The Openshaw Report


1.0 INTRODUCTION

  1. The purpose of this report is to question the appropriateness of the Governor of Gibraltar's appointment of the retired judge Sir Peter Openshaw who has demonstrated his propensity to pervert the course of justice in some of the most notorious cover-up cases in the entire history of the British / UK Criminal Justice System.

  2. Openshaw features because the Governor of Gibraltar, Sir David Steel, appointed him on 4th February 2022 to be the single commissioner into the public inquiry into the early retirement of Ian McGrail, the former Commissioner of The Royal Gibraltar Police

  3. This report limits itself to Openshaw's suitability in such an important role. It concludes that if Ian McGrail desires a fair and honest inquiry at best The Governor David Steel should abort on the appointment of Peter Openshaw, or at worst Peter Openshaw should recuse himself with immediate effect, owing to his lack of impartiality and his historical corruptness as a judge.

image

2.0 BACKGROUND TO THE CALL FOR AN INQUIRY

  1. Following on from his early retirement on 9th June 2020, Ian McGrail called for an independent judicial inquiry by a High Court judge from the United Kingdom to be convened without delay, adding he is sure there can be no reasonable or rational objection to this as, Gibraltar's standing and reputation requires it. He also declared that without an independent judicial assessment, there is a real risk to the reputation of Gibraltar as an advanced parliamentary democracy under the rule of law.

  2. In July 2020, Mr Picardo said the government did not see a need for an inquiry but that Mr McGrail’s suggestion that Gibraltar’s reputation could be “tarnished” without one left it no other option. The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo issued a statement to Parliament on 31st July 2020. In the parliamentary session, Keith Azorpardi responded thus.

  1. On 17th August 2021, the GSD renews concern over McGrail inquiry delay, vows to conduct probe (chronicle.gi)

  2. Political Commentator and anti-corruption campaigner Robert Vasquez, in his Llanito's World blog went so far as to infer a Government Cover-Up.

  1. On 4th February 2022, a Government Press Release announced that the Governor David Steel has identified Sir Peter Openshaw, a retired High Court Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division in England and Wales, who has agreed to Chair the Inquiry.

  2. This report, sponsored by The Gibraltar Messenger, is unconcerned with any of the specific details behind the reasons for the early retirement of Ian McGrail.

  3. However, there is an underlying assumption that the matters at hand within the former commissioner's early retirement are indeed important enough to be in the public interest – sufficiently so to merit the inquiry that was eventually commissioned by the Governor David Steel. The report's sole purpose is to offer insight into the suitability or otherwise of former UK High Court Judge Peter Openshaw, as the person who in February 2022, was appointed to preside over matters. As such, it is intended that this report be published on-line and sent to various stakeholders in advance of the Ian McGrail's Early Retirement inquiry.

LIST OF CASE STUDIES COVERED IN THIS REPORT

  1. The report calls upon the following case studies which when looked at as a whole, highlight a wide variety of alarming features about Peter Openshaw's decades' old misconduct in public office.
    • Openshaw's Three Poisoned Pawn Variations (9)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
PETER OPENSHAW FORMER UK HIGH COURT JUDGE TO HEAR A PUBLIC INQUIRY IN GIBRALTAR?

INFERENCE

  • Former High Court Judge Peter Openshaw hated Liverpudlians because of the murder of his dad in 1981, and the historical threat he himself received as a judge, from a psychopath he had sentenced from Merseyside.

  • Although supposedly retired, Peter Openshaw undoubtedly remains one of the most tried and trusted senior members of the judiciary, which the corrupt UK establishment calls upon in their hour of need. Time and again Openshaw has proven himself to be the establishment's “safe pair of hands”. Whenever political reputations are most at stake, Openshaw is undoubtedly one of the most sought after judges. This has happened when there has been a need to criminally suppress important evidence, often to protect and cover-up criminal malpractice within corrupt police investigations, especially, but by no means exclusively, for the corrupt police forces from the north of England, such as Lancashire Police, Greater Manchester Police, West Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Police.

  • In cases that might otherwise pose a serious existential threat for a British establishment which has long since been in terminal decline, Openshaw is a man for all seasons, an unprincipled judge, one to turn to if closing down contentious and nationally important high profile criminal justice cases, is the order of the day. Truth matters not to a man like Openshaw. Openshaw's main occupational interest is to protect the establishment's wider interests and reputation at all cost, for which he, gets financially extremely well rewarded. Given his loyal but misguided service to the BAR, which he has exercised in pursuit of a superficially impressive climb to the higher echelons within the judicial system, Openshaw has a fearsome reputation for being unjust. In reality, Openshaw is a spineless judge, unjust judge, a political puppet, and a fundamentally dishonest man.

  • Spanning four decades, the fancy-titled Openshaw has been more than a willing participant in corrupt court practices which have collectively served to help him rise to lofty professional positions through his willingness and propensity to pervert the course of justice.

  • While not averse to exhibiting stark racial prejudices, biased in favour of the Zionist elite, Openshaw is regarded as an arrogant man, the son of a judge who was violently stabbed to death owing to blowback arising from a minor case in 1968 over which his dad had sat and sentenced in judgement.
    The unwillingness of William Openshaw's son to recuse himself in any of his own historical cases which have strikingly similar characteristics associated with their levels of violence, such as occurred within his dad's brutal demise in 1981.

  • Conversely, Openshaw has shown himself extra-ordinarily keen and eager to enact unequal justice before the law in an entire series of strange judgements and imposed prison sentences which fall within the extreme ranges of being merciful or merciless, each in accordance with his own underlying and blatantly obvious prejudices, some of which are palpably racial, in their intent.

  • His recent appointment to preside over an important public inquiry in Gibraltar concerning the early retirement of former Commissioner Ian McGrail is indicative of a Zionist controlled Gibraltar Government, and broken Zionist controlled British establishment, far more interested in suppressing evidence of wrongdoing, than pursuing truth and justice. The degree to which Openshaw is entirely suitable or unsuitable to this position is reflective of whether the inquiry's real aim is to protect criminal activity in high places on The Rock, or elicit The Truth, without fear or favour.

PREMISE

  1. Openshaw's Dishonest Role as a Barrister in the Double Murder Conviction of Thomas Bourke
  • In what a vastly experienced and highly respected, former appeal court lawyer Jane Hickman describes as one of the most shocking and outstanding miscarriages of justice that she has seen, Peter Openshaw's deceitful practice and his complicity in perverting the course of justice, and his dishonesty as a prosecution barrister, saw to it that an innocent man with no previous convictions, got framed for a double-murder that he almost certainly did not commit. Thomas Bourke's sister, Jo, has transformed herself into a sleuth in an attempt to clear her still incarcerated brother's name. Meanwhile principle-centred Thomas, forfeits early release, and risks a lifetime in imprisonment, because he refuses to admit to a double murder he knows he did not commit. The near certain innocent man Thomas Bourke has spent the last 20 years and still counting, imprisoned in a high security prison thanks in part to Openhsaw's dishonesty. Peter Kilfoyle, a former Labour MP in Liverpool is on the record as saying Bourke's case was "very disturbing" and raised the case before the House of Commons. Neil Wilby, a highly respected investigative journalist and justice campaigner in the north of England, in commenting on Openshaw's failing memory, said of the case in recent times, “It is certainly one that fully merits a robust, thorough re-investigation by a metropolitan police force, other than GMP, under the auspices of the Criminal Cases Review Commission.” For Openshaw's part, he was engaged in secret meetings, making a dishonest statement, and seemingly involved in a joint criminal enterprise with corrupt officers from Greater Manchester Police, alongside hardened criminals in the drug dealing underworld in the north west of England, to ensure the real perpetrators escaped justice. See Appendix A, Case Study 1 for further details.

2. Openshaw's Role in The Murder Conviction of Ronald Castree

  • In the trial of Ronald Castree for the rape and murder of eleven year old Lesley Molseed, the unjust judge Openshaw shows himself up to be a liar, and a corrupt and dishonest judge, more than capable of suppressing vital evidence from the court. Having already been attuned to how DNA analysis had been used on appeal to quash a conviction, and how police bullying had earlier been deployed to frame the innocent man Stefan Kiszko, who spent sixteen years in prison for a rape and murder he could not possibly have done, Openshaw perpetuated the wickedness in the trial of Ronald Castree (in a copy-cat rerun of Kiszko II). Noel O'Gara, author of The Real Yorkshire Ripper makes a compelling case that Peter Sutcliffe, who was not the real Yorkshire Ripper, but the deranged copy-cat one – was the murderer of Lesley Molseed, but the corrupt established order and in particular West Yorkshire Police, had to keep a secret to cover their failings and their own criminal malpractice. Two key witnesses, Noel O'Gara and Patrick Cullinane knew full well that Ronald Castree was innocent of the murder of Lesley Molseed, and knew that West Yorkshire Police were in the business of securing convictions at any and all cost in order to cover-up their wrong-doing and prevent further harm to West Yorkshire Police's already badly damaged reputation. O'Gara's and Cullinane's work as documented on O'Gara's website exposes in a most compelling way, an utterly corrupt police force and a totally broken criminal justice system, both entities of which are unfit for purpose. See Appendix B, Case Study 2 entitled “Openshaw The Dishonest” for further details, or alternatively visit the insightful website of Noel O'Gara.

3. Perverse Cover-Up of The Stephen McLaughlin Murder – 1997

  • The text below is from a website associated with the North West Nationalist Blogger in memorial of John Tyndall.

“Stephen McLaughlin was murdered in Preston in November 1997 and was a terrible example of the failure of the multi-racial experiment, and the trial of his killers was an even worse example of a grotesque perversion of Justice. Stephen was 20 years old, with a steady girlfriend who pregnant with their second child when he was murdered.

Eleven of his attackers were charged with his murder. The Judge and Prosecution decided that a lengthy murder trial would exacerbate and serve to inflame racial tension in Preston. As a result, the Crown had decided to drop all eleven Murder charges against the eleven Asians. No doubt young people in Preston still remember Stephen McLaughlin - the man who was murdered by a large gang of Asian men - but who received no Justice in our fair Land ! We have all heard of Stephen Lawrence - but a white Preston lad Stephen McLaughlin, is unknown.”

  • The judge in question was newly promoted Peter Openshaw, courting favour with the establishment via implementing a political decision, at the expense of pursuing truth and justice. See Appendix C.

4. Openshaw's Unrighteous and Unequal Justice Before The Law I.

  • In stark contrast to Openshaw's astonishing leniency towards eleven Asians in the suppressed cricket-bat murder case of Stephen McLaughlin as in case study (3), Openshaw's perverse propensity to apply the law unequally across different races for purely political purposes, manifests itself from the Burnley Riots of 2001, when he imposed sentences totalling more than 56 years on 26 white rioters. Recorder of Preston Judge Peter Openshaw QC said the disturbances which rocked Burnley last summer had "damaged the whole fabric of the community". He added: "All sections of the public have been caused to fear for their safety. Their confidence and security have been undermined. Also see Appendix D.

  • "The sentences passed for these outrages must mark public disgust at what has happened on their streets. A clear message must go out that anyone who targets vulnerable minorities will receive punishment."

  • In his summing up with these words, Openshaw may have been mindful that his previous judgement and sentencing in the Stephen McLaughlin murder had caused outrage, and public disgust, as had happened in the law-courts of Preston. Openshaw omits to acknowledge that his own tendencies to administer unequal justice under the law is also a thing that serves to damage the whole fabric of the community, whereupon the public's confidence and security, are undermined.

