GSD renews concern over McGrail inquiry delay, vows to conduct probe

17th August 2021
The GSD has again questioned the delay in convening a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the early retirement of former police Commissioner Ian McGrail.

In a statement, the Opposition vowed it would hold an inquiry if elected to government at the next general election, which is not due for two years.

The party has repeatedly raised concerns about this issue and said it was in the interest of democracy that there was clarity as to why Mr McGrail left his post just two years into the job.

Continued at the link.

Keith Azopardi

J a n u a r y 2 8 a t 4 : 2 6 A M ·

For anyone with a bit more time here’s the full clip on why we think politically damaging evidence has been buried & why we won’t allow the Chief Minister to hide behind the public interest on this issue.
"We won't let politically inconvenient truth be buried by Fabian Picardo".

The Opposition says it is obvious that the Chief Minister has been dragged kicking and screaming into saying he will issue a statement convening the McGrail Inquiry next week.

The GSD says it will be obvious to everyone that he has been forced to do so.

The GSD says in July 2020 The Chief Minister promised the Inquiry would be convened “within weeks”, and 19 months later it has still not been convened.

Keith Azopardi says if the Chief Minister regrets the speculation as to the causes why then they are self-inflicted wounds, because he had the opportunity to decisively and swiftly deal with this in 2020.

The Leader of the Opposition says his party stands by its statement that the effect of the AG’s decision to halt the Conspiracy to Defraud case is to bury politically embarrassing facts for the Chief Minister, and that the public interest exercise has not been properly balanced.

He says when Ministers exercise statutory or constitutional power it needs to be subject to checks and balances, and that is why the GSD has been calling repeatedly for the McGrail Inquiry that was promised. He says it is important for our democracy that the Inquiry be held independently.


THE former Commissioner of Royal Gibraltar Police claims he was forced from his job amid ‘improper pressure at the highest level of government’ as a much anticipated public inquiry gets underway.

Ian McGrail announced he was retiring as Commissioner of Police in June 2020 after serving just two years of a four-year term without revealing his reasons behind the move at the time.

The decision to retire early after 36 years with the RGP, provoked fierce speculation and questions in parliament with McGrail himself calling for the matter to be properly investigated, and an inquiry was set up at the request of Chief Minister Fabian Picardo in February.

Preliminary hearings last week under retired High Court judge Sir Peter Openshaw who flew over from London to chair the public inquiry into the matter.

Caoilfhionn Gallagher, the QC representing McGrail, laid out her client’s central argument.

“His core allegations are that he was put under inappropriate pressure in respect of the conduct of a criminal investigation, and that he was subsequently put under pressure by the same individuals to request early retirement against his will, pressure to which he ultimately succumbed,” she told the opening session at the Garrison Library, last Wednesday (June 22).

Gallagher insisted that ‘the probity of Gibraltar’s institutions is at issue in this inquiry’ and called for the judicial investigation to be “full, fair and fearless”.

However, Sir Peter Caruana, QC, who is representing the government in the inquiry, countered: “The Government, the then Governor, Mr (Nick) Pyle, the Chief Minister, Mr Picardo, and the Attorney General, Mr (Michael) Llamas, deny that Mr McGrail was at any time or by any of them put under improper or any pressure in the conduct of his job or the conduct of any criminal investigation.”

He argued that McGrail ‘chose to retire because he knew that, having lost the confidence of the Governor and the Chief Minister, his position had become untenable’.

Outlining the scope of the inquiry, Openshaw said: “Although several of the key participants in these events hold or held positions within the Government of Gibraltar, I make clear that the inquiry will be conducted quite independently from the Government.”

“My findings will be made public. They will not be and are not subject to approval by the Government.”

The inquiry will hear evidence from four core parties; McGrail, Picardo, Pyle and Joseph Britto, the chairman of the Gibraltar Police Authority (GPA).

A general appeal has also been issued to the public for anyone who feels they have evidence that may be of use to come forward.

Openshaw will have to decide what steps the inquiry would take to offer protective measures to potential witnesses, including the possibility of providing evidence anonymously.

The main hearing of the inquiry is not expected to take place until March 2023.

A dedicated website has been set up to keep the public informed about the progress of the Inquiry.