McGrail Inquiry: Counsel lays ground for extraordinary revelations over coming weeks

GBC News
8 Apr 202407:12

Summary

TLDRThe McGrael Inquiry's first day broadcast by GBC captivated local attention, with lead Council Julian Santos spending nearly 6 hours going through 94 witness statements. The inquiry is neither a criminal trial nor an adversarial process. Central to the investigation is the alleged hacking of Jalter's security systems, involving the arrest of three men, including two directors of 36 North. The narrative includes disagreements on facts, allegations of misconduct, and concerns over the handling of evidence. The proceedings aim to provide context for upcoming evidence and testimonies, highlighting the complexity of the case and the various perspectives involved.

Takeaways

  • 📺 The McGrael Inquiry's first day was highly anticipated and followed closely by the public through various media.
  • 🕵️‍♂️ Lead Council Julian Santos was on his feet for nearly 6 hours, handling 94 witness statements and providing both broad summaries and detailed submissions.
  • 🗣️ Council's opening words were brief, mentioning recent events but focusing on the inquiry's purpose and determination to fulfill its terms of engagement.
  • 🚨 The inquiry is not a criminal or civil trial, and it aims to ventilate issues that have caused public pain due to recent commentary.
  • 🔍 There is fierce disagreement on the facts of Operation Delhi, an investigation into an alleged hacking of security systems, with established facts including an investigation, arrests, and searches.
  • 🤝 James Levie, a key figure, was cooperative but never arrested or charged, and his devices were returned.
  • 💼 The Chief Minister's involvement was limited to expressing concerns about financial liabilities for potential data breaches and loss of confidence in Mr. McGrael based on his actions.
  • 🛑 Deficiencies in the search warrants were identified, including unsatisfactory reasons and the inclusion of legally privileged material.
  • 🌊 A separate incident in March 2020 involved the death of two men after a collision with an RGP vessel, leading to questions about the location of the incident and the transparency of information.
  • 👨‍✈️ Other issues to be addressed include a search in Alessa leading to prosecutions in Spain, a 2017 airport standoff over jurisdiction, and a UK police body's findings on the RGP.
  • 📝 Lawyers for core participants will make their own initial submissions to the judge in the upcoming proceedings.

Q & A

  • What was the general atmosphere surrounding the broadcast of the first day of the McGrael inquiry?

    -The broadcast of the first day of the McGrael inquiry was highly anticipated, with people in every office and establishment following the proceedings with bated breath through radio, TV, or smart devices.

  • How long did the inquiry's lead council, Julian Santos, speak on the first day?

    -Julian Santos, the inquiry's lead council, was on his feet for nearly 6 hours on the first day.

  • What was the nature of Julian Santos's opening submissions?

    -Julian Santos's opening submissions were a mix of broad summaries and detailed insights, providing context for the evidence that would be heard in the coming weeks.

  • What was the stance of the OPA in relation to the events of the last few weeks?

    -The OPA's stance was to observe the events of the last few weeks briefly and to the point, without dwelling on them, and to express determination to fulfill the terms of engagement.

  • What was the main point of disagreement among the core participants in the case of Operation Delhi?

    -The main point of disagreement among the core participants in Operation Delhi was the facts surrounding the conspiracy investigation, with fierce disagreement on the alleged hacking of Jalter's security systems in May 2020.

  • What happened to the three men arrested in connection with the alleged hacking of Jalter's security systems?

    -Two of the three men arrested were directors of 36 North, one of whom, Hassan, owned 33%. The other man, James Gererro of the Bland Group, ran the system. While they were arrested, James Gererro was never charged or arrested and his devices were returned to him.

  • What was the Chief Minister's reaction to the events surrounding the hacking allegations?

    -The Chief Minister expressed serious concern about the financial liabilities on the government for potential data breach risks and claimed to have reacted similarly if any other senior member of the bar had been involved.

  • What were the two key deficiencies in the RGPS's warrants for the search warrants, according to the inquiry's lead council?

    -The two key deficiencies were the unsatisfactory and generic reason provided by the RGP for seeking a warrant, suggesting that Mr. Levie, as a suspect, was likely to destroy evidence, and the lack of power under the CPA to execute a search warrant for the purpose of seizing legally privileged material.