  1. Openshaw THE MERCIFUL or Openshaw THE MERCILESS
  • In a breathtakingly bizarre act of clemency to a Jewish Holocaust Survivor in March 2007, Judge Openshaw, years later would at best betray his gentler side, or at worst show his racial prejudices by his dispensation of justice via two extreme yet contrasting acts of vindictiveness.

  • In the former case, Openshaw set free 76 year-old Mendel Rand, who had weeks earlier been convicted and jailed in a £7M fraudster case. In the latter two contrasting merciless cases, firstly Openshaw imposed a maximum 12-month suspended prison sentence and fine of nearly £2,000 on the defendant Gregory Hughes, in a case in Sheffield, where anti-semitic remarks had been previously made about a Jewish judge, who had ruled against a defendant, and secondly, in 2012, the unjust judge, with just a little help from lady injustice Heather Hallett of 7/7 London Bombings Inquest false-flag fame, cruelly dealt with juror and University Lecturer, Theodora Dallas, for the act of searching the internet during a criminal trial, and by his virulent actions, Openshaw completely destroyed a young Greek lady's otherwise promising academic career with a six-month prison sentence.

  • The irony here is that in between these merciful and merciless acts, Openshaw became infamous, and arguably an undeserved figure of some ferocious public ridicule, when in a trial in 2007 in a case probing the use of the Internet by alleged terrorists, the learned judge asked for a definition of "Web site." Here, in fairness and in all probability, Openshaw was asking the simple question for the benefit of the jury, rather than himself.

  • From a legal perspective, Openshaw stands accused of blatantly exhibiting unequal justice under the “law”. That’s supposed to be the basic promise of the legal system: that our “laws” are just, and that everyone — everyone — will be held equally accountable if they break those laws. In Openshaw's world, that evidently isn't the case. See Appendix E for more details of these cases.

  1. Openshaw - Gangs, Moss Side & Joint Criminal Enterprise
  • In 2017, Openshaw oversaw a highly controversial and much criticised case with stark racial undertones. It involved a very disturbing and violent gang related stabbing incident, which occurred in the notorious troubled hot-spot in Moss Side, Manchester. In what was a politically driven charging decision, Openshaw played his part in ensuring that convictions were obtained via the deployment of a seldom deployed “Joint Enterprise” charge against so-called “gang-members”.

  • David Conn of the Guardian wrote as follows:

However, the way GMP investigated, the Crown Prosecution Service brought charges, and the judge, Sir Peter Openshaw, presided over the trials, one held in Manchester the other in Preston, have led to complaints of racism by the defendants and their families, and prominent supporters, who argue that the outcome is a miscarriage of justice.

Instead of charging Cantrill with murder, and any other participants in the chase or violence with specific offences according to what they did individually, which could include affray, assault, violent disorder or no crime at all, the CPS charged all 12 with the killing itself. The prosecution alleged that all 12 were in a gang, or loyal to the gang, and that they united to kill Hafidah because he was from a rival gang, and had encroached on their “territory”, centred on the rec.

  • Oddly, one older man, who had been alleged in both trials to be the ringleader, recruiting the younger members to attack Hafidah, was acquitted in the second trial.

  • One prominent critic of the trial was Labour MP Lucy Powell who declared:

Similar cases involving groups of white youths are not tried in the same way as those involving black youths.

  • Angela Lawrence, a campaigner against Manchester gang violence in its era of notoriety, argued that it was a racist, “lazy” prosecution. Another severe critic of Openshaw's trial was Youth Worker Kemoy Walker who was left bewildered as to how a rap video sponsored by Greater Manchester Police, was later used in court as evidence against the boys. This peculiar pattern of police-state befriending, also occurred in the 7/7 London Bombings false-flag attacks, when the state first befriended the four Asian patsies in order to control them, and ultimately be in a position to create a narrative to blame them.

  • David Conn's insightful article, which can be viewed on-line is entitled: “One death, 11 jailed teenagers: was a Moss Side murder trial racist?” The murder case victim Abdul Hafidah had links with Salman Abedi, the person, who was later blamed for the GMP / Security Service orchestrated Manchester Arena stage-managed bomb hoax (Appendix F).

7. Openshaw – A Protector of Paedophilia in High Places

  • The name of the late Greville Janner is synonymous with the protection of paedophilia in high places within political circles. Openshaw, the establishment's 'safe pair of hands' was granted the perverse privilege of showing the ultimate deference towards the labour peer by effectively closing all criminal proceedings down, months before the old labour peer died aged 87. Over the years, starting in 1991, specific allegations of sex abuse of children by Janner in the past—dating ultimately from at least 1955 were made to authorities. This did not lead to any official action, beyond Janner only being questioned once, from the first allegations until 2015. Three police investigations took place in the 1990s and 2000s, but no charges were brought. Following a fourth inquiry, Janner was charged in 2015 with offences against nine alleged victims.

  • Openshaw deemed that Janner was too ill for a criminal trial. The accusations were to be investigated in a "trial of the facts" in April 2016, but Janner died before this could happen. An independent inquiry in 2016 found that the three earlier investigations were "missed chances" to prosecute him. The decision not to charge Lord Janner in 1991 was wrong and there was enough evidence against him to provide a realistic prospect of conviction for offences of indecent assault and buggery. In 2002, allegations against Lord Janner were not supplied by the police to the CPS and accordingly no prosecution was possible. There was sufficient evidence to prosecute Lord Janner in 2007 for indecent assault and buggery. He should have been arrested and interviewed and his home searched. With a little help from Openshaw, the thirty plus years of obfuscation within the UK's Criminal Justice System's gravy train surrounding all things paedophilic continued unabated up to and including Professor Jay's findings from her investigation report from October 2021. This was entitled “Institutional responses to allegations of child sexual abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC”. Nick Stanage, representing several complainants, said Janner was offered “the luxury of a series of timid and incomplete investigations”. See Appendix H.

8. Openshaw – The Eldest Son -Thirty Years of Hurt

  • On 11th April 1981, in a FA Cup Semi Final held in Sheffield between Spurs and Wolves, a serious crush occurred at the Leppings Lane End of The Sheffield Wednesday Football ground, in which 38 football supporters were injured.
    The crush was later to spawn a wicked idea which was implemented in full eight years later at the same Leppings Lane End of The Hillsborough Football Stadium. Exactly, one month after this foreboding event in Sheffield, on 11th May 1981, a judge named Bill, was brutally stabbed to death in Preston, as a V for Vendetta style attack, by a vindictive man from the Liverpool area, whom the judge had previously sent on borstal training for stealing back in 1968. Bill, “poor man”, had been stabbed 12 times.

  • Please see The Murderous Revenge Against An English Judge: The Murder Of William Openshaw In 1981 for those details.

  • Thirty-years and a month on from the judge's brutal murder in Preston, an innocent victim was stabbed 120 times in Batemoor, Sheffield, and thus it came to pass that the eldest son of the aforementioned murdered judge, namely Peter Openshaw, was chosen to preside over a case held in Sheffield, which in terms of stab wounds to the head, was tenfold more than his dad's brutal killing had been.
    Rightly or wrongly, Openhaw chose not to recuse himself from a case which would surely have brought back painful memories of his dad's shockingly brutal and violent demise.

  • "A drug addict inspired by the brutal Saw horror movies has been jailed indefinitely for the sadistic killing of a friend - just days after warning he would do ‘something stupid’ to return to prison. Psychotic Benjamin Scott, 32, slashed and stabbed his near neighbour Gary Beech at least 120 times in the eyes, head, face and back, after a petty argument. Days before the brutal attack, Sheffield Crown Court heard how Scott - who had a history of mental illness and convictions for violence and robbery - had been admitted to a health facility as an in-patient for psychiatric treatment, but was discharged.

  • A detective from South Yorkshire Police, known at that time to the author of this report, who investigated the murder of a man stabbed more than 120 times, said it was "the worst case of violence" he has ever dealt with. Detective Chief Inspector Zaf Ali, of South Yorkshire Police, said: "It was quite horrific. Many of the 120 wounds were to his head and eyes.". While on remand, charged with the murder, Scott then attacked an inmate at Doncaster Prison with a makeshift knife fashioned from a toothbrush and razor, causing the inmate cuts to the neck. The man was charged with manslaughter. "

  • Moreover, thirty-years and a day after Openshaw's dad's brutal murder, in a hearing held at Southwark Crown Court, God's very own eldest son Muad'Dib (Teacher of Righteousness), whose body was born in Sheffield, in accordance with Bible Prophecy, was cleared of perverting the course of justice, in a malicious charge brought against Him by a broken and utterly corrupt British establishment. The charge concerned an AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF that Muad'Dib had himself correctly submitted to the Kingston Trial of three Asians, in the form of a DVD documentary film. The documentary film was concerned with The Truth Behind The 7/7 London Bombings. It was called the 7/7 Ripple Effect. Muad'Dib's subsequent epic court hearing at Southwark Crown Court took place in the same month as the conclusion of the sham 7/7 Inquests, presided over by Lady Injustice Heather Hallett. The timing was no coincidence. Strangely, Judge Openshaw's appearance in Sheffield also happened just after an Employment Tribunal Hearing in Sheffield took place in a case which was likewise similarly intrinsically linked to The Truth about The London Bombings of 7th July 2005.

  • In 2017, Muad'Dib was to produce yet another documentary. This time, God's Eldest Son titled it “The Hillsborough Ripple Effect”.

  • Just like 7/7 Ripple Effect film, it sought to explain why Hillsborough happened and who was really behind the “joint criminal enterprise” with respect to the British establishment's cunning plan. The Hillsborough Ripple Effect's first line narrative was an unusual kind of opening gambit:

[1] Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher hated Liverpudlians, because of the Toxteth Riots in 1981, and the Liverpool supporters because of the Heysel disaster in 1985, and the subsequent disgrace and banning of English clubs from European football.”.***

  • Later in an important criminal trial in Preston before Peter Openshaw, on 11th March 2019, with assistance from the author of this report, and Christine Agnew QC, the late old Bill Openshaw's eldest son, Peter, was offered help by dint of him receiving Muad'Dib's second AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF. It was delivered in the form of a DVD and PDF file of The Hillsborough Ripple Effect documentary. At that point in proceedings of the David Duckenfield's trial for manslaughter of 95, the correct course of action for Openshaw, would have entailed firstly watching the Hillsborough Ripple Effect documentary – “The Elephant in the Room” - so to speak. Secondly, upon realising from watching it, that the Hillsborough Disaster had been no accident, but rather it had been a purposefully planned catastrophe all along, as a joint criminal enterprise orchestrated by the British Establishment and their foot-soldiers, the unjust judge should have immediately declared the hearing at Preston Crown Court a mistrial. However, instead of doing the right and proper thing, in his moment of choice, by bringing the Duckenfield sham trial to an inglorious abrupt end, on 14th March 2019, Peter Openshaw merely brushed it all under the carpet. He dealt gently, but incorrectly with the messenger, the author of this report. With the help of some very friendly police officers from Lancashire Constabulary, Openshaw signed paperwork, which amounted to an unlawful exclusion order served on Muad'Dib's messenger and disciple, banning him from Preston for the rest of the duration of his sham trial. Preston is England's 50th City, as previously granted in the 50th year of Elizabeth's unlawful and fraudulent reign. The exclusion order from the entire city, even extended to the Cunard Building in Liverpool where the Duckenfield trial was being screened live, for the benefit of the families of the 96. In short, what Openshaw had earlier done in the Ronald Castree trial by banning two key witnesses, so as to suppress all their evidence from the courtroom (See Case Study 2), so too did Openshaw in effect do likewise to Muad'Dib and Tony Farrell, in Preston in 2019. In so doing, the unjust judge yet again suppressed vital evidence in a concerted effort to cover-up the truth, and prolong the agonising saga which at that precise point in time had caused almost 30 years of hurt for the families of the 96 ( now 97).

