Thursday, 10 January 2013

Curtis Warren-- Own Goal--- More to come?


Readers who have been following my Blogs will know that I have devoted some time to the arrest of Curtis Warren and his team who were attempting to illegally import cannabis to Jersey way back in 2007.

I have no time for “bent cops” or for people who are in any way involved with the illegal drug trade. However this is not case of bent cops but cops having to think on their feet when felons were likely to evade arrest. The 3 officers involved have always claimed that they sought advice and acted in good faith. Today is very much their day because their actions have been vindicated.

I can also understand concerns raised by people who are arrested and then convicted as a result of questionable police evidence. Curtis Warren and his team may well feel that they fall into that category but there is another appeal route which they are entitled to pursue.

In previous Blogs, I have questioned the role of senior police officers, the Crown Officers along with its Prosecution Service and the Judges who all appear to want their cake and eat it.

The above persons chose to accept the police evidence which led to the decision to prosecute, try, find guilty and at the Appeal uphold the decision. Therefore why did the judges choose to criticise the officers and why did the senior police officers perform a “U turn” and level discipline charges against the officers over five years after the initial arrest. One may ask why the u turn, who was really pulling the strings and will anyone, be accountable? In my Blog published on 13th December I wrote

“It seems that when the States Police wish to bring charges against certain officers, expense does not come into the equation and goodness knows how much the current discipline case will cost the taxpayer and will anyone be taken to task if the officers are exonerated?

Ahead of the Hearing, the Advocate representing the police officers said that the officers all categorically denied that they had behaved unlawfully, improperly without advice or that any action that they took was unauthorised."

The disciplinary hearing has now been concluded with the case being dismissed and the officers exonerated. The above Advocate in his short statement said that he could not enlarge on his statement until the Chief Constable had published his judgement which is expected in a matter of days.

I intend to publish another Blog after the judgement is published however it is understood that during the Hearing there was much discussion regarding the role of the Jersey Law Officers in the investigation and that this appears to have been influential in determining the outcome. In my Blogs I too have raised concerns so I shall be waiting for the judgement with interest.

The States Police has published a short statement in which it states it is "pleased" that three of their officers have been cleared. On hearing the statement one wonders which of the 3 officers was first to the sick bag. They must also be asking that if they have friends in such high places who needs enemies.

Those responsible for instigating the disciplinary action must be accountable because it was not only a financially costly exercise but also traumatic for the officers and their families and also for fellow States Police officers who will be questioning what support they will receive should they too find themselves in the situation their colleagues faced in 2007.

Today’s verdict is another very costly own goal for the States Police and those with oversight of our criminal justice system. One wonders how many more own goals will scored in this sorry saga?

94 comments:

  1. Bob.

    There is little question that the cops were hung out to dry, and those "advising" them (The Law Offices) have gotten away scott free.

    You might recall, about a year ago, Deputy Trevor Pitman asked questions of Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand, as to how much all the police disciplinary cases are costing the taxpayer.

    It turns out that it could be in the region of £millions yet not a single charge has been brought. We were asking the question back then, and are stilling asking it now; How much money is Ian Le Marquand going to be allowed to squander on these so called "disciplinary" investigations that never bring any disciplinary charges?

    QUESTIONS

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    1. Thanks Voice for the Deputy Trevor Pitman question re cost. Deputy Monty Tadier has an oral question relating to the costs for the above case for the AG and Home Affairs Minister for next Tuesday.

      It is frustrating to see so much good money being spent on police discipline cases with no accountability. The sooner there is a Police Authority the better.

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  2. Totally agree Bob.

    It's about time that the AG accepted that the buck stops with him!

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    1. Thanks, but I think there problem extends further than the AG. About 5 years ago I did lodge a proposition calling for an audit of our prosecution service, but did not succeed.

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  3. "Their actions (Jersey Police) were strongly criticised by Britain's highest court, but the trio were exonerated at a disciplinary hearing this afternoon at the Pomme D'Or Hotel."

    How can these two points sit together and no one be held responsible.

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    1. You raise a good point, perhaps now that the police officers have been exonerated, the same type of investigation will be conducted into the advice, given or not given by the Crown Officers.

