserve – especially if the ‘reward’ for those politicians who strive, as I have, to try and do what’s right – is to end up in my situation – alone, broke, wasted and wounded.
I’m really not sure whether I even have the strength left to fight the legal battle – to enable me to fight the by-election.
Perhaps it’s time for someone else to fight the war – on behalf of people like the Blanch Pierre survivors?
Well – at least once I’ve finished this series of articles. Because there is more – damning – evidence, to be published in Part 5 of Blanch Pierre, Anatomy of an On-going atrocity.
From: Harper, Lenny (mailto:L.Harper@Jersey.pnn.police.uk]
Sent: 18 June 2008 08:07
To: email@example.com; Thomas, Advocate, Simon
CC: Stephen Baker; Hill, David; Fossey, Alison; Smith, Andrew
Morning Simon. I hope all is well with you and the ankle. Can I ask you about the Maguires? I think the file went over to you in April.
When I spoke to you week before last you told me that you had about a day or two left to do on it, and that you had decided to run with not on1y the new sexual allegations, but also the old and in addition some of the old sexual allegations that we had built upon and which had been ignored at the time. This was heartening news because of the importance of this case to the victims, and the perception among them that there had been a cover-up after the magistrate had committed the job for trial. It was also in line with the advice of the Extradition Expert that I had spoken to at the Crown Prosecution Service, Alison Riley, who deals regularly with France. We also discussed the impact that moves to bring them back would have on the perception of the enquiry.
Alison tells me now however, that the Attorney General has asked for full files from you on the law of the situation, the facts, and that there are concerns about over-ruling a previous AG’s decision. My staff feel from their conversation with you that this will set things back some months. There are a number of concerns here. Firstly, the officers in charge of this case are from the UK and are to return to their force in August. If things are not moving by then, there will be difficulties for us. Secondly, I am under regular pressure from the victims and their representatives, including Senator Syvret who is authorised by them to inquire for them, as to how the enquiry is progressing. The media, Panorama and the News of the World in particular, (who both tracked them down and door stepped them in France) also have an acute interest. I am just a little worried that this is going to look as if we are dragging our feet. Whilst I will not discuss the matter in detail, I do need a line to take, and that will obviously be that we submitted it in April and that you have now been asked for files. I also need to document the decision in the incident room system and would therefore be obliged if you could clarify the exact position for me now, in particular the likely time scales, if this is a routine procedure, and also the matter about the previous decision which I recall was taken by an advocate. I am particularly puzzled by the need for all of this in the light of the new evidence on the sexual assaults and on the similar offences not considered previously. All the time, the risk of the Maguires fleeing or escaping justice in some other way is increasing.
Deputy Chief Officer
Stases of Jersey Police
Tele. 01534 612520
E. Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Stephen Baker [mailto:StephenBaker@bakerplatt.com]
Sent: 18 June 2008 12:12
To: Harper, Lenny; email@example.com; Thomas, Advocate Simon
Cc: Hill, David; Fossey, Alison: Smith, Andrew
Subject: Re: Maguires [Scanned]
Thank you for your email regarding the Maguires addressed to Simon Thomas but copied to both of us.
You are correct that the four lever arch files were submitted in April. As we recollect it was at the end of April. Simon has worked on them throughout May and has had two meetings with the officers in the case, on 20th April and 30th April. A full and helpful submission on abuse of process from the investigators’ point of view was provided to him on 30th May along with significant new statements setting out new complaints. The investigation has developed since the files were first submitted and all involved have worked diligently in the circumstances.
Simon’s task has been:
i) To review the witness statements from the 1998 prosecution along with the transcripts of evidence given at the committal hearing to identify the precise complaints that are made by the witnesses;
ii) To review the new witness statements to identify the extent to which they give rise to new complaints as well as the extent to which they provide admissible evidence to support the original complains;
iii) In the case of one of the new witnesses, to review the witness’s children’s services file (which gives rise to a number of significant issues surrounding the witness’s evidence);
iv) To analyse the manner in which the prosecution proceeded in 1998, the advice given by both the police legal advisers and the then Crown Advocate in order to understand the nature of the decision making process that occurred;
v) To consider how the matter progressed following the decision to discontinue the prosecution, in particular the enquiry conducted by Children’s Services.
vi) Taking all the above into account, to anticipate any potential abuse of process arguments that may be taken, both here and abroad and assess the chances of such arguments succeeding.
In contrast to the other files that we have been asked to consider, the decision in this case is in the main part focuses on whether to charge as opposed to whether to arrest. To that end Simon has been working through the evidence with Cyril Whelan and preparing draft charges that we would wish to form part of an extradition request. As Simon advised when we spoke on 30th May, all charges will have to be specified on such a request. You have now confirmed that advice with Alison Riley.
As Simon said the week before last, there is a day or two’s work to be done on formulating potential charges. Those potential charges include the old allegations which were discontinued, the sexual allegations which were never proceeded with as well as certain of the new allegations. He intends to continue the task this week. We will seek Cyril’s view on the final product. His vast experience of Jersey criminal law is invaluable in this regard.
If the decision is taken to charge the offences that were originally discontinued then there will undoubtedly be an abuse of process argument mounted by the defence. There will also be an abuse of process application if we charge the sexual offences which were previously clear on the papers. As discussed with Simon on 30th May, the law in this area is developing. He mentioned the well known case of Abu Hamza and expresses the view that the hurdle for the defence is somewhat higher as a result of the House of Lords decision. That is entirely right. His ongoing research shows that, even in the past few weeks, decisions being handed down by the Administrative Court in England to the effect that prosecutions should be stayed as an abuse of process in circumstances that a defendant had been promised by a police officer that he would not be prosecuted. The unique feature of this case is that a declaration was issued by the then Attorney General that the evidential test was not satisfied. We are unavoidably in new territory from a legal perspective. That legal issue must be closely analysed, advice given and considered.
