Deputy Daniel Wimberley was asking questions in the States to Senator Ian Le Marquand (Minister for Home Affairs) on 16 November 2010. I know some people criticise bloggers for raking over old ground, but my principal interest here was the final question, which relates to more public documentation needed for those of us attempting to write a history of the historic abuse enquiry.
Here are the Q&A plus my comments:
In the light of the Chief Minister's statement that he believes that the findings of the Wiltshire Report fully endorse the decision to suspend the previous Chief Officer of Police, can the Minister:
Deputy Daniel Wimberley: (a) provide members with the press statements released by the States of Jersey Police relating to any one of the major elements disputed during the Haut de la Garenne inquiry, in order, and the full recordings of audio and video interviews?
Senator Ian Le Marquand: (a) I have previously indicated to the Deputy of St Mary that I am not going to do this. The press statements are in the public domain and the Deputy of St Mary should do his own research.
My comments: most of this is in the public domain, either on the police website, the States of Jersey website, the States Assembly website, YouTube etc, and I agree with Senator Le Marquand. If Daniel Wimberley is interested, I also have PDF snapshots of most of the newspaper articles relating to Haut de La Garenne, which also has selected quotations from those involved - including the BBC report where Lenny Harper says that the evidence is insufficient for a murder enquiry "at the end of the day there just might not be the evidence to mount a homicide inquiry" - long before Messrs Gradwell and Warcup said the same thing as if it was something quite new.
Deputy Daniel Wimberley: (b) provide members with the 93 page statement provided by the former Chief of Police to the Wiltshire inquiry?
Senator Ian Le Marquand (b) I would only do this if asked so to do by the previous Chief Officer and even then the statement would need to be redacted to remove reference to individuals who are not public facing.
My comments: Can the Friends of Graham Power get on to Graham and find out why he has not asked for the statement to be released to the public domain? It certainly seems to weaken his position if the onus was on him to request it to be released, as long as he could check to ensure the redaction only removed names, and was not the severe "slash and burn" of the first redaction of Wiltshire. Does he, in fact, know that he could have his statement released?
Deputy Daniel Wimberley: (c) supply evidence for the assertion that ACPO had a "policy of only making
recommendations to which [the then Chief Officer and Deputy Chief Officer of Police] had signalled prior approval?"
Senator Ian Le Marquand: (c) I have previously indicated that I will not be releasing the statements of witnesses who were interviewed by the Wiltshire Police or other evidence.
My comments: This is a major weakness of Senator Le Marquand's position. I heard him some time ago making very much the same statement that ACPO were conflicted and tailored their recommendations to the requirements of Lenny Harper and Graham Power. This might be true, but just baldly stating it, and with any evidence not visible, does not prove that it is anything more than an attempt by some people to provide spin against the ACPO reports by making baseless accusations, knowing full well that their identity and evidence will not see the light of day.
Deputy Daniel Wimberley: (d) provide a full and proper audit trail of the emails concerning the finds JAR/6 and SLJ/1?
Senator Ian Le Marquand: (d) I do not understand what is meant by "audit trails of e-mails". However, this appears to also be referring to statements or other evidence.
My comments: I believe most of this - if relating to the fragment of "skull" - was dealt with in a comprehensive press release by Lenny Harper putting the record straight with emails shortly after a critical Daily Mail story.
Deputy Daniel Wimberley: (e) provide members with the final version of the Wiltshire Report, redacted as necessary but with as much as possible of the missing 270 pages, which the Minister promised to issue to me by "early September" in his email of 3rd August 2010
Senator Ian Le Marquand: (e) I have planned to do this but the task is extensive and has been delayed by work on the CSR process and by other work pressures upon the individuals who are completing the redaction process on my behalf. I have reminded them of this task and will continue to do so. The date of September 2010 was the date given to me but has proved to be unachievable.
My comments: It is good to see the delay acknowledged, but without any target set in the future for its completion, this means the date of release can just slip by endlessly. It would be good to have some target to aim at, even if it is over generous, such as 3 months.
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