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    2. That's what I'm wondering too - please answer this one Bob :)

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  4. I have to agree with you both, if the Police have been exonerated then who 'gave' authorisation for the 3 Police officers to do the bugging? who/whom? it can't be a ghost! it has to be 'someone' who was it? I fail to understand why today was kept private, it is in the public's interest as so much money has been spent on this case, millions in fact. The Privy Council said it was the Police, today we find this is not the case, so 'who or whom was it?'. Why is this so difficult for us to find out? it is a total farce and also opens up the strong arguments of 'the total legal system' being looked and and sorted out, from top to bottom! I wan't to know who/whom was responsible, the public have a right to know! and now! enough money has been spent so we may as well keep going till we get an answer!

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    1. You are correct about the right to know and public money being spent. We know that the Chief Constable is to produce his judgement within the next few days. Hopefully it will be made public but we shall have to wait and see.

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  5. If this was Joe Bloggs, I can tell you they would be in prison by now! The 3 Policemen had no right to go and celebrate with Champagne today, they should have gone quietly back to their family and home. They have nothing to be proud about. They do have a responsibility. Minty is known in court to come and snigger at people who stand in the docks! this type of action is not acceptable in any court room. Minty has nothing to smile about he should hold his head in shame! If the person or persons who gave authorisation for the bugging are not brought to book and named, then as with the child abuse case we will never get any closure, more cover up, more money spent, Jersey started this after the Privy opened the case against the Police, it's up to Jersey now to open up and reveal what was discussed in private today to the public to read and see. No more secrets, Jersey has been doing this for too long, enough is enough! it is not good enough. So, who was the person or persons responsible for the bugging of the car? this must be now opened....

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    1. Strong stuff. I don't know the officers, but their jobs were on the line so one can understand their sheer relief on hearing the verdict. There is no smoke without fire and some one has not told the truth and you are right to ask what exactly went on and was the bugging legal or not?

      There are questions being asked in the States on Tuesday by then the judgement should be in the public domain. If it is not then steps must be taken to make it available to the public who is footing the bill for what is turning out to be a farce.

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  6. Yes, who or whom was it? ..... this is the question? We must keep going until we get an answer, if a Politician is reading this, then a question to be asked so a good, healthy debate is started....

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  7. Why don't you contact your States Member and get her/him to ask a question or two. There are too many Members who keep their heads down now is your chance to test them out.

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  8. The Law is the law, I have heard that saying a lot by an individual we all know. If the Law is the Law and it is found that the person or persons are found who gave the Police instructions, (this is of course I am sure in writing?). Then no matter how high in their position they are, must go by the Law. Where in the world does a Judge sit on cases so close to conflict, a man who wrote the very rules he broke. Yes, the Law is the Law! so let's see who or whom the individual is /are. It is not enough to hear the same old story, 'we have learnt' so we don't need to open this up to the public. We do, we must and we will, or we will have learnt nothing! this is the way forward to moving to a more open and more honest Jersey, for our future generations, it's not enough to sit back anymore! this is our opportunity to do the correct thing and be honest with ourselves we already know the problems we are dealing with....

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    1. You are correct in that no one should be above the law. In earlier postings I did raise the issue re the advice being in writing. Unless the Crown Officers wish to correct me, I understand that the advice was not in writing and perhaps the Judgement will comment on whether the advice was in writing. I believe it should have been and if any lessons have been learnt then one should be that advice must be in writing.

      Now that the evidence produced has exonerated the police officers it will be interesting to see whether the Crown Officer's evidence is put to a similar test.

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    1. Thanks for the Link which I have now read, it is a bit dated and does not include the Appeal. I have just looked at the current Liverpool Echo website but could not find any report into yesterday's verdict. I wonder if it will comment?

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  10. I most certainly will and I know just the man!
    Mr Le Herrisieur! about one of the only politicians who I believe is a 'statesman' and a man of integrity!

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    1. I agree with your comments about Deputy le Herissier and please let readers know how you get on.

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    2. I have now received your comment informing me that Deputy Le Herissier is looking into the matter.

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  11. I'm sorry but I don't understand this verdict. I've read the Privy council judgement and what these officers did was, in my view, reprehensible. For example the officer charged with putting the audio device in the hire car was told to lie to the French gendarmes present and describe it as a backup for the tracking unit. Even if you say they were only following orders surely they should have some personal integrity. If it was only a case of thinking on their feet why did David Minty when giving evidence to the Privy Council say that with the benefit of hindsight he would not have acted any differently and would do the same again. You may well be right about this going further than a few police officers but it doesn't let me sleep any easier at night.