  • In a letter dated 29th March 2019, entitled "Elephant in The Room", Openshaw was given a fair word of warning from the author of this report, that he was in grave danger of shunning EliJAH, as explained in Malachi 4. EliJAH is Muad'Dib. The sham trial ended on 3rd April 2019 with the jury unable to reach a verdict. To recuse himself from the subsequent retrial might have been a less dishonourable consideration for him, particularly as the families of the 96 were clamouring for him to be replaced, but Openshaw was perhaps too useful for the establishment to allow that to happen, and so, not surprisingly, David Duckenfield, the useful idiot and match commander on the day, was correctly cleared of the manslaughter charge at Openshaw's sham retrial. The first casualty, yet again, became The Truth about Hillsborough. Openshaw had cunningly tried to bury The Truth that had been gifted to him by Muad'Dib's Amicus Curiae Brief – The Hillsborough Ripple Effect.



  • Just like Muad'Dib's reference to Margaret Thatcher in the opening of The Hillsborough Ripple Effect film, because of his dad's murder in 1981, perhaps Peter Openshaw hated Liverpudlians too? For sure, all Openshaw's sympathies seemed to lie with that “poor chap” David Duckenfield whose fault Openshaw subliminally declared, it was not.

  • Upon Duckenfield's not guilty verdict, David Conn, a well-respected journalist from the Guardian commented as follows:

At the retrial, later in 2019, relatives of seven of the 96 people killed were in the public seats in Preston, and many more watched in Liverpool. They were very distressed and have consistently asked how there could be an unlawful killing verdict at the inquests but a not guilty verdict in the prosecution.

About 45 family members watched the verdict from the Cunard building. There were shouts in the room as it was announced.

Christine Burke, whose father, Henry Burke, 47, was killed in the crush, stood up sobbing and cried out to the judge that, as 96 people were unlawfully killed, “I want to know who is responsible for the death of my father, because somebody was.”

Openshaw did not respond, turned to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) barrister Christine Agnew QC and said there were “matters to sort out”, and the court was cleared.

By the end of the retrial hearing of David Duckenfield, it was clear that the families, irrespective of whether they had been watching proceedings from Preston or The Cunard building in Liverpool, had not been at all happy with the way Openshaw had conducted the affairs.

David Conn paints a sordid picture of the events in an article entitled “How David Duckenfield's trial left Hillsborough families distraught again”. It is well worth a read to grasp the essence of Openshaw's dirty deeds, but included overleaf is how appalled one mother who lost her eighteen year old son James, felt about Openshaw's wretched performance.


  • With the somewhat tricky hurdle of Duckenfield's retrial successfully negotiated for the powers that be, Openshaw, the establishment's “safe-pair of hands”, retired from being a judge for a second time. Meanwhile, as time passed by, in the nearby town of Blackburn, in 2021, plans were afoot for a Remembrance Sunday Service at the Anglican Cathedral.

  • Peter Openshaw, who served as a lay canon there, was scheduled to do an Old Testament reading from Chapter 12 versus 1 to 3 of The Book of Daniel. Please see below.

  • For some unknown reason, Openshaw ended up not participating in the Remembrance Sunday 2021 Blackburn Cathedral service after all.

  • Perhaps he recused himself from that duty. Perhaps by then, Openshaw was being convicted through the scripture for the treasonous and evil deeds he'd done as a barrister and a judge operating for three decades within the broken British Criminal Justice System.

  • Perhaps by then, the Daniel passage which he'd been asked to read to the congregation reminded him of the Daniel Breaks case from Liverpool on 7th July 2008, when the madman threatened to escape from custody and kill him.

After the verdicts were read out on Monday (7th July 2008) he accused Mr Justice Openshaw of "suppressing the truth" and said: "I will escape prison and I will kill you."
As members of the jury gasped in shock, Mr Justice Openshaw, who is from Lancashire, said to them: "I very much doubt he'll have the chance." Mr Justice Openshaw described Breaks' story as "absurd" and told him he would not be eligible for parole for 30 years - when he will be 78. Speaking afterwards, Det Supt Dave Kelly, who led the investigation, said: "I am delighted with the verdict and with the sentence today and delighted for the families who have been severely impacted by the actions of one member." Breaks' threat echoed the case of the judge's father who was stabbed 12 times in the head, neck and back by a man he sentenced for stealing. John Smith was locked up for 18 months when he was 17 but waited until he was 31 before attacking William Openshaw. He hid in the garage of his home in Broughton, near Preston, Lancashire, before launching the knife attack.

  • Whatever the real reasons for Openshaw not doing the Daniel reading in the Blackburn Cathedral as scheduled, perhaps it had finally dawned upon Openshaw that the identity of Michael The Archangel from Daniel 12:1-3, as mentioned in verse 1, is none other than the spirit being of JAH, Muad'Dib, The Gibraltar Messenger, and the prophetic time to which the passage is referring, just so happens to be now.

  • The fact that Openshaw has been appointed by the Governor David Steel to come out of his retirement and preside over Ian McGrail's forced early retirement hearing, which is to take place on The Rock of His Defence, perhaps it will be a special time for the Royal Gibraltar Police to think.

  • If Openshaw does indeed come over as scheduled, will the former High Court Judge be aware that Ian McGrail is a Liverpool supporter, and will the former judge again be keen and eager to serve yet another exclusion order on Martin SleuthER, a.k.a. Tony Farrell, I wonder.

  • Or might the former High Court Judge recuse himself for a change, or more likely use the opportunity to instead call for some hyped up high profile rooftop security, exactly as was deviously done in his wicked role in the framing of Thomas Bourke. Only time will tell.

  1. The Openshaws and The Three Poisoned Pawn Variations
  • One highlight and milestone of Peter Openshaw's career, is the fact that he and his wife Caroline Swift were both sworn in as High Court judges on the same day in October 2005.

  • Caroline had previously worked as the lead counsel under Dame Janet Smith in the Shipman Inquiry. The inquiry found that Shipman had murdered his victims quietly, coldly and systematically, killing patient after patient in a betrayal of trust "unparalleled in history".

Shipman's killing spree ran from 1975 to 1998. Of his victims, 171 were female and 44 male; the oldest victim was a 93-year-old woman and the youngest a man of 41 .The English general practitioner is believed to be one of the most prolific serial killers in modern history, where 218 deaths and 250 total victim count identified as attributable to him during the investigation. Shipman was later found hung in Wakefield prison.

  • Not to be too outdone in this highly specialist area of killing by poison, the husband Peter was later to preside over a lesser known serial killer nurse originally from the Philippines named Victorino Chua. On 18 May 2015, Chua was convicted on two counts of murder and was convicted of attempting to cause twenty one patients grievous bodily harm with intent by poisoning. Chua was also found guilty of eight offences of unlawfully administering or causing to be taken by another person any poison or destructive or noxious thing with intent to injure, aggrieve or annoy, or attempting to do so, after deliberately altering prescriptions.

  • Judge Openshaw said it was "strikingly sinister and truly wicked" that Chua did not personally administer the insulin to most of the patients, so it was left to chance which of them were poisoned. The jury at Manchester Crown Court had deliberated for eleven days. Mr Justice Openshaw sentenced Chua, a Filipino national, to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 35 years, meaning Chua will be 84 years old when he becomes eligible for parole.

  • Openshaw also presided over the sodomite case of Stephen Porter who had a fetish for sex with unconscious boyish-looking men, and sentenced the 41 year old to a whole life order.

  • In these three poisoned pawn examples showing the family Openshaws at work, three points seem pertinent to raise.

  1. Firstly, under God's Law which the monarch swore to maintain to the utmost of her power, each of the three sentences above, should have been the death penalty, not life imprisonment at the taxpayers' expense.

  2. Secondly, as Gibraltar will shortly have to come to terms with the fact that most of its population has already been severely and perhaps irreversibly poisoned by the Pfizer kill-shots. Those coercers from the Government of Gibraltar starting with the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, and The Senior Public Health Officials including Sohail Bhatti and Helen Carter and all those doctors and nurse injectors under the direction of Sandra Gracie, will have to face the dire consequences that the GENOCIDAL crimes they have committed will in the fullness of time, dwarf the Harold Shipman's and the Victorino Chua's of this world. The crimes will be unparalleled in the history of Gibraltar.

  3. Thirdly, intelligence suggests that any future appearance in Gibraltar of the unjust judge Peter Openshaw, would at best unnecessarily expose the elderly judge to the risk of utter ridicule, and protest outside the fraudulent courts of Gibraltar or at worst of him being subjected to a citizen's arrest for his ongoing joint criminal enterprises as an evil, dishonourable, corrupt and unjust judge.

CONCLUSIONS

  • It is important for the well being of Gibraltar, and interested parties on The Rock, that this report featuring Peter Openshaw is given due attention. Before setting foot in Gibraltar, to oversee the inquiry into the early retirement of former commissioner Ian McGrail, Peter Openshaw should be invited, as a result of the contents of this report, to recuse himself, given that this report will be widely circulated in hard copy and on-line in Gibraltar, as from 15th April 2022, a full thirty-three years after the Hillsborough Disaster, in which in the 30th memorial year of the catastrophe, the hand-picked Openshaw blatantly played a blinder in countenancing the perpetuation of the most widely acknowledged cover-ups in UK history. Openshaw's modus operandi of perverting the course of justice, as a puppet for the government, had it been revealed in full in 2019 prior to the start of the criminal trial of David Duckenfield, would have made the subsequent perverse outcomes at Preston Crown Court, all the more predictable.

RECOMMENDATION – BE INSTRUCTED, YE JUDGES OF THE EARTH

  • It is recommended that the Governor David Steel bring this report to the immediate attention of Peter Openshaw, Ian McGrail, Richard Ullger, the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Elizabeth II.

THE APPENDICES OPENSHAW'S DARKEST OR DIRTIEST CASE STUDIES

  • For The Complete Report and The Case Study Appendices, please download via following link.
    mega link: 115.3 MB folder on MEGA
7 Likes

Yesterday, a small well-behaved crowd of Liverpool supporters had gathered outside the Hendrix pub in Gibraltar. The crowd had been watching an FA Cup Semi Final match played at Wembley between the two best teams in England at the moment. They were all in good spirits, as Liverpool had just triumphed over Manchester City 3-2.

Liverpool supporter, Orlando Yeats saw me passing by, and so he kindly introduced me to two brothers named Paul and Stephen Collins. Thirty-three years ago, the brothers had been to Hillsborough to watch the FA Semi-Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. They are survivors of the Hillsborough Disaster. Paul told me that he helped establish the campaign group known as Total Eclipse of The Sun. They had brought over to Gibraltar a large banner stating that The Sun NOT WELCOME HERE, perhaps not realising that Gibraltar does not routinely sell British Newspapers, let alone Rupert Murdoch's Sun.