  • What incident in March 2020 involving a Spanish RIB led to a loss of confidence in the Commissioner by the Governor and the Chief Minister?

    -In March 2020, two men aboard a Spanish RIB suspected of illicit activities died following a collision with an RGP vessel. The Governor and the Chief Minister claimed to have lost confidence in the Commissioner over his handling of the incident, suspecting that he was withholding essential information.

  • What other issues will the inquiry address apart from the main case of Operation Delhi?

    -Apart from Operation Delhi, the inquiry will also address issues such as a search carried out in Alessa leading to criminal prosecutions against police officers in Spain, the standoff at the airport in 2017 over jurisdiction, the fractured relationship with the Police Federation, and the findings of a UK police body investigating the RGP.

  • What is expected to happen following the initial submissions made by the inquiry's lead council and the OPA?

    -Following the initial submissions, lawyers acting for some of the core participants will be making their own initial submissions to the judge, furthering the inquiry and expanding upon the various aspects and issues involved.

Outlines

00:00

📺 Inaugural Broadcast of McGrael Inquiry

The first day of the McGrael Inquiry, a highly anticipated event in local history, was broadcasted by GBC, capturing the attention of every office and establishment. Lead Council Julian Santos has been on his feet for nearly six hours, going through 94 witness statements. His submissions were a mix of broad summaries and detailed accounts, providing context for the upcoming evidence. Peter Opa's opening remarks were brief, observing recent events without dwelling on them, and expressing his determination to fulfill his engagement. The impact of the new act on the inquiry is uncertain, but it's clear that nothing affects Julian Santos's resolve to find and report the facts under the law.

05:01

🔍 Lead Council's Submissions and Clarifications

Lead Council Julian Santos clarified that the McGrael Inquiry is not a criminal or civil trial, nor an adversarial process. He addressed the public commentary and emphasized the importance of ventilating the issues. Santos summarized the evidence from core participants, highlighting the fierce disagreement on the facts of Operation Delhi, a conspiracy investigation into alleged hacking of Jalter's security systems in May 2020. The inquiry delved into the events leading to the arrest of three men, including directors of 36 North, and the involvement of James Levie from the Bland Group. The narrative included the actions and reactions of key individuals, including Mr. McGrael, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, and Mr. Levie, and the tension surrounding the search warrants and the allegations against the Attorney General.

🧐 Examination of Search Warrant Procedures and Related Issues

The inquiry proceeded to examine the deficiencies in the search warrant procedures, questioning the rationale that suspects might destroy evidence as a basis for obtaining production orders. It was highlighted that there's no power under the CPA to seize legally privileged material. The discussion extended to other issues such as the 2020 incident involving two men aboard a Spanish RIB, the standoff at the airport in 2017, the fractured relationship with the police Federation, and a UK police body's investigation into the RGP. The inquiry is set to continue with lawyers for core participants making their initial submissions to the judge.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡McGrael Inquiry

The McGrael Inquiry refers to a significant investigation or series of proceedings that are being broadcasted by GBC, capturing the attention of the local community. It is a key event in recent local history, indicating its importance and relevance to the public. The inquiry is led by Council Julian Santos, who is tasked with examining various witness statements and evidence related to the case, including the events surrounding an alleged hacking of security systems and the subsequent actions taken by involved parties.

💡Lead Council

The Lead Council, in this context, refers to the primary legal representative or prosecutor responsible for presenting the case, examining witnesses, and arguing before the inquiry. Julian Santos, as the inquiry's lead council, has the crucial role of guiding the investigation, summarizing evidence, and clarifying the legal and factual issues at hand. His role is to ensure that the truth is uncovered and justice is served, without bias or favoritism.

💡Witness Statements

Witness statements are formal, written accounts provided by individuals who have relevant information or evidence regarding the case being investigated. These statements serve as a critical part of the inquiry process, as they help establish the facts and context of the events under scrutiny. They are used to guide the inquiry's proceedings and may be subject to cross-examination to ensure their accuracy and reliability.

💡Operation Delhi

Operation Delhi refers to a specific conspiracy investigation mentioned in the transcript, which involves the alleged hacking of security systems in May 2020. This operation is a central focus of the McGrael Inquiry, as it involves various key figures and contentious issues, including the actions of James Gererro of the Bland Group and the arrest of three men, two of whom were directors of 36 North.