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    1. I don't think that anyone can feel comfortable with the Court or the Disciplinary verdicts. The Discipline Hearing was in camera so we don't know whether any new evidence came to light, but it is understood that the role of the Crown Officers was very much to the fore.

      It should also be borne in mind that during trials sometimes evidence is deliberately withheld, was this the case with Warren trial and Appeal?

      Perhaps we shall learn more when the judgement comes to hand. The Chief Constable would not have dismissed the case without a good reason.

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  12. Readers who have, understandably, been challenging the role of the Law Officers Department in this sorry business might be interested in the following link. It should take the reader to the website of the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate. As its name implies it is an organisation which inspects and reports upon the performance of the Prosecution Service in England. I have heard of the Jersey Police and the Fire Service being Inspected by an English Inspectorate but so far our Prosecution Service has seemingly avoided independent scrutiny of its standards. Surely now is the time if ever there was to set a precedent and to have a thorough and independent inspection of the standards and performance of the Law Officers Department. Whatever their affectations the Law Officers are no more than paid public servants hired to work on behalf of the taxpayer. Perhaps it is time we discovered more about the value they are providing.

    http://www.hmcpsi.gov.uk/

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    1. Thankyou for making a very interesting point. You are correct about the Crown Officers being public servants but I think there is a grey area when it come to whom the AG and SG are accountable too. However that should stop the Department from outside scrutiny.

      I have a feeling that this case will have many twists and turns before concluding.

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  13. Dear Bob, my email went to Roy Le Herissier today. I shall update you on this. I simply asked and I am very impressed by the level of good arguments above, who did authorise the bugging of the car? is there a paper trail? who or whom was it that was able to get 3, yes 3 Policemen to bug a car! not one of the Policemen questioned the task. 3 grown men! this is very much in the Public's interest and a lot of money spent. If the trail takes us to the Law Officers then this is an extremely serious matter. I have a feeling it will. They are paid public servants we have a right and I must say it really is time now to look at our legal system from top to bottom and now! I will not stop until I hear names and exactly who or whom was involved in this.

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    1. Thank you for updating me. As there are oral questions being asked on Tuesday we may learn a little more about the cost, but we really want to know what advice was given.

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  14. The only people who actually broke the law here was the SOJP or The Jersey Law Office. Curtis Warren was thinking about it but didn't the other two did stopping him thinking about it lol

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    1. It is evident that Curtis Warren and his gang were thinking about about breaking the law and that is why the Court found them guilty of conspiracy to import into Jersey 180 kg of cannabis. The question is whether some of the evidence given was "safe." It is unfortunate that the Disciplinary Hearing was in camera so we don't know what evidence was given. Was there some documentation produced which had previously been withheld? Something new must have been provided to lead to the verdict.

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  15. "The only people who actually broke the law here was the SOJP or The Jersey Law Office. Curtis Warren was thinking about it but didn't the other two did stopping him thinking about it lol"

    So true when you think about it. Open and transparent all behind closed doors. This report won't be made public thats for sure. For those Cops to get away scott free the blame must have been laid at the JLO simple as that.

    Here is a question that needs answering. Could the outcome of yesterdays hearing have helped Curtis Warren if it had gone the other way? Was there a bigger game here? If the Cops were found guilty of a crime they obviously committed would have left the door open for Warren and his appeal?

    Remember the Privy Council ripped the Police and Law Office for their actions but because of who warren is they left him inside or he would have walked. The whole thing is a farce.

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    1. The Judgement must in the public interest be made available.

      You pose a good question re does yesterday's verdict help or hinder Curtis Warren? Only time will tell but no doubt his legal team will be working it out.

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  16. Graham Power wasn't afforded a hearing or the Minister helping with his funding. Now that is a another story and one the Minister should answer.

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    1. You are quite correct, double standards methinks? On funding I gather that the States Police Association has to foot the bill for defending their officers but this case has exhausted its funds.

      The issue of financial via legal support for employees who have to defend themselves against allegations is one in which I raised as a States Member. As a result of some of my propositions the States employment policy has been ammended to allow for the "right of a friend" to accompany an employee at suspension hearings, but my proposals for wider representation were defeated.

      What is totally unfair is the fact the States including the Police can spend millions of £s in prosecuting its employees, but the employees have to fund their defence. Where is the Equality of Arms?

      Graham Power was such a victim and the Minister even went as far as to publish the Wiltshire report after he had stated that the matter was not being pursued.