Stephen told me his story. He went to Hillsborough in a minibus as a group of ten, and all ten survived. Stephen who was only17 years of age at the time. He recalled to me how he was outside Gate C at the Leppings Lane end getting crushed and lifted off his feet. He feared for his life , and was relieved when the gates were opened.

He made a statement to the police. Twenty-five years later, he was to learn from Operation Resolve how the police had changed his statement without him ever knowing.

"A large crowd had gathered outside Gate C" unbeknown to Stephen had been altered by officers from South Yorkshire Police to instead read "A large drunken and unruly mob had gathered outside Gate C. "

"That's truly diabolical", I said, even though I had been for many years acutely aware of the statement changes made by my former employers. Somehow hearing it first hand shocked me.

Stephen was never called to be a witness, and those officers criminally responsible for making such devilish alterations, avoided prosecution when Donald Denton, Alan Foster and Peter Metcalf were acquitted by judge William Davis.

Lord Justice William Davis to the Judicial Hall of Shame (intelligenceuk.com)

In turn, I told the two brothers about the unjust judge Openshaw, and The Hillsborough Ripple Effect film, made by Muad'Dib, The Sun of Righteousness.

The sun was shining in Gibraltar yesterday.

8 Likes

18th April 2022
Dear David,

Good morning and good wishes.

Hopefully by now, you will have seen the printed copy of the report about Peter Openshaw with reference to the early retirement of Ian McGrail.

A version of the same report with its hyperlinks is now available on-line as provided below.

The Openshaw Report - Defending Gibraltar / British Sovereignty - Defending Gibraltar (defending-gibraltar.net)

We appreciate that the choice of Peter Openshaw was probably a decision made for you in London, and not a decision of your own making.

It's now over a year (1st April 2021) since you kindly and encouragingly wrote a letter to me with reference to the Gibraltar Messenger's work of The Rock of His Defence, but we note that you have yet to arrange a meeting.

May be the time has never been right, but be that as it may, we nevertheless want you to know that as The Lord's disciples here on The Rock, we would still be very pleased to have an opportunity to brief you insightfully about The Lord's work, especially with reference to Gibraltar and The British Israelite Throne.

With best wishes.

Tony Farrell

3 Likes

19th April 2022

Dear Tony,

I have read your email with complete astonishment, in particular the quite wrong criticism of a former High Court Judge. It seems to me that no one can do right in Gibraltar and this tarring of such a senior retired High Court Judge is completely unacceptable. He was appointed at the strongest recommendation of the Chief Justice of England and Wales. Perhaps the author should take up his argument with the Chief Justice and not with the Governor.

I am sure that we will find time to meet soon but I confess that I have been so surprised by what has been written in the email that you have sent me that I doubt that any good will come of our meeting.

Please take great care and with my warmest good wishes.

David

Vice Admiral Sir David Steel | Governor and Commander-in-Chief | Office of the Governor | Gibraltar

The Convent | Main Street | Gibraltar | GX1 1AA

6 Likes

GBC - TV Programmes

5 Likes

A preliminary hearing of the Inquiry into the retirement of Police Commissioner, Ian McGrail, will be held at the Garrison Library on Wednesday.

In June 2020, Ian McGrail announced his retirement as Commissioner of Police, serving just two of his appointed four years.

The two day session has been set up to deal with procedural and administrative matters and to put in place directions to progress the Inquiry.

Sir Peter Openshaw will be the judge presiding over the Inquiry.

Julian Santos, has been appointed as Counsel to the Inquiry, and Stephen Catania, together with Jemma Emmerson and Sunil Chandiramani as Solicitors to the Inquiry.

The Government has appointed Sir Peter Caruana QC to represent it.

Mr McGrail is represented by Charles and Nicholas Gomez and they have appointed two specialist counsel from the UK, Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Adam Wagner from Doughty Street Chambers.

1 Like

*McGrail Inquiry first hearing in public tomorrow
*Hearing will deal with procedural and administrative matters and give directions
*Tough and renowned London QC and barrister represent McGrail. *UK High Court Judge Sir Peter Openshaw chairs the Inquiry
*Public report or just to the Government

INQUIRY STARTS TOMORROW

The public inquiry into the surprise early retirement of Ian McGrail, the former Police Commissioner, starts tomorrow, with no indication that its final report to Government will be made public.

A preliminary hearing on procedural and administrative matters will be held, at which directions, on how the Inquiry will be progressed, will also be given. What at first sight sounds boring may be of huge interest due to the need to determine the parameters of what the Inquiry will delve into.

The public hearings will be at the Garrison Library on the 22nd and 23rd June 2022, as from 10 a.m.

WHO ARE MCGRAIL’S UK LAWYERS?

Mr. McGrail will be represented by two tough and well-known barristers from London. They each specialise in matters of this type. They have been chosen by Charles Gomez & Co, who act for Mr. McGrail.

They are Caoilfhion Gallagher QC and Adam Wagner. They are both members of renowned Doughty Street Chambers, London. Those Chambers deal, in the main, with human rights and civil liberties cases, and do so in many countries.

Caoilfhion Gallagher QC is known for having expertise on matters engaging freedom of expression and open justice. She has been involved in high profile matters. For example, acting for bereaved families and survivors of the 7/7 London bombings. She also leads the international team of lawyers acting for the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was a renowned journalist assassinated in Malta in 2017.

Adam Wagner has been involved in several key public law and human rights cases over recent years. They include cases engaging human rights issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and politically sensitive public inquiries like those on child sexual abuse and on issues relating to antisemitism within the UK labour Party. He is well-known on matters involving free expression and the right to protest.

THE INQUIRY TEAM

The Inquiry is chaired by retired UK High Court Judge Sir Peter Openshaw, with Maurice Turnock as its secretary. Julian Santos, a Gibraltar barrister, is Counsel to the Inquiry. Stephen V. Catania assisted by Sunil Chandiramani, both of Attias & Levy are the Solicitors to the Inquiry.

Sir Peter Openshaw, the Commissioner, is charged with inquiring “as he shall in his absolute discretion consider appropriate, into the reasons and circumstances leading to Mr. Ian McGrail ceasing to be Commissioner of Police in June 2020 by taking early retirement.”

After ascertaining facts, the Commissioner must “report to the Government”.

PUBLIC DECISION

The Inquiry will “report to the Government”. The “Issue of Commission” (LN.2022/034) is not specific on whether that report will be public or not.

The reality is that it is a public Inquiry, accordingly it would be extremely odd if the report was not also public.

PUBLIC HEARINGS, ABOUT WHAT?

The Inquiry will be held in public, except when the Chairman decides otherwise.

One suspects that, during the coming two days, the main matter to be decided and argued about may be what issues will the Chairman allow to be heard. It seems likely that he will want to hear from Mr. McGrail’s Counsels what specific issues he will want dealt with.

In reply Counsel for the Government, Sir Peter Caruana, May wish to argue the ‘relevance’ of those issues to the retirement decision.

In that way the Chairman can then rule “in his absolute discretion” what it is that he “considers appropriate.”

The terms of the Inquiry are vague, so the arguments on what issues will be considered “appropriate” will likely be of huge interest, as will be any decisions that the Chairman will make in due time. It will demarcate the extent of what the Inquiry will deal with.

Any such arguments will also likely reveal all that Mr. McGrail will want investigated. Any arguments on behalf of the Government will show that which it will want not to be inquired into. The limits of what may be considered relevant may be huge and not suit Mr. McGrail.

1 Like

The long-awaited public inquiry into the controversial early retirement of former Commissioner of Police Ian McGrail commenced on Wednesday with a preliminary hearing on procedure during which starkly opposed core positions were also laid out.

In opening the session in the Garrison Library, Sir Peter Openshaw, a retired UK High Court judge of the Queen’s Bench Division in England and Wales who is heading the inquiry, underscored the independence of the process and its public nature.

But even before the morning session had ended, the underlying tensions had surfaced in sometimes tetchy exchanges between lawyers over what could be said, and when.

Caoilfhionn Gallagher, QC, the barrister representing Mr McGrail, said her client’s central argument is that he had come under “improper pressure at the highest level of government” in his job as police Commissioner.

“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 said.

Ms Gallagher said “the probity of Gibraltar's institutions is at issue in this inquiry” and that the judicial investigation must be “full, fair and fearless”.

But Mr McGrail’s core position was immediately and robustly countered by Sir Peter Caruana, QC, the lawyer representing Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, QC; Nick Pyle, the Governor at the time that Mr McGrail retired; and Attorney General Michael Llamas, QC.

“The Government, the then Governor, Mr Pyle, the Chief Minister, Mr Picardo, and the Attorney General, Mr 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,” Sir Peter told the inquiry.

“It is my clients’ position that Mr McGrail chose to retire because he knew that, having lost the confidence of the Governor and the Chief Minister, his position had become untenable and that, had he not retired, His Excellency the then Governor intended to exercise his powers under section 13 of the Police Act 2006 to call publicly for his resignation on the grounds that he had lost confidence in Mr McGrail.”

FACTS

The two opposing positions at the heart of the inquiry were set out after Ms Gallagher [pictured above right alongside Adam Wagner] argued that presenting the factual context was vital to her client’s interests, even at the procedural stage.

She had gone into greater detail in setting out the factual context in her written submission on procedure but, for now at least, this section will be redacted from public documents after Sir Peter objected, arguing it would be “wholly unfair” to air them at this early stage in the process and without sufficient time to prepare counter arguments.

In doing so, Sir Peter highlighted in particular a reference to “a nolle prosequi” made by made by Ms Gallagher in her written submission on procedure.

“If the subject matter of that paragraph entered the public domain at this stage, Her Majesty's Attorney would be put in very severe difficulty,” he told Sir Peter Openshaw.

“This is an issue which he [the Attorney General] anticipated he might have to explain to you, but even then he would have to do so upon a very special application to you, because although the insinuations contained in that paragraph are severely disputed, indeed rejected and denied, to articulate the reasons for his actions then would defeat the very reasons why he had to do it.”

“These are submissions that the learned Attorney may want to make to the inquiry in private and make an application to that effect.”

Sir Peter said to go into that level of detail during the procedural stage would expose “some of the highest office holders of the day to rampant criticism based on [Mr McGrail’s] version of the facts”.

“We are here to discuss procedural matters,” he said.

Sir Peter [pictured above alongside members of his team] said the Gibraltar Government was committed to transparency and was not seeking to suppress anything, adding it had already stated, as had Sir Peter Openshaw himself, that the final inquiry report would be published.

He added the Gibraltar Government had convened the independent judicial inquiry even though it was not under a legal obligation to do so.

But Ms Gallagher insisted that the procedure in any public inquiry was “coloured by the alleged factual backdrop” and that to deny her the opportunity of raising this publicly during her submissions on process would be detrimental to Mr McGrail.

She told the inquiry that “political embarrassment” should not be a factor in deciding whether she could refer to facts at this stage.

She noted too that while the Chief Minister had made statements in the Gibraltar Parliament on the former Commissioner’s retirement, Mr McGrail himself had remained silent throughout.

Sir Peter replied that neither Mr Pyle nor Mr Llamas could be caused political embarrassment because they were senior officials, not politicians. But he added that both would be exposed unfairly to “their spin on facts”.

