Thursday, September 18, 2008

“Jersey Abuse Victims Interests Have Been Sacrificed”

~Lenny Harper

In an incredibly jaw-dropping BBC interview, Lenny Harper discusses the obstruction of the child abuse chargings and prosecutions. He states that interests of the victims had been sacrificed.

Senator Syvret has published the BBC transcript of the interview:

Harper: I personally believe that there is a marked reluctance to wholeheartedly get behind the enquiry and to prosecute rigorously and vigorously the suspects to the extent where the victims are given their day in court. I think that the public face of some of the politicians who have called the victims "people with criminal records" and "disturbed people" underlines a more fundamental attitude that these people should not have been allowed to make complaints against people who are involved in the establishment. Yes I do believe that, I think that's the case.

Obstruction by prosecutors is apparently endemic on the island. Prior to the abuse investigation, Harper started cleaning house by dealing with some corrupt police officers and other employees that were working for the organization. Harper goes on record regarding the obstruction he faced in that investigation.

More from the BBC transcript of the interview:

Lenny Harper: It really came to a head when we started dealing with a small number of corrupt Police officers, and other employees that were working within the organization. We were investigating them internally and I had young officers doing superb jobs investigating wrongdoing - and again, I emphasize it was only a small number of bad cops and employees. But we began to have some success in dealing with these people, and we started submitting files. We had a couple of detectives who we caught passing over sensitive intelligence files on criminals in return for sex with informants, and even admissions from them, and prosecutions were not being mounted.

What I found particularly distasteful was the involvement of some of the local politicians, who sided with corrupt Police officers and their associates, even to the extent of interfering in the charging process.

I think it's fairly well documented that we were due to charge this businessman, and we were due to charge him with an offence which he admitted under oath in court, in which he admitted inciting a Police Officer to carry out illegal checks on computer systems. We eventually got the authority from the legal advisors to charge him with the offence of inciting this Police Officer to commit the illegal computer transactions. We were due to charge him at six o'clock one evening. At five thirty, two local politicians who were friends of his went to see the Attorney General. As a result of that we received a phone call from the Attorney General instructing us not to charge.

BBC: Do you know that it was a result of that, or is that just your belief?

Lenny Harper: Yes I've had conversations with the Attorney General about it. The consequence was that we received instruction not to charge. These two politicians had been involved throughout this series of enquiries and in fact were two of the politicians who criticized us for wasting public money.

BBC: Are they still in government? Are they still active politicians?

Lenny Harper: They're still active politicians, yes.

Well, so much for the 'Jersey' way!

Senator Stuart Syvret Blog

Harper on Jersey abuse inquiry video

Full BBC radio interview