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  17. Another good question and once we move things forward the Jurat and legal system will also be dealt with and Judges sitting on cases with huge conflicts of interest, interesting times ahead...
    We keep on asking, we keep on asking....eventually the truth will prevail..

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    1. The Comments to this and other Blogs is showing that there is growing concern regarding the overall quality and accountability of our criminal justice system. This particular case has received severe criticism from the Privy Council but it appears that those with oversight of our criminal justice system are oblivious and because of the lack of scrutiny and accountability are seemingly untouchable.

      Conflicts of interest is one of the biggest bunions in Jersey's social structure.

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  18. Hi Bob,

    Good blog posting.

    There are some really good comments on here. The point raised about the outcome helping Warren in any future appeal is an interesting one. We know that someone broke the law and if it wasn't the police it must have been the law office. I wonder, if the police had been charged, would it have helped warren. The privy council were so damming of what wen on. The judgement will be fascinating one but alas I don't think it will see the light of day.

    rs

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    1. Thanks Rico and I agree re the quality of the Comments and there have been some really searching questions posed.

      What seems to have been missed and I hope the issue will come out in the Chief Constable’s Judgement, is that apparentlty a full criminal enquiry was conducted by the Hampshire Police which resulted in a report to independent UK Lawyers who ruled that there was no evidence of any criminal act by a police officer. That is why no criminal charges were levelled against the police officers. So where does this put the comments made by the Judge at the Privy Council?

      Instead of letting the matter rest, the States Police decided to level charges against the 3 officers. As with other Discipline matters involving States Employees the hearing was in camera. I understand that it was simply a matter of whether the officers did their duty properly.

      All should be revealed in the Judgement which in the public’s interest should be released to the public who has had to foot the bill for the Hearing.

      There is a States Sitting on Tuesday and given the public interest both the Attorney General and the Home Affairs should give serious consideration to making public statements on the matter.

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    1. Thanks Voice, have now read the Blog and you are right to point out the double standards.

      The sooner there is a Police Authority the better.

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  20. I think you have hit the nail on the head Bob in saying this is not a case of police corruption. I don't understand why any sort of charges were brought against the officers if none were brought against those advising them on the legal and evidential implications of the actions they undertook. Police officers are not lawyers and are entitled to believe they are acting within the law if they are told they are doing so by the top law officers in the jurisdiction. It beggars belief that they were told anything else. If they were, they those giving the advice should be in the dock. Lenny Harper

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    1. Thanks Lenny,

      You wonder what front line experience the officers responsible for instigating disciplinary action have.

      It was only about 2 or 3 years ago during David Warcup’s tenure that a similar decision was taken to bring disciplinary charges against a couple of officers after the Crown Officers had determined that there was no evidence to proceed with criminal charges.

      Tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayer’s money was wasted by the States Police on legal fees. The Police Association had to pay hefty legal fees defending the 2 officers who had been suspended for months, Like the present case, the case was dismissed but no one was accountable for the decision to lodge disciplinary action.

      It is a fact that the Home Affairs Minister has paid £10k of taxpayer’s money to the Police Association because it did not have the funds to pay the lawyer defending the 3 police officers.

      It is all very well for the States Police to say they are pleased with the outcome but they should state what legal advice it took before instigating disciplinary action, how much the charade has cost and from what fund the money came from. Unless satisfactory explanations are forthcoming then whoever was responsible for the decision should be made accountable for it.

      I also believe that it is incumbent on the Home Affairs Minister to press for a review of the Crown Officer’s role, unless there is questions will continue to be asked about their credibility.

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  21. I must say how impressive the level of blogs being produced on this subject. The strong case for this is who or whom gave the 3 Police authorisation to do what they did.. we must not give up until we get the answers. I do know a certain Crown Officer's name was mentioned by the Privy Council, in writing it gave a Matthew Jowitt.....was it just him or were there others who advised the 3 Policemen?, who or whom are they? when are they to be questioned? ....

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    1. My Blog dated 17th October was titled "Curtis Warren----More Questions Than Answers" it might be helpful for readers to read that Blog because it contains the Court Judgement.

      As each Blog has been published there have indeed been more questions than answers.