“Untested, unchallenged, unchallengeable allegations are not facts, but that is what she seeks in the interest of open justice,” Sir Peter said.

He said the inquiry should make public each party’s position on facts in sequence and at the appropriate time.

“That is not imposing restraint on anybody,” Sir Peter added.

James Neish, QC, [pictured above] the lawyer representing the Joey Britto, the chairman of the Gibraltar Police Authority [GPA], echoed Sir Peter and said Ms Gallagher was seeking to expand the scope of a procedural hearing.

After exchanges before Sir Peter Openshaw, the parties finally agreed that detailed sections of Ms Gallagher’s written procedural submission would be redacted from the public record at this stage, but that both would outline their core positions in oral submissions, which they duly did.

INDEPENDENCE

In opening the inquiry, Sir Peter Openshaw was careful to stress that this was a process that was independent of the Gibraltar Government.

Under the terms of the inquiry, the retired judge has “absolute discretion” to probe as he sees appropriate the reasons and circumstances leading to Mr McGrail’s early retirement in June 2020, after a 36-year career and halfway through his term in the top post at the Royal Gibraltar Police.

Sir Peter Openshaw [pictured below alongside Maurice Turnock, the secretary of the inquiry] stressed too the importance of transparency, adding transcripts would of proceedings would be made available on the inquiry website in a timely fashion, as would documents the inquiry will rely on in establishing facts.

“It’s a public inquiry,” he said. “It’s open to all.”

The inquiry’s role, Sir Peter Openshaw said, was not to conduct a criminal or civil trial, but “simply to establish the facts”.

The judge said he knew none of the parties involved and had never been to Gibraltar before he was appointed to head the inquiry.

“Prior to being appointed as the Commissioner of the inquiry, I have not read any statements or documents at all relating to these matters, nor had I read any press report relating to the matter and, as I have made clear, I had not even visited Gibraltar previously,” he said.

“I therefore approach this task as an entirely objective and independent outsider.”

“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.”

EVIDENCE

The inquiry has already taken statements from the four core parties, who were described on Wednesday as “statutory participants”.

They include Mr McGrail, Mr Picardo, Mr Pyle and Mr Britto, the chairman of the GPA [pictured below left alongside lawyer Shane Danino]. Under Gibraltar law, it was the GPA which, having first obtained agreement from both Mr Pyle and Mr Picardo, invited Mr McGrail to take early retirement.

On Wednesday, Sir Peter Openshaw said the inquiry had also requested evidence from the Attorney General and from Christian Rocca, the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The inquiry will seek evidence too from the Royal Gibraltar Police, as well as issuing a general appeal to the public to ensure it hears from anyone who feels they have evidence that may be of use.

Among the issues discussed on Wednesday was what steps if any the inquiry would take to offer protective measures to potential witnesses, including the possibility of providing evidence anonymously if the need arose. Sir Peter Openshaw has yet to rule on this point.

Also discussed was what process the inquiry would follow in taking live evidence from witnesses, including the extent to which they could be questioned by lawyers representing the various parties.

Julian Santos, the barrister acting for the inquiry, suggested it would likely be a “hybrid” approach in which he would take the lead in any questioning, while potentially allowing issues to be raised by other lawyers through him. Again, Sir Peter Openshaw has yet to consider detailed submissions before ruling on this point.

The inquiry will also consider whether to take steps to provide a live feed of the proceedings so that people can follow them remotely.

The hearing unfolded in the upper reading room of the Garrison Library, which brought to the fore other practical issues too.

In a room designed for silence, for example, the acoustics were often poor, with journalists and the dozen or so people in the public gallery struggling at times to hear lawyers speak. The inquiry team said they would take steps to ensure this problem was addressed for future sessions.

Sir Peter Openshaw said he was “acutely aware” of the importance of the inquiry both to affected parties and to the public interest.

But the pace of proceedings will be dictated by the complexity of ensuring the inquiry’s procedures are properly discussed and agreed beforehand.

The next session will also be focused on procedural matters and will take place in September.

The main hearing of the inquiry is at present scheduled to take place in March 2023.

LAWYERS

Ms Gallagher, an experienced human rights lawyer, has acted in high-profile UK cases including representing bereaved families and survivors of the 7/7 London bombings and the Hillsborough disaster.

She leads a team representing Mr McGrail that also includes Adam Wagner, a UK lawyer who has acted in some of the key public law and human rights cases of recent years in the UK, including test cases on human rights issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, major inquiries such as into child sexual abuse and into antisemitism in the Labour Party, and leading cases on the right to protest.

Mr McGrail’s legal representatives also include a solicitor team led by Charles Gomez and Nicholas Gomez.

The inquiry has approved public funding for Mr McGrail’s legal team, while lawyers for the other parties are also funded from the public purse “in one way or another”, the inquiry heard.

Sir Peter Caruana is assisted by Chris Allan and Philip Dumas.

Mr Neish is assisted by Shane Danino.

The inquiry legal team is led by counsel Julian Santos alongside Hope Williams, and a solicitor team led by Stephen Catania and including Sunil Chandiramani and Jemma-Louise Emmerson.

*Procedural arguments heard
*Hearings and findings will be public
*McGrail claims pressured to retire
*Such pressure denied but inconsistently loss of confidence in McGrail admitted
*McGrail’s allegations to be kept away from public view for now
*Should the Attorney General not represent himself?

PUBLIC HEARING STARTS

In a room at the Garrison Library with appalling acoustics, which led to many in the public gallery not hearing many of the submissions, procedural arguments were heard yesterday on matters that will be dealt with in the Inquiry into the retirement as Commissioner of Police on the 11th June 2020 of Ian McGrail.

Despite the difficulty in hearing much, the Commissioner Peter Openshaw emphasised that the inquiry is public. He also made clear that his findings will be made public, and will not be subject to Government approval.

THE BASIC ARGUMENTS OF EACH

Mr. McGrail’s case is that he was wrongly pushed by persons “at the highest level of government” to retire over a criminal investigation the details of which remain unknown, and that he surrendered to that pressure.

Peter Caruana, QC, strangely acting for Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, then Governor Nick Pyle and the Attorney General Michael Llamas, because each may have their own positions to defend, was quick to contradict Mr. McGrail’s claim. He denied that Mr. McGrail was put under any pressure by any of them.

Yet surprisingly and with seeming inconsistency, he went on to argue, that “Mr. McGrail chose to retire because he knew, that having lost the confidence of the Governor and the Chief Minister, his position had become untenable and that, had he not retired … the then Governor intended to exercise his power … to call publicly for his resignation on the grounds that he had lost confidence in Mr. McGrail.”

ALLEGED FACTS NOT REVEALED YET

As anticipated, the lawyers for Mr. McGrail attempted in their written skeleton arguments to introduce alleged factual context, to huge resistance from Peter Caruana, based on it being unfair to publicly air these at such an early stage, without his client’s having been given time to counter the matters put forward by Mr. McGrail.

It was agreed that those matters be blacked out for now and not made public.

SHOULD ATTORNEY GENERAL HAVE THE SAME COUNSEL?

The potential for the independence of each party to be blurred by having the same lawyer came to the fore when Peter Caruana addressed the Commission about a decision not to prosecute someone who remains unidentified (‘a nolle prosequi’). It is a decision that must be taken by the Attorney General alone and independently. His being represented in the Inquiry by the same lawyer as the then Governor and Chief Minister does not look good.

Peter Caruana was insistent that the issue of the nolle prosequi needed to be dealt, probably in private, and “upon a very special application … because although the insinuations … are severely disputed, indeed rejected and denied, to articulate the reasons for his actions then would defeat the very reasons why he had to do it.”

The question arises, surely the Attorney General, a Queens Counsel in his own right, should be defending his own decision to enter a nolle prosequi, especially due to the requirement of independence. Why is Counsel for the then Governor and the Chief Minister putting forward arguments about that decision?

IS IT THE ‘NOLLE’ OR SOMETHING ELSE?

The identity of who the Attorney General decided not to prosecute is not public, but Mr. McGrail resigned in June 2020, the only such decision near that time was taken a full 18 months later in January 2022. It is difficult to understand the bearing that issue has on Mr. McGrail’s retirement.

Could it be that it was not that decision that bore down on Mr. McGrail, but rather something totally different? If it is the distraction element is big. Much will likely be revealed over time, when the Inquiry establishes the facts, a process that will not start until March 2023.

1 Like

*Corruption and protection of whistle-blowers central to McGrail Inquiry
*Specific allegations remain secret
*McGrail’s reputation, treatment, and conduct at the heart of Inquiry
*Corruption threatens law, democracy and governmental principles and economic well-being
*Whistle-blowers need to be protected
*Constitutional right to freedom of speech and to protection of reputation possibly breached
*Any findings likely to have wider application to matters of corruption and whistleblowing

CORRUPTION AND WHISTLE-BLOWERS

Ian McGrail’s lawyers dedicate a huge amount of space in their submissions to corruption and the protection of whistle-blowers. Although all his specific allegations have been blacked out from public sight, for now.

Mr. McGrail’s lawyers say, “allegations of corruption are a substantial part of the subject matter of the Inquiry and … the constitutional importance of unearthing corruption and protecting whistle-blowers …”.

They make clear that Mr. McGrail’s “factual summary … outlines that the probity of Gibraltar’s institutions is at issue” in the Inquiry into his early retirement as Commissioner of Police. That goes to the very centre of what is right, correct, and honourable in the administration of Gibraltar.

DETAILS REMAIN SECRET

The factual background referred to has been blacked out from Mr. McGrail’s arguments for now. In time we should all find out what those allegations of corruption are and against whom they are made.

The issue of protecting whistle-blowers likely goes to Mr. McGrail’s suggestion that he was pushed out of his office as Commissioner of Police, one surmises, due to his aim of investigating and possibly uncovering corruption, but clarity on that is also awaited.

TRUTH SOUGHT

Mr. McGrail’s Counsel emphasised, that truth is what the Inquiry will seek and determine.

Mr. McGrail’s’ “reputation, treatment and conduct are at the heart of the Terms of Reference and the Inquiry’s work …”

INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS ON CORRUPTION

Mr. McGrail’s legal team point out that the Council of Europe has the fight against corruption as a main concern.

The Council says, that, “corruption threatens the rule of law, democracy and human rights, undermines good governance, fairness and social justice, distorts competition, hinders economic development and endangers the stability of democratic institutions and the moral foundation of society.”

WHISTLE- BLOWER PROTECTION

They go on to say that international and regional recommendations and papers recognise the need for whistle-blowers to be protected.

Those protections include against direct or indirect retaliation by employers, including dismissal, suspension, demotion, loss of promotion opportunities, punitive transfers, reductions in or deductions from wages, harassment or other punitive or discriminatory treatment.

They recognise that such protection measures contribute to and reinforce transparency and democracy.

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers’ Recommendations on the Protection of Whistle-blowers describes a whistle-blower as being “any person who reports or discloses information on a threat or harm to the public interest in the context of their work-based relationship, whether it be in the public or private sector.”

Reference to this indicates that Mr. McGrail is concerned that his ‘retirement’ came about due to his wishing to take steps to deal with “a threat or harm to the public interest” in his capacity as Commissioner of Police.

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

The European Court of Human Rights has similarly emphasised that corruption is a threat to the rule of law, and the need for whistle-blower protection.

