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Politicians 'interfered' in Jersey child abuse inquiry

Graham Power: Pic Jersey Police
Mr Power says some politicians reacted in a hostile way to the abuse inquiry

A document from Jersey's suspended police chief raises concerns about political pressure put on officers during a child abuse inquiry.

The affidavit, a statement signed under oath, was written by Graham Power, who was suspended over his handling of the Jersey abuse investigation.

In it he claims politicians interfered with the police investigation and "closed ranks" with civil servants.

Former chief minister Frank Walker denies a conspiracy among politicians.

In 2006, the island's police began investigating abuse claims at children's institutions and in private homes dating from the early 1960s to the 1980s.

Six men have since been charged with child abuse offences.

Mr Power, who was the island's chief officer of police when the investigation was set up, was suspended from duty on full pay in November 2008.

A clear conspiracy theory has emerged, which is completely untrue
Frank Walker

Since then no further disciplinary action has been taken and he denies any wrongdoing.

He made the affidavit in January last year to give his side of the story.

It criticises the way some Jersey politicians reacted to the abuse inquiry.

The document included details of three occasions that Mr Power claimed isolated the States of Jersey Police from an "inner group of politicians and civil servants loyal to the then Chief Minister, Frank Walker".

He said politicians and civil servants reacted in a hostile way to the perceived threat of the abuse inquiry.

The affidavit also claimed that the procedures used to suspend Mr Power were seriously deficient.

Frank Walker said in response: "There was no conspiracy amongst politicians or others.

"As time has gone on, however, a clear conspiracy theory has emerged, which is both unfortunate and completely untrue."

The affidavit was made public on Thursday by one of Mr Power's supporters, Deputy Bob Hill.

Deputy Hill has called for a full public inquiry into the chief officer's suspension.



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