      If you look at paragraph 7 of the Appeal Court Judgement you will see that the following is recorded;

      "The officers asked Mr Jowitt whether evidence of conversations recorded by means of an audio device would be admissible in a Jersey court if consent for the device had not been obtained from the relevant foreign authorities. Mr Jowitt replied that he could not advise the officers to record conversations without the consent of the foreign authorities, but that if they did so and valuable evidence was obtained, it was unlikely that a Jersey court would exclude the evidence solely because it had been obtained unlawfully. He said that ultimately it was an operational decision for the police to make, and that “if it was me I’d go ahead and do it, but don’t quote me on that”: see para 18 of the Commissioner’s judgment. The Commissioner recorded that Mr Jowitt accepted in his evidence that this advice could have been “more carefully and felicitously expressed, and he should have considered and researched the Law more carefully than he did”. In the view of the Board that was something of an understatement."

      I do not believe that the advice given was in writing but as stated by Leeny Harper, police officers are not lawyers. Given the the Commissioner's statement above that the advice given should have been better researched so one can understand why the police officers acted as they did.

      Like the 3 police officers, Advocate Jowitt and other Crown Officers actions should be subjected to an investigation and the Home Affairs Minister should be beating a large drum when calling for one.

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    2. After this latest incident I no longer have any confidence in what passes as justice in this island. The rule of law means nothing in Jersey when it can so easily be disregarded by all elements of the States of Jersey.

      When the Privy Council states that the SOJP acted reprehensibly, and then the SOJP has a secret hearing and finds them innocent and recommending commendations', you know something is rotten to the core.

      Nobody (in government or media) seems to care about the criticism and law breaking. Which is a truer indication of apathy or fear of challenging wrong doings of this nature.

      Why does it matter… Curtis got what he deserved, yes. But if you tolerate this then your children will be next.

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    3. I can only repeat that unless the role of the Crown Officers is investigated and the Chief Constable’s Judgement is made public, the issue will not go away.

      Re Jersey justice one cannot help but be concerned about Advocate Jowitt’s remark "that it was unlikely that a Jersey court would exclude the evidence solely because it had been obtained unlawfully."

      However that said, the UK Appeal upheld the conviction despite condemning the police officers. It makes you wonder about justice in general.

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  22. Absolutely agreed Bob. The investigation is very important. How do we know other cases like this haven't been done in the same way in relation to the Crown Officer? A leopard doesn't change his spots! this would also answer and give reasons for the way the legal system works in Jersey. It is now an opportunity for our Home Affairs Minister to sort this out and properly. If we can't trust the Crown Officer in question and I believe he is still working, nothing has changed for him. Then who can we trust? The idea that the Crown Officer is one of the untouchables is certainly not correct. As Lenny outlined above 'the advisers should be in the dock' if the Law is the Law! it should work in exactly the same way so we can get to the bottom of this. I doubt very much the actions of the Curtis Warren case are not alone. This has been happening in Jersey for many years! our legal system is corrupt, you have Judges sitting on cases they should not be sitting on, (huge conflicts of interest). If we are honest, we all know the legal system needs a complete overall if we are ever to move away form the pattern of cases that would not see the light of day anywhere else in the world, but when Jersey individuals in power have a personal vendetta against you they will get you behind bars. And I think if we are honest with ourselves, we all know what I am writing about.

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    1. The case is certainly highlighting the way in which justice is administered in Jersey. Among the suggestions made in the Comments submitted is for an annual external review of Legal department in line with reviews conducted in the Police and Fire Service.

      Such reviews would go some way to restoring public confidence.

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  23. Sadly,I can only see Le Marquand avoiding any positive answers on Tuesday which is always his way,if he turns up that is.

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    1. Deputy Tadies is asking two Oral Questions, both are related to the case cost. The first is to the Home Affairs Minister;

      "Will the Minister provide an estimate of the cost incurred by Department in respect of the surveillance, arrest, security and conviction of Curtis Warren and associates and the cost to date of the investigation and subsequent disciplinary action being pursued against three of the officers involved in the said case?”

      The second question is for the AG; “Will H.M. Attorney General provide an estimate of the prosecution costs in respect of the conviction of Curtis Warren and associates, including the appeal case, and advise what steps, if any, have been taken to recover the court and case costs?”



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  24. I could place a bet with Honest Nev that you won,t get your answers,they will find some way to withhold the information you seek.

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    1. I would bet that Honest Nev would take your bet, but I doubt if the odds would be that favourable.

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  25. A simple question and one I have asked a Politician to ask, who or whom gave authorisation for the 3 Policemen to bug a car they should not have?. Simple so I would expect a very simple answer. What procedure is being carried out within the legal system to stop this ever happening again (to be outlined) and what disciplinary action is to be carried out (to be outlined) to the person or persons who gave that authorisation. Simple questions and I expect simple answers....