Sanctions against whistle-blowers have been found to breach the convention rights to freedom of speech and to the protection of reputation. Both those rights are incorporated in Part one of the Gibraltar Constitution.

FOCUS ON ALLEGED CORRUPTION AT LAST

All those are issues that have concerned many a piece written on this blog. At last, there is an independent forum that will inquire into specific allegations made by Mr. McGrail.

It is a subject that needs much wider attention, and law reform and enforcement. The observations, comments, arguments, and findings of the McGrail Inquiry will likely be of much wider application than to the specifics of that case alone.

Hopefully, they will be a catalyst to much needed widespread reform and improvement.

2 Likes

*Commission judgment published 17th August 2022
*McGrail submissions redacted for now
*Second preliminary hearing later this month
*Short explanation of each side’s case
*Final judgment expected after March 2023 hearings
*government have undertaken to publish
*Unrelated report into London Metropolitan Commissioner’s resignation finalised in five months
*Commission of Inquiry Act procedures do not allow for same speed

INQUIRY INITIAL JUDGEMENT

A judgment was published on the 17th August 2022 following the first preliminary hearing on the 22nd and 23rd June 2022 of the Inquiry “into the reasons and circumstances leading to Mr. Ian McGrail ceasing to be Commissioner of Police”.

The Inquiry was established on 4th February 2022. The Commissioner is Sir Charles Lawford Openshaw, a Queen’s Bench Division retired High Court Judge.

REDACTED SUBMISSIONS

Parts of the submissions at that first hearing of Mr. McGrail’s legal team. Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Adam Wagner instructed by Charles Gomez & Co, were emphatically blacked out following a submission by Sir Peter Caruana QC and Chris Allan. They submitted that publication of detailed allegations at that stage without any opportunity for them to reply would be unfair.

The parties reached a compromise by which they each gave a very short summary of their case as was necessary to deal with the preliminary procedural issues which were before the Inquiry at that hearing.

Sir Peter and Chris Allan act for the Chief Minister, the former Deputy Governor, the Attorney General and “HM Government of Gibraltar”; from that one deduces that no conflict of interest exists between the positions of any of those parties which are relevant to the Inquiry.

SECOND PRELIMINARY HEARING

The second preliminary hearing is scheduled to take place later this month with the main hearings not being held until March 2023. Any decision will follow on from those hearings.

The Commissioner has ruled that at that second hearing Mr. McGrail’s lawyers will be allowed to briefly set out the factual background to his claim insofar as relevant to the issues to be decided at that stage. Sir Peter will equally be permitted to briefly answer and respond to those allegations.

CASE OF EACH PARTY

Sir Charles Lawford Openshaw summarises the case for Mr McGrail in his judgement as follows:

“It is Mr McGrail’s case that he was placed under improper pressure at the highest levels of Government in respect of a criminal investigation, and subsequently put under pressure by the same individuals to request early retirement against his will, pressure to which he ultimately succumbed.”

He goes on to summarise that for the Government, no distinction is made for each or any of the different parties represented by Sir Peter, in the following terms:

“It is the Government’s case that Mr McGrail was not put under improper or any pressure in the conduct of his job or the conduct of any criminal investigation, and that he chose to retire because the Acting Governor and the Chief Minister had lost confidence in him, and his position therefore became untenable. As Sir Peter Caruana QC puts it in his latest submission, the Government argues that there is no causal link between the criminal investigation referred to by Mr McGrail and his decision to retire.”

Sir Charles Lawford Openshaw indicates that:

“Whether that is right or wrong is one of the critical issues for me to decide but I can only decide the issue having heard all the evidence, and submissions on the point, at the substantive hearing; the submission that the Inquiry must now proceed on the presumption that the investigation raised by Mr McGrail had nothing to do with Mr McGrail’s retirement seems to me to be quite wrong.”

PUBLICATION OF FINAL JUDGEMENT

Sir Charles Lawford Openshaw is required by law to report to the government. The government has undertaken that any report will be published (Press Release No. 84 of 2022, of 4 February 2022).

In that press release the government stated that “The full report will be published by the Government, subject only to such redactions as [the Commissioner] may himself consider appropriate”. It is implicit in that undertaking that Sir Charles Lawford Openshaw’s Report will be published promptly and without undue delay, and he so indicates in the judgment following the first preliminary hearing.

Sir Charles Lawford Openshaw has however gone on to say that he will invite the government expressly to undertake accordingly on the question of publication before or at the second preliminary hearing. No such undertaking has been forthcoming yet.

UK INDEPENDENT REPORT

Coincidentally, former Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Tom Winsor was asked to prepare an independent report into the resignation of Cressida Dick as London Metropolitan Police Commissioner. The report was commissioned on 25th March 2022. The Report was published 5 months later, on 24th August 2022 (updated on 2nd September 2022).

The extensive report into that resignation in essence found, according to Sir Tom Winsor, “In my view, in this case, the commissioner faced political pressure from the mayor to resign, that pressure being of a character and intensity which was effectively his calling on her to leave office, outside the established statutory procedure and contrary to the wider legislative scheme.”

It is imperative to bear in mind categorically that the findings about Cressida Dick have no bearing whatsoever on events in Gibraltar involving Mr. McGrail.

Requirements of and procedures under the Commission of Inquiries Act of Gibraltar renders the same speed not possible. Accordingly, we wait on a date after March 2023 to have an independent view of what transpired which led to the resignation of Mr. McGrail as Gibraltar’s Commissioner of Police.

2 Likes

*Further preliminary hearing held
*Much remains secret, but aspects are public
*McGrail case and case of others summarised by Sir Peter Openshaw, DL
*Cryptic list of Issues published
*Clarity needed as it is central to the motive for an Inquiry

FURTHER PRELIMINARY HEARING

A further public preliminary hearing in the McGrail Inquiry being conducted by Sir Peter Openshaw, DL was held today, 20th September 2022, at the Garrison Library. Details of what the Inquiry will deal with remain largely secret due to the continued redaction of the submissions of lawyers representing both sides to the inquiry.

A few aspects have come into the public domain and can be found in documents published in the inquiry website at coircomp.gi.

ISSUES SUMMARISED

An extract from an amended judgement following the first preliminary hearing gives some indication of what is at play. Sir Peter Openshaw, DL on the 17th August 2022, as amended on the 25th August 2022, summarised the issues at paragraph 29 as follows:

“It is Mr McGrail’s case that he was placed under improper pressure at the highest levels of Government in respect of a criminal investigation, and subsequently put under pressure by the same individuals to request early retirement against his will, pressure to which he ultimately succumbed.

It is the Government’s case that Mr McGrail was not put under improper or any pressure in the conduct of his job or the conduct of any criminal investigation, and that he chose to retire because the Acting Governor and the Chief Minister had lost confidence in him, and his position therefore became untenable.

As Sir Peter Caruana QC puts it in his latest submission, the Government argues that there is no causal link between the criminal investigation referred to by Mr McGrail and his decision to retire.”

CRYPTIC ISSUES

There is a Provisional List of Issues also published on that same website. The list is rather scarce in its detail and very cryptic, but it is worth publishing it in full (see below). Seemingly various suggestions on that list predate the appointment of Mr. McGrail as Commissioner of the RGP.

If that is indeed so, their relevance to any retirement is odd, as his appointment would surely not have gone forward in the knowledge of those events had they involved Mr. McGrail and been serious.

CLARITY

The whole purpose of an Inquiry of this nature is to throw light on matters that are in the dark. Time has passed and darkness still reigns, undoubtedly for good legal reasons, so no criticisms is intended.

The stage will come when light must shine on the matters that the Inquiry will be looking into and hearing evidence about. It is important that clarity will be public at the earliest opportunity without prejudicing the rights and positions in law of any party involved. It is public money that is funding all the costs of the Inquiry.

The scarcity of clarity for those not engaged in any way in the Inquiry is evident.

PROVISIONAL LIST OF ISSUES

The Provisional List reads:

“Introduction

Pursuant to Legal Notice 2022/034, the Commissioner is required to inquire into the reasons and circumstances leading to Mr Ian McGrail ceasing to be Commissioner of Police in June 2020 by taking early retirement. The issues listed below define more closely the issues that shall be investigated.

The Inquiry will investigate the issues listed below (being issues which derive from allegations contained in the witness statements of the Statutory Participants and/or from documentary material which the Inquiry has examined).

The Inquiry reserves the right to amend these issues, whether by way of extension, limitation or otherwise.

The issues

In relation to each of the issues listed in paragraphs 1-9 below:

A. What were the relevant facts?

B. To what extent, if at all, did the issue constitute a reason or circumstance leading to Mr Ian McGrail ceasing to be Commissioner of Police in June 2020 by taking an early retirement (either because they led to a loss of confidence in Mr McGrail or for some other reason)?

  1. The actions of the Royal Gibraltar Police (“RGP”) on:

1.1 8 February 2017 in obstructing an aircraft at Gibraltar airport to remove an employee of the UK Ministry of Defence who was under arrest by the UK Service Police;
1.2 1 March 2017 in arresting three senior Ministry of Defence members of staff and seizing and removing service personnel equipment from HM Naval Base and an officer’s home (collectively with (a), “the Airport Incident”).

  1. The RGP’s investigation into an assault on a helicopter pilot and crew member in Gibraltar in March 2017 (“the Assault Investigation”).
  2. The collision at sea on 8 March 2020 outside British Gibraltar Territorial Waters involving an RGP vessel and resulting in two deaths (“the Incident at Sea”), and the RGP’s subsequent handling of it. In particular:

3.1 Did faults or failings in the operational instructions or procedures of the RGP cause or contribute to the collision at sea, and, if so, was Mr McGrail as Commissioner of Police, responsible or accountable for those faults or failings?
3.2 Was information as to the location of the Incident at Sea communicated by Mr McGrail and/or the RGP to Chief Minister Fabian Picardo QC (“CM”), the Attorney General Michael Llamas QC (“AG”) and the then-Interim Governor Nicholas Pyle OBE (“NP”) in a timely and transparent fashion?
3.3 Was information about the legal claims arising from the Incident at Sea communicated by Mr McGrail and/or the RGP to NP, the CM and the AG in a timely and transparent fashion?

  1. The findings of the Report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services into the RGP dated 9 April 2020 (“the HMIC Report”), and/or Mr McGrail’s response in addressing the findings of the previous report by HMIC published in 2016.
  2. The RGP’s handling of an investigation into the alleged hacking and/or sabotage of the National Security Centralised Intelligence System and alleged conspiracy to defraud (“the Conspiracy Investigation”), including but not limited to the RGP’s execution of search warrants as part of that investigation on 12 May 2020 (“the Search Warrants”). In particular:

5.1 Did Mr McGrail seek or receive advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (“DPP”) or the AG as to the execution of the Search Warrants, and did Mr McGrail accurately communicate any advice from the DPP or the AG on the Search Warrants (or lack thereof) to the CM and/or AG?
5.2 Was the RGP’s execution of the search warrants on 12 May 2020 contrary to an agreement or understanding with the AG and/or the DPP?
5.3 Did the AG and/or CM exert pressure (undue, improper or otherwise) on Mr McGrail regarding the investigation or otherwise interfere with the investigation, and in particular the decision to execute the Search Warrants?