In addition to the inevitability of an abuse of process argument in the Jersey Courts should the Maguires be returned to Jersey, there is every prospect of the Maguires mounting a similar arguments in France on the issue of extradition. We would anticipate a judicial review application of the Attorney’s decision to extradite in the Royal Court even before they are returned. We bear in mind what Alison Riley has said about the practicalities of the procedure in France, in the sense of the Maguires being offered the choice between consenting to extradition and being placed in prison. What we anticipate you mean by this is the possibility that the Maguires may be denied bail should they contest extradition. That would be a matter for the French Courts, doubtless taking into account any representations we may make. Such considerations must form no part of any decision taken here. It may well be that if and when they are arrested matters proceed swiftly.
However, our experience of the extradition of intelligent defendants has been that they choose to contest the matter in the requested jurisdiction notwithstanding the prospect of a period in custody whilst the challenge takes pace. This is a matter over which we will have little control and obviously the potential for delay must be borne in mind, in particular as far as the availability of the investigating officers are concerned.
As this is an extradition case it has to go through the Law Officers’ Department. The Attorney General has, as one would expect and as was discussed on the 30th May, asked for a full advice on the case and the issue of abuse of process. We intend to begin work on that advice this week. The Attorney will then have to consider the advice and make decisions as to how to proceed.
We think that the idea of months of delay before a decision on extradition is taken is pessimistic. Equally, however, depending on that decision, it may be optimistic to expect that the Maguires will be returned to Jersey quickly.
We are somewhat unsure as to precisely want you mean when you say you will have to take a line. This case is being dealt with in an entirely usual and proper fashion. The police have provided files to us. We have considered them. Extremely difficult and novel points of law arise. They need the most careful thought. The Attorney General has entirely properly requested a full written advice. That will be provided to him shortly. He will then need to consider that advice and make his decision. I do not anticipate any inordinate delay or any delay at all. Insofar as it is necessary to take a line with anybody it seems to me the line should be that matters are progressing normally, the files are in the hands of the lawyers who will advise the Attorney how best to proceed.
You will doubtless understand the importance of ensuring that there is no perception that decisions are being made as a result of pressure brought by anybody outside the investigating authorities and the lawyers involved in the case. Any prosecution which follows the investigation must and will follow standard procedures.
As to timescale we propose to advise the Attorney within seven days.
For various reasons the Maguires have known about this investigation for many months. Our understanding is that there is no imminent risk of then absconding.
Steve and Simon
From: Harper. Lenny
Sent: 18 June 2008 14 26
To: Stephen Baker, firstname.lastname@example.org; Thomas, Advocate Simon
Cc: Hill, David; Fossey, Alison Smith, Andrew
Subject: RE: Maguires[Scanned]
Thanks very much Stephen – that is useful and I would agree with most of it. A few points I should make though. Firstly, I can only react to the information I am given and some of what you say below is slightly at odds with information given to me. Also, and I am not being critical here, the probable reason for you being unsure as to what I mean by “taking a line” with the media is that you do not have the responsibility for dealing with them as part of the investigative strategy, nor are you having to take thirty to forty calls or enquiries from them daily. Some of these are from people who know a lot about this case, either from victims or because they found the Maguires in France and are still active in monitoring. That is why I have to take a line and not say “no comment” as the AG floated to me recently. I am sure you understand that when I am asked what progress we are making then I need to be aware of the process so that I do ourselves, and yourselves, justice without making it look as if we are dragging our heels. That is what I mean by taking a line and I hope it is clearer to you now.
I fully concur with your comments about the diligent work in building up the files since the initial complaints, and I understand what Simon’s role has been in the work subsequent to the files being handed to him seven weeks ago.
It is not true to say that the focus on the other files for you has been whether to arrest or not. We will arrest on reasonable suspicion and we are experienced and knowledgeable enough to know when an arrest is justifiable. What I undertook in my previous correspondence with you was that instead of arresting and then submitting the papers to you, we would give you the papers before arrest so that when we brought them in, we would have an idea of what charges to prefer instead of releasing them and then waiting whilst you examined the papers. If you review the correspondence you will see that this is quite clear. We are not seeking advice on whether to arrest or not – we want to know if there is sufficient evidence to charge and what those charges could be. Normally, as I have said, we arrest, interview and submit a file. In all our investigations we have sufficient to justify arrest. It is charging that is the issue. In this respect, the Maguires are not different. What is different is the extradition.
I am not being awkward (again) but simply ask the questions in respect of Abuse of Process as follows. Firstly, you mention the ‘unique’ factor that the AG issued a certificate saying that the evidential test was not passed. I understand that – but surely the then and now argument comes into play. I would imagine that the same principle must have applied over the refusal to prosecute the killers of Stephen Lawrence – yet, that was over-ruled was it not? Perhaps I am being simplistic being only a cop, but it is a genuine question.
I am not suggesting for one moment that there is anything improper in what is happening, but unlike you I do have to answer this publicly now. I probably don’t understand all that you are doing, in the same way as you have difficulty understanding the demands on me. I agree with you about the undesirability of having the perception that there is undue or improper influence on the decision making process, but as I and the Chief emphasised to the Attorney General, that perception is widely held already by the victims and there is little we can do about that other than to progress this as openly, transparently and as speedily as possible. In that respect I am greatly reassured to read your intention to advise the AG within seven days.
As to the Maguires absconding, I have laid out already that my understanding is slightly different to yours and Switzerland has been mentioned to me, although I have no firm evidence of that.
Deputy Chief Officer
States of Jersey Police
Tele: 01534 612520
E. Mail: email@example.com