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    1. Thanks for your “simple” questions and you are quite right to ask them and to join me and many others who would like answers. We now know that the police did not act in an unlawful manner and when the Chief Constable produces his Judgement it should throw some light on the Crown Officer’s role. I have always maintained that their role should be investigated. I have also suggested that any advice given should be in writing.

      I know that Deputy Mike Higgins has attempted to ask a late and urgent question at tomorrow’s States Sitting. It was refused but I am pretty certain it will be asked at the next Sitting along with several others. The truth must come out.

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  26. Dear Bob, I have just seen the lawyer's interview on Channel Television and for a while I was very against the 3 Policemen. Now I am not so sure. I am beginning to feel the 3 Policemen were made 'scape goat's' to protect the Crown. It is very serious now, and it's time the Crown came out and told us 'what happened' I believe the 3 Policemen were authorised to carry out what they did, and I also believe the Crown and others left these 3 men out to dry. For that I am very angry! although I don't like Minty, I have seen his methods in courtrooms and he has been seen smiling while people are in the dock. But that's a separate matter. The Crown and others must be made accountable! If only to sort out what happened, what really happened.

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    1. Thank you and join the ever increasing queue seeking answers.

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    1. Thank you and well done for forwarding your Blog which is very helpful in view of the questions posed at 1753 hours today.

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  28. Dear Bob, I have just read voice for children's blog and I am even more nervous. Is it also correct that the Bailiff decides on the questions that can be asked by each Politician. Sir Birt a man who is not even elected by the people has to give permission to our Politicians that were elected by the people? please don't tell me this is true? really? if so, then I am afraid we have a system rotten to the core! this can't be right. I am going to write another letter to the Queen. So far the response on my last letter was extremely supportive. But before I do this, please confirm the above.

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    1. Yes it is true, I did raise the issue and lack of an appeal when I appeared before Carswell Panel which was reviewing the role of the unelected officers in the States. I am disappointed to say that Lord Carswell did not consider the matter to be in his Panel's remit.

      I do not have a problem with who ever has responsibility for making the decision to approve or reject requests to ask a question or lodge a proposition as long as there is an appeal mechanism. Unfortunately there is none in Jersey. I know from experience because I had propositions and questions rejected.

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  29. To Bob, I came across your blog a few days ago and I am very impressed too by the intelligent and good thinking questions that are arising. I can say having also watched CTV this evening that if the Child Abuse Victims are fighting for a fair enquiry then we also should be fighting for what we believe in. I admire the voice for children team and others who often fight alone but fight because of the wrongs Jersey has done to them. For that I am very angry at how 'our so called' Crown have dealt with the 3 Police Officer's, you don't hurt the messenger! the Crown basically thought if we get the 3 Policemen convicted or made look guilty then we the Crown have got away with it! that's how it looks. I presume when we talk about the Crown we include the Bailiff? A man who is not even elected by the people! it beggars belief, how can we really think Jersey will ever have a fair legal system and fair system if we have a Bailiff who has such power with not even a vote from the Island, only the Queen who in her few free seconds in her day just is told, who the person should be! it's not good enough anymore and it's time we all looked really at ourselves and this ridiculous set up and be honest enough to say 'it's time for proper change' don't you agree? I shall be reading further comments on your blog as I do believe it has integrity and grace! more than what I can say for some people who are in the legal system and they know who they are! Even a Policeman goes for an interview and gets the job on the Island, how on earth does it differ for 'our Bailiff' a man who costs the taxpayer a fortune and we don't even need! I rest my case, most of us would agree!
    I do recall a few years back when Sir P was Bailiff, he felt he was a 'sort of royal' in his robes. If I asked the Queen to attend an assembly with Politicians and pick out their questions each day, sounds patronising, but it's not intended, then the UK would have a revolution! no the Queen is a lady of the first degree, I can't see how any Bailiff on Jersey can compare himself like for like the Queen!

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    1. Thank you for comments and there is a lot that I can agree with. The Warren case is exposing the shortfalls in our criminal justice system.

      As you watched tonight's Channel TV news you will have seen me expressing concern regarding the ommissions in the Council of Ministers proposed Terms of Reference. What is it that makes people lose their principles when they reach high office?

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  30. Dear Bob, you write 'great sense' lets keep up the pressure and lets see change that will make a real difference to Our Island.