  1. Any complaint(s) made by the Gibraltar Police Federation (“the Federation”) and/or its members to the Gibraltar Police Authority about Mr McGrail (“the Federation Complaints”).
  2. The RGP’s involvement in and/or handling of the Alcaidesa claims (“the Alcaidesa Claims”).
  3. The letter dated 29 May 2020 sent by Mr McGrail’s lawyers Charles Gomez and Co to the Gibraltar Police Authority (“the 29 May Letter”).
  4. Sir David Steel’s imminent commencement as Governor, and particularly the date on which NP received notification of such commencement (“the Governor’s Commencement”). “
1 Like

*GSLP-Liberals in their last press release attempt by spin to limit freedom of speech
*McGrail Inquiry is in public so safeguarding openness and transparency *GSLP-Liberals admit to a meeting after execution of a search warrant
*What happened after its execution needs to come to light
*GSLP-Liberal press release is as defensive as it is unproductive to stifle public information
*GSD question the “ongoing investigation”, not if or when any meeting was held
*Inquiry is in public so reporting and commentary within the criminal law is fine
*Criminal law limitations outlined
*Reports and commentary are healthy exercises of freedom of speech

GSLP-LIBERALS AMBIGUOUS

The GSLP-Liberal Government have in a carefully crafted press release issued yesterday (21st September 2022) attempted to reply to one matter about the McGrail Inquiry raised in a GSD press release in a manner that misstates what the GSD published.

The issue dealt with involves the execution of a search warrant and the holding of a meeting between the Chief Minister, the Attorney General and Mr. McGrail. It was on the same day (12th May 2022) as the search warrant had been executed.

It seems to be another attempt by the Government to limit freedom of speech using spin. The ploy to distract attention is obvious.

The request from the Government for no public commentary flies in the face of the fact that the Inquiry is being held in public precisely at the behest of the Government. It is so to ensure procedural and substantive openness and transparency.

GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASE

The Government press release emphasises that:

“the meeting they refer to was AFTER and NOT BEFORE the execution of the relevant search warrant and therefore DID NOT AND COULD NOT LOGICALLY have been an interference with the execution of it.”

The press release goes on to admit that such a meeting did take place in terms that the execution of the search warrant “had already happened by the time the meeting in question took place.” Accordingly, the GSD is right in what it says on that subject in its press release.

Whatever the issues surrounding the search warrant, which all need looking into, the Inquiry should investigate also what evolved on the matter the subject of the search warrant after Mr. McGrail’s retirement. The subject is not limited to just the fact that a search warrant was executed on that day, which is what the Government press release centres on.

DEFENSIVENESS IN FACE OF GSD PRESS RELEASE

The Government’s stance is a defensive reaction which can be seen as an attempt to muddy the waters, especially as the GSD in its press release specifically refer to the search warrant having been executed whilst the meeting took place afterwards. The GSD do so on the following terms:

“Mr McGrail through his lawyers asserted that: ‘On 12 May 2020 the same day on which the search warrant was executed, the Chief Minister and the Attorney General called Mr McGrail into a meeting. They berated him for the intervention. The Chief Minister in particular was extremely angry and used intemperate language. The Chief Minister accused Mr McGrail of acting improperly.’

The core allegation that Mr McGrail was summoned to a meeting by the Chief Minister who angrily “berated” him about the execution of the search warrant was not denied in the hearing yesterday. Nor was the fact that a meeting was convened by the Chief Minister and Attorney General with the Commissioner to discuss the conduct of an operation and ongoing police investigation in respect of someone close to the Chief Minister.

While Government lawyers have set out the different and historic reasons why they say the Governor had lost confidence in Mr McGrail it is obvious from the submissions of both sides that there was not a specific denial of an attempt to discuss the conduct of the ongoing investigation in which a search warrant had been executed.”

GSD QUESTION “ONGOING INVESTIGATION”

The GSD criticism centres around “the ongoing investigation in which a search warrant had been executed.” There is nothing in the Government press release that detracts from that observation. There is little if anything in the public domain to date about what happened to that “ongoing investigation”. It seems that persons being investigated who had been arrested were released.

One imagines that how the investigation progressed after the 12th May 2022 and after the retirement of Mr. McGrail will include determining whether that meeting between the Chief Minister, the Attorney General and Mr. McGrail had any impact on any “ongoing investigation”, decisions taken in it and any events that unfolded.

NO COMMENT?

The Government press release goes on to “call for others, in particular the elected opposition” to show the respect it is itself showing in not commenting further about the Inquiry.

The Government has confirmed that “it will not comment further at this stage… out of respect for the Commissioner of the Inquiry”. The Government seeks that there should be no “running commentary on untested and unproven submissions made by parties represented before the Inquiry” from the Opposition or others.

The oddity of that request is precisely exemplified by the fact that the Inquiry is being held in public. Accordingly, reporting of the hearings of the Inquiry is clearly invited. Commentary is inevitable also within the realms of that which is permitted by the criminal law. The GSLP-Liberal Government may well be in a different position as they are in part the subject of the Inquiry.

THE CRIMINAL LAW

Briefly, the Common Law prohibit perverting the course of justice, contempt, and of interfering in any way with evidence and witnesses. There is little doubt that those Common Law offences apply to Inquiries (see paragraph 3.23 of the Law Commission Report on Offences Relating to interference with the Course of Justice).

In addition, the common law offence of perjury applies to evidence given at Inquiries.

Section 12 of the Commission of Inquiry Act creates statutory offences also. Those are failure to attend as a witness when summonsed, failure of a witness to take an oath, failure of a witness to produce documents, or to answer questions, or a witness acting in any other way which would be contempt in a court of law. None of those offences prohibit reporting or comment.

Accordingly, so long as any report falls within those limits, freedom of speech allows for such commentary. All and any lawyers are invited to correct or add to this section.

REPORTS AND COMMENTARY

Reports of events at and commentary about the Inquiry are clearly not only permitted but should be widely circulated so long as they are there is no breach of the criminal law.

The attempt of the GSLP-Liberal Government to stifle public information and freedom of speech is misconceived. It is not based on any good moral or legal argument. Public information and debate within legal constraints should be encouraged. It is healthy debate within the democratic right to freedom of speech.

The Inquiry into the Retirement of the Former Police Commissioner, Ian McGrail, is giving the general public an opportunity to place any evidence before it.

The Inquiry has already taken witness statements from a number of individuals, but is opening the submission of evidence out to the public.

McGrail Inquiry calls for witnesses from the public

The Inquiry is interested in anyone who may have any information on an incident in February 2017 in obstructing an aircraft at Gibraltar airport to remove an employee of the UK Ministry of Defence who was under arrest by the UK Service Police

It is also interested in the RGP’s investigation into an assault on a helicopter pilot and crew member in Gibraltar in March 2017, as well as the the collision at sea in March 2020 outside British Gibraltar Territorial Waters involving an RGP vessel and resulting in two deaths.

The Inquiry will also be looking into the investigation into the alleged hacking and/or sabotage of the National Security Centralised Intelligence System and alleged conspiracy to defraud, and the RGP’s handling of the same,

It wants to know about any complaints made by the Gibraltar Police Federation to the Gibraltar Police Authority about Mr McGrail.

It is also interested in any factors, not mentioned, which may have been critical to Mr McGrail ceasing to be Commissioner of Police in June 2020.

Responses can be sent to the Inquiry's solicitors at Attias and Levy.

More details on the Inquiry's website coircomp.gi


Full Statement by the Inquiry:


Call for Evidence

1. The Inquiry into the Retirement of the Former Commissioner of Police has already contacted a number of individuals who may be in a position to provide evidence and assistance to the Inquiry. The Inquiry now wishes to give the public an opportunity to place before it any information or documents of potential relevance to its work.

2. The Inquiry accordingly invites individuals and organisations to respond with any information or documents that may assist the Inquiry in investigating the reasons and circumstances leading to Mr Ian McGrail ceasing to be Commissioner of Police in June 2020 by taking early retirement. The Inquiry is particularly interested in any information on the following matters:

a. The actions of the Royal Gibraltar Police (“RGP”) on: (i) 8 February 2017 in obstructing an aircraft at Gibraltar airport to remove an employee of the UK Ministry of Defence who was under arrest by the UK Service Police; and/or (ii) 1 March 2017 in arresting three senior Ministry of Defence members of staff and seizing and removing service personnel equipment from HM Naval Base and an officer’s home.

b. The RGP’s investigation into an assault on a helicopter pilot and crew member in Gibraltar in March 2017.

c. The collision at sea on 8 March 2020 outside British Gibraltar Territorial Waters involving an RGP vessel and resulting in two deaths and the RGP’s subsequent handling of it. In particular:

Did faults or failings in the operational instructions or procedures of the RGP cause or contribute to the collision at sea, and, if so, was Mr McGrail as Commissioner of Police, responsible or accountable for those faults or failings?

d. The findings of the Report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services into the RGP dated 9 April 2020 and/or Mr McGrail’s response in addressing the findings of the previous report by HMIC published in 2016.

e. The investigation into the alleged hacking and/or sabotage of the National Security Centralised Intelligence System and alleged conspiracy to defraud (“the Conspiracy Investigation”), and the RGP’s handling of the same, including but not limited to the RGP’s execution of search warrants as part of that investigation on 12 May 2020 (“the Search Warrants”). In particular, did the AG and/or CM place any or any inappropriate pressure on Mr McGrail regarding the investigation or otherwise interfere with the investigation, and in particular the decision to execute the Search Warrants?

f. Any complaint(s) made by the Gibraltar Police Federation and/or its members to the Gibraltar Police Authority about Mr McGrail.

g. The RGP’s involvement in and/or handling of the Alcaidesa claims.

h. Mr Pyle’s stated intention as to his powers under section 13 of the Police Act. This will include consideration of the relevance (if any) of Sir David Steel’s imminent commencement as Governor, and particularly the date on which NP learned of the date on which that was expected to occur (“the Section 13 Issue”).

i. The Gibraltar Police Authority’s process and decision in relation to Mr McGrail and its purported compliance with Section 34 of the Police Act, and subsequent withdrawal of that decision (“the GPA Process”).

3. However, any other matters, not expressly mentioned above, that may be critical to investigating the reasons and circumstances leading to Mr Ian McGrail ceasing to be Commissioner of Police in June 2020 by taking early retirement can be submitted for the Inquiry’s consideration.

4. Responses do not need to be in the form of an affidavit or sworn statement at this stage, although any relevant documents in support should be provided as attachments. If, after reading the response, the Inquiry considers that it would be assisted by an affidavit or sworn statement, it will contact the relevant person or organisation.

5. The responses and any documents in support should be sent in writing to the Solicitor to the Inquiry, either by email to [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected], or by post to:

Stephen V Catania Attias & Levy First Floor Suites 39 Irish Town Ref: SVC/I82

6. Responses must be received by no later than 21 October 2022. Responses which are not received by that date may not be considered by the Inquiry.

7. Organisations are asked to include in their response a summary of the people they represent and their aims and objectives. The person signing the response must state his or her office or position in the organisation or the capacity in which the response is being made.

8. All written responses including evidence provided to the Inquiry may in due course be made public unless specifically requested otherwise or unless publication is unlawful. If a respondent would like any of the information provided to be treated confidentially this should be indicated clearly, identifying the relevant information and explaining why it is considered that confidentiality is appropriate. It should however be noted that the Inquiry cannot at this stage guarantee that confidentiality will be maintained in all circumstances where such requests are made, in particular if disclosure is required by law. Attention is drawn to the Inquiry’s Documents and Vulnerable Witnesses Protocols, available on the Inquiry website.

9. The Inquiry’s Privacy Notice is available on its website coircomp.gi. The Notice sets out how the Inquiry will use your personal data, who it may be shared with, and your rights.

Maurice Turnock Secretary to the Inquiry 23 September 2022

*Interaction between the Constitution and the general law likely
*Remit of Governor, Public Service Commission and the Police Authority will be investigated
*Public Service Commission should likely have been involved in McGrail retirement
*Request for a police officer to retire is ‘disciplinary action’ needing Public Service Commission advice
*Public Service Commission advice needed by Governor
*Involvement of Chief Minister and Attorney-General not envisaged by law
*Attorney-General’s constitutional functions in criminal matters defined in Constitution

INTERACTION BETWEEN CONSTITUTION AND STATUTES

An interesting interaction between the Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006 and the general law as found in parliamentary Acts will likely unfold in the Inquiry being held into the retirement of Mr. Ian McGrail as Commissioner of Police.

It is rare that constitutional matters and legal issues such as those arising from Mr. McGrail’s retirement are delved into publicly. The arguments will likely be complex and involved. The outcome when it is announced will be hugely interesting.

One issue is what the remit of each of the Governor, Public Service Commission and the Police Authority are when it comes to police officers, all of whom are public officers.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

The Police Act giving the Governor power to call for a Commissioner of Police to retire must be read with and is circumscribed by the Constitution.

If a request is made by a Governor for a Commissioner to retire, the case seems to be that he would need first to seek the advice of the Public Service Commission.

The Constitution requires that any disciplinary action against a public officer, is to be undertaken by the Governor with the advice of the Public Service Commission. The question which arises is whether ‘disciplinary action’ covers a request for a Commissioner of Police to retire.

REQUEST TO RETIRE MAY AMOUNT TO ‘DISCIPLINARY ACTION’

It seems that the Constitution renders a request for a Commissioner of Police to retire to be ‘disciplinary action’ as all police officers are public officers. Removal from public office under the Constitution includes retirement or ending of a contract engaging a public officer.

If that is so the Gibraltar Police Authority cannot be authorised otherwise by a law that would be outside the confines of what is permitted by the Constitution.

In the event of the proposed ‘retirement’ amounting to ‘disciplinary action’, the Acting Governor would have needed advice from Public Service Commission before acting in the case of Mr. McGrail whatever the Gibraltar Police Authority may have said. It will be recalled that the Gibraltar Police Authority withdrew its advice on point in any event.

Disciplinary accusations seem to have been made against Mr. McGrail. The submissions made for Mr. McGrail indicate that disciplinary issues did arise. The case being made for the acting Governor, Chief Minister, Attorney General and Government suggests that also. We need to wait on the evidence to see whether that was so.

CERTAIN INVOLVEMENTS OUTSIDE THE LAW?

The involvement of the Gibraltar Police Authority to seek the retirement of Mr. McGrail as the Commissioner of Police seems to be either unconstitutional, or at least is subject to the constitutional procedures that involve the Governor and the Public Service Commission. There is no information in the public domain that indicates that the acting Governor consulted the Public Service Commission. Again, we will need to wait on the evidence for that to be clarified.

Under the Constitution removal from public office includes retirement or ending of a contract engaging a public officer. The Commissioner of Police in his capacity as a police officer is the holder of a public office as defined in the Constitution.

The Constitution requires that termination of appointments to public office is by the Governor on advice of the Public Service Commission, not the Gibraltar Police Authority. The Constitution renders a request to retire to be a termination of appointment.

Any consultation on termination of office between the Acting Governor on the one part and the CM and the AG of the other part, as seems to have happened, but which is subject to final determination, is not envisaged by the Constitution or the law; nor is any action taken consequent on that consultation, unless the Governor ratifies it, after receipt of advice from the Public Service Commission.

There is currently no information in the public domain that any such advice was sought or received by the Acting Governor at any stage of the events involving the retirement of Mr. McGrail. We will have to wait on what the Inquiry may find on point.

ATTORNEY GENERAL’S CONSTITUTIONAL FUNCTIONS

The Attorney General’s constitutional function is delineated by the Constitution within criminal law matters. In terms of the criminal law, it comes into being or effect primarily after the Royal Gibraltar Police prefers charges.

No involvement with the investigation process is specifically authorised prior to that happening. Although arms-length advice on whether sufficient evidence exists to warrant charging may well be sought prior to a charge being preferred.

It is a position strongly supported by the reality that under the Constitution, and to maintain political and governmental independence, the Royal Gibraltar Police falls under the Governor. It is a power exercised subject to the advice of the Gibraltar Police Authority in the manner permitted by the Constitution and any law covering its functions which must fall within what is allowed by the Constitution.

The Attorney Generals’ involvement in meetings with the Chief Minister about the retirement of Mr. McGrail as Commissioner of Police seem to be uncalled for but that will need to be determined by the Inquiry. It is especially so if a criminal prosecution could have evolved upon completion of all the investigations by the Royal Gibraltar Police into matters which led to the execution of the search warrant referred to in the matters to be inquired into.

Such a warrant issues if a magistrate is satisfied that some evidence of the committal of an offence is available. A magistrate must have been so satisfied in the matters engaged as a search warrant did issue, and we are told was executed.

The input of the Attorney General in criminal matters usually arises only when police investigations have been completed and a docket prepared, although it is possible for the RGP to seek advice on specific issues that may arise.

INQUIRY WILL PROGRESS INTO THE FIRST QUARTER OF NEXT YEAR

Further progress in the Inquiry must be awaited. In the meantime, interest continues but information is limited.

Little more will likely hit the public domain until the main hearings start. Those are scheduled for March of next year.

On 21st October a Second Amicus Curiae Brief was submitted to The Solicitors to The Public Inquiry
The 2nd Amicus can be read in full on The Gibraltar Messenger.

3 Likes

Three men implicated in a conspiracy investigation are set to receive funding for legal advice so they can submit witness statements to the McGrail Inquiry.

It's one of three rulings made by the judge overseeing the matter.

The three men set to submit statements were charged with conspiracy to defraud Bland Limited before the Attorney General decided not to proceed with the criminal case against them, citing matters in the public interest.

Judge recommends to Government it pays for legal team representing three men who the Inquiry asked for evidence

Sir Peter Openshaw is the judge brought in to act as sole commissioner for the inquiry into the reasons and circumstances leading to Ian McGrail's early retirement from the post of Commissioner of Police in June 2020.

The judge has now recommended to the Government it should pay for the legal team representing three men who the Inquiry asked for evidence. Thomas Cornelio, John Perez and Caine Sanchez were already in the process of preparing a joint statement, after the Inquiry’s Public Call for Evidence in September.

The three men would like to use the same legal team that represented Mr Cornelio and Mr Perez in discontinued criminal proceedings, and who are presently representing all three Applicants in related proceedings.

Sir Peter Openshaw said the Government should fund the Applicants’ two legal counsel, on the condition that time spent is divided between leading/junior counsel on a 20/80% basis. And that the legal team should include a lawyer already practicing from a permanent place of business in Gibraltar.

The funding is to cover: initial instructions and advice in relation to and for the purpose of making a witness statement. At this stage it does not cover travel expenses or representation during oral evidence. Hourly rates will be capped.

The judge believes this funding is fair and in the public interest because the applicants are intimately implicated and concerned in a matter under Inquiry, namely a conspiracy investigation. Mr Cornelio, Mr Perez and Mr Sanchez say they have “first hand knowledge of the matters ... which will greatly assist the Inquiry” and with regard to certain matters “are in fact the only people who can provide relevant information and documents to assist the Inquiry”.

Sir Peter Openshaw also notes that if funding was not granted, the three men would be unable to fund legal representation.

He also considers it would be fair for the applicants to have access to legal advice on issues of legal professional privilege and privilege against self-incrimination, and how those privileges operate in the context of the Inquiry.

Core participants

Meanwhile, the Royal Gibraltar Police, the Government, and Paul Richardson - a now retired police superintendent - have all been granted ‘core participant’ status in the inquiry.

The Gibraltar Police Federation has also been granted core participant status, but only in connection with any complaints made by the federation or its members to the Gibraltar Police Authority about Ian McGrail.

They join the existing four participants: Mr McGrail himself; the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo MP KC; the Governor at the time Nicholas Pyle; the Police Authority, and; the Attorney General Michael Llamas KC.

Core Participants have a significant interest in the subject matter of the Inquiry and enjoy participatory rights.

@DG-Truther-Videos

The arrest of two people over an alleged data breach affecting documents relating to the McGrail Inquiry risks delaying the start of the full hearing, which is scheduled for March 6 next year.

On Wednesday night the Royal Gibraltar Police confirmed that two people had been arrested following a report of alleged computer misuse and data protection offences.

The RGP gave no further details other than to say the two had been bailed.

But the McGrail Inquiry team later confirmed that it had received a report about “a likely data breach in Gibraltar” affecting its documents.

And on Thursday, the Inquiry team told the Chronicle the matter remained under investigation but could potentially push back the date of the full hearing.

“The Inquiry and relevant authorities are continuing to investigate and ascertain the exact nature and extent of the breach, and once they have done so will determine what measures are required to prevent any ongoing risk to Inquiry data,” the Inquiry said in an emailed response to questions from this newspaper.

“The Inquiry is, at the same time, cooperating with the relevant authorities in their investigations.”

“The Inquiry also continues to work on its Commission, and one of the matters which it is currently addressing is whether the timetable towards a hearing in March 2023 remains achievable.”

“The Inquiry expects to arrive at a decision on that issue in the next week, and when it does all Core Participants and the general public will be informed.”

The Inquiry is headed by Sir Peter Openshaw, a retired UK High Court judge of the Queen’s Bench Division in England and Wales.

Under the terms of his Commission, the retired judge has “absolute discretion” to probe as he sees appropriate the reasons and circumstances leading to former police Commissioner Ian McGrail’s early retirement in June 2020, after a 36-year career and halfway through his term in the top post at the Royal Gibraltar Police.

The Inquiry has already held two preliminary sessions in public, centred primarily on procedural matters including policies and protocols for the handling of documentation and its approach to privacy and data protection issues.

The full hearing is expected to start on March 6, 2023, and last for three weeks, with the Inquiry stressing during the procedural sessions that the timing was extremely tight given the preparatory work required beforehand.

Fabian Picardo has admitted he’s concerned the McGrail inquiry could be very damaging to Gibraltar. The Chief Minister was answering questions on GBC Television’s Direct Democracy.

The inquiry into the early retirement of former police commissioner is set to take place next March.

However, speaking to presenter Ros Astengo, Mr Picardo said he has NO concerns about himself personally and looks forward to the truth coming out.

Fabian Picardo concerned McGrail Inquiry could be very damaging to Gibraltar

The former Police Commissioner, Ian McGrail, says he remains "confident and fully committed to the Inquiry process".

Mr McGrail was responding to comments made by the Chief Minister on Direct Democracy on GBC Television.

Fabian Picardo had said he had concerns the inquiry could be "very damaging" due to what he called "allegations with no basis in fact", and "nonsense".

In a statement via his lawyer Charles Gomez, Mr McGrail refers anyone who's interested to his submissions and in particular his statement of factual position.

These can be found on the Inquiry's website.