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  31. OK I think I understand now. Mr Jowitt tells the officers that the evidence would be unlawfully obtained but that it is an operational matter. So we saying that, in this case, it was ok for the officers to break the law because they felt it was necessary. Greater good and all that. Rather like running a red light and injuring a pedestrian on the way to a robbery.

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    1. It is difficult to know what the advice really was, that is why if any lessons are learnt it must be that any advice must be in writing even if given to officers in the field

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  32. Hi Bob.

    Just put up the Audio from this mornings States meeting, you know Questions without Answers.

    Question 13 was quite interesting if you know what I mean, some people who should of Known said they didn't put said I think a little more then they wanted, If you Know what I'm talking about of course.

    Have a Listen HERE

    TJW.

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    1. Thanks for the link.

      You would have thought that Question 13 was from a script from "Yes Minister."

      I don't think that Senator Paul Routier understands what "Quality of Arms" means.

      I hope that Deputy Pitman asks another question on the matter seeking more informed answers.

      Delete
  33. So Dear Bob, so I have got this correctly are we saying the Mr Jowitt tells the Officers that the evidence would be unlawfully obtained but that it is an operational matter?. Why is Mr Jowitt not being made accountable for his actions in this matter? he has some questions to answer.... and why having listened to question 13 at the end the Attorney General can't answer the last question made by Tadier? this is not good enough.... Mr Jowitt and others if responsible must be brought to account. If we don't trust the legal system then we have nothing...

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  34. Dear Bob, also another legal problem. When Sir Philip was Judge he was asked on a case to not sit as his brother was involved in legal proceedings on the said person's father's case. How can Le Cocq state this point?

    RE: Judges:
    “They shall not sit in a case where they have a financial or other interest or where the circumstances are such that a fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the given facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the member was biased"

    Sir Philip would not stand down from the said case, he was asked to on a number of occasions. The very rules of Judge conflict HE wrote and yet would not heed HIMSELF. How can we really trust the legal system in Jersey?. How can we trust Mr Jowitt either.?... we can put our heads in the sand and pretend this is not happening, or we can face the facts and continue asking the questions that people like Le Cocq, the Bailhache Brothers and other's don't want to hear and that includes Sir Birt too! If the legal system in Jersey were truly honest with itself it would face the mirror and look at the arrogant face that appears. The said actions from the legal system have surfaced again, the legal system is facing these people again and there will be other cases to come, I have no doubt about that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The case has certainly disclosed some disturbing issues but no doubt life will go on until the wheel really comes off.

      Delete
  35. Dear Bob, the truth will prevail. If men of power are allowed to do the wrong things, we have the right to question them and not be afraid to question them anymore. Sir Birt, Sir Philip, William Bailhache, Le Cocq and Matthew Jowitt are people we have been afraid to question, I can't tell you how freeing it is to be able to write 'we must not be afraid anymore'. We must ask questions and we must continue to ask questions that 'really matter' that will really make a difference. Accountability is a word that we all should follow, for our actions, for making Jersey a better place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pleased to hear that the Blogs are able to relieve some of your frustation by not being able to express your concerns in other mediums.

      Delete
  36. Hi Bob.

    You have a really interesting & informative conversation's going on I just hope my recording's help & complement your Blog.

    I just hope all this information that is on all of our Blogs can get out to as many Jersey people as possible, because that's what we need.

    This Island needs to Wake up to the goings on that our Government gets away with that is just against the Law in any other place.

    TJW.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank you for recording the questions and publishing them on your Blog and allowing readers to obtain thenm via my Blog.

    There are a great number of people who do not able to listen to question time, your recordings not only allow for readers to know what answers were given, but also what questions were not answered.

    I would be interested to hear what readers from afar think of the quality of answers given by our Ministers.

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  38. I have to also thank TJW as I always go to the links to listen to recordings, as I am often not around to listen to them live. I am really impressed by the intelligent and well thought out blogs here. Great work, if only the JEP and CTV followed! wouldn't that be nice! I do feel that Ministers could learn by reading this blog quality of open discussion. Of course Politicians can't just ask questions they have to get permission first from a non elected Bailiff. In time I am sure this issue will be out in the open. So in answer Bob to your question of what we think of the quality of answers given by our Ministers, could be a lot better! but better then what we had under the Frank Walker era! hope that helps!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your Comment and it is good to see that you value the recordings.

      Whilst permission has to be sought to lodge questions, I have to be fair to the 3 Bailiff's who were in office during 18 years in the States and say that most were approved, the only problem one has is if the Bailiff rejects the question there is no appeal mechanism.

      Quite often Ministers fall way short of the answer they should be giving, that is why Question Time is now know as questions without answers.

      Delete
  39. Dear Bob, I have just read the JEP, I am confused can you help?

    JEP ""ATTORNEY-General Tim Le Cocq says he was not behind the disciplinary action against the three police officers cleared last week of misconduct over the operation to arrest drugs baron Curtis Warren."" if he wasn't then who was? I am beginning to feel that we have a ghost in Jersey doing all these things.... if Le Cocq was not responsible then who was? please anyone who can shed some light please do!

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    Replies
    1. If you listen to the recording you will hear the AG say that he did not make any complaint and did not participate in the disciplinary proceedings.

      The matter commenced in 2007 so it may have been the previous AG who made the complaint but it was left in obeyance until the result of UK Appeal was known.

      Perhaps that could be a question for a States Member to ask at the next States sitting.

      Delete
    2. Now THAT is a good question. Was it the current AG or the former AG? Or neither?

      Delete
    3. Perhaps a States Member will seek clarification via an Oral Question at the next States Sitting.

      Delete
  40. http://bobhilljersey.blogspot.com/2013/01/curtis-warren-own-goal-more-to-come.html#comment-form

    I have just read some very interesting views on the above blog and thought your readers may be interested in reading them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the info, but please could you forward them for posting.

      Delete
  41. I think I may have posted in error a link to this blog rather than the one I thought your readers may appreciate.

    http://jerseylibertarian.blogspot.com/2013/01/this-is-what-it-was-like-in-berlin-in.html.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what link you are referring to because I don't think I have received it. I have tried to open the Blogspot above but was unable to do so.

      Please could you try again.

      Delete
    2. Thank you Voice, readers should now be able open and read the site's contents.

      Delete
  42. Bob
    As you well know after 18 years, Ministers are simply playing the game in (not) answering questions. It is a disingenuous game in that the objective is to avoid actually being dishonest whilst, at the same time, being "economical with the truth" in Yes Minister terms.
    In a small Island this is just as pertinent as in a large country. Ministers will seemingly go to extraordinary lengths to avoid telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Shocking? Hardly. Distasteful? Absolutely. Dishonest in reality? Yes!
    We recently heard John Humphrys on Radio 4 surgically dismantle his boss George Entwistle, who resigned shortly afterwards. I so wish we had the sort of media with the will and the ability to do this here. But we haven't.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know why Ministers go to such lengths to avoid giving truthful and straight answers. Those Members who had done their homework were well aware that answers given to questions about the Graham Power suspension knew full well that some of the answers being given were untrue, but Ministers were able to get away with it simply because too many other States Members chose to keep their heads down.

      I agree re John Humphrys.

      Delete
  43. This blog writes absolute sense, all of it! May it continue and may Politicians and Ministers be reading it! They may learn something...

    ReplyDelete
  44. http://jerseylibertarian.blogspot.com/2013/01/this-is-what-it-was-like-in-berlin-in.html

    The above is the link I was referring. Hope it works I noticed the one you tried had a . on the end. Now works for me.

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  45. Anonymous but information suggests that Barry Taylor current DCO at police was asked at the disciplinary hearing who the complainant was and it was he who said that the AG was the complainant. Someone isn't telling the truth. It also appears that Hants officers may have misled the hearing with regard to their evidence of communications with the AG's department. Some more questions needed and some more answers required as everyone seems to be disowning this, whilst trying to blame other people!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does appear that some one is not telling the truth and there is now a scramble to get into the life boat.

      The Judgement should go some way to clarifying matters, however I understand that although it has been presented to the States Police it will not be made public.

      I am drafting a new Blog on the matter and hope to publish it later today

      Delete
  46. Once again - Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive.

    This is far too important to "learn lessons "from or to sweep under the carpet.

    A commenter says that someone is lying. This must be the case. So we must find out the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately it is easier said than done. It would be helpful if the Home Affairs Minister made a statement in the States to claify matters.

      Delete
  47. The Law is the Law, for everyone. And that includes the AG's Department. We are asking simple questions and nothing complicated. So what is the problem? If they are lying then they can stand in the dock! like everyone else, they are not untouchables they are paid their salary by the tax payer! And if someone is lying then we need to get to the bottom of this, if you give out the medicine you have to take it yourself!

    ReplyDelete