💡Security Systems

Security systems encompass the various technologies, devices, and protocols designed to protect information, property, and individuals from unauthorized access, theft, or harm. In the context of the transcript, the alleged hacking of Jalter's security systems implies a breach of these protective measures, which is a serious concern with potential legal and financial implications.

💡Search Warrants

Search warrants are legal documents issued by a court that authorize law enforcement officers to search specific premises for evidence related to a crime. They are an essential part of the investigative process, ensuring that the rights of the individuals are protected while allowing law enforcement to gather necessary evidence. The execution of search warrants must follow strict legal procedures, and any deficiencies or abuses can have significant legal and ethical implications.

💡Attorney General

The Attorney General is a high-ranking government official responsible for advising on legal matters and representing the government in legal proceedings. This role often includes overseeing the law enforcement agencies and ensuring that legal actions taken by the government are in accordance with the law. In the context of the transcript, the Attorney General's advice and assertions play a significant role in the events and disputes being investigated.

💡Confidentiality

Confidentiality refers to the protection of information, ensuring that sensitive or private details are not disclosed to unauthorized individuals. In legal proceedings, maintaining confidentiality is crucial to protect the integrity of the investigation and the rights of the involved parties. Breaches of confidentiality can have serious consequences, including legal penalties and damage to reputations.

💡Legal Privilege

Legal privilege is a legal concept that protects certain communications between clients and their legal advisors, ensuring that these communications remain confidential and are not disclosed without consent. This privilege is essential for maintaining the attorney-client relationship and allowing clients to seek legal advice without fear of their communications being used against them in legal proceedings.

💡Collaboration

Collaboration refers to the act of working together with others to achieve a common goal or to share knowledge, resources, and efforts. In the context of legal proceedings and investigations, collaboration is often necessary among different parties, such as law enforcement agencies, government officials, and legal representatives, to ensure a thorough and effective inquiry.

💡Accountability

Accountability refers to the responsibility of individuals or organizations to explain and justify their actions and decisions, especially in legal, ethical, or public contexts. It is a fundamental principle in ensuring transparency, trust, and justice. In the McGrael Inquiry, accountability is central to understanding the actions taken by various parties and determining the appropriate outcomes.

Highlights

The McGrael inquiry's first day broadcast by GBC was highly anticipated and watched closely by the public.

Lead Council Julian Santos was on his feet for nearly 6 hours, handling a massive 94 witness statements.

Santos' opening submissions were a mix of broad summaries and detailed insights, setting the stage for the evidence to be heard in the coming weeks.

The inquiry is not a criminal or civil trial, nor an adversarial process, emphasizing the importance of public understanding.

There is fierce disagreement on the facts in the case of Operation Delhi, the conspiracy investigation.

An investigation in May 2020 revealed an alleged hacking of Jalter's security systems, leading to the arrest of three men, two of whom were directors.

James Levie, a key figure, voluntarily handed over his devices and was not arrested or charged, with his devices later returned.

McGrael was called into a meeting where the Chief Minister expressed concern over financial liabilities for a potential data breach.

The former commissioner stated that he lost confidence in McGrael after being told he acted on the advice of the Attorney General, which he claims was a lie.

McGrael felt threatened by the Chief Minister and believed the operational matter being questioned was inappropriate.

The inquiry will also address the 2017 standoff at the airport over jurisdiction between the police and the ML, leading to arrests.

The fractured relationship with the Police Federation and findings from a UK police body investigating the RGP will be discussed.

A search carried out by police officers in Alessa resulted in criminal prosecutions against them in Spain.

The death of two men aboard a Spanish RIB suspected of illicit activities following a collision with an RGP vessel is under scrutiny.

The then Governor's repeated requests for McGrael to establish the location of the incident and suspicions of withheld information will be examined.

McGrael pledged to provide full details of the investigation once completed, refuting claims of withholding information.

Lawyers for core participants will make their own initial submissions to the judge, adding further depth to the inquiry.

Transcripts

play00:01

among the most highly anticipated

play00:04

proceedings in recent local history

play00:06

gbc's broadcast of the first day of the

play00:08

mcgrael inquiry was followed with baited

play00:11

breath in every office and establishment

play00:14

with a radio TV or smart device the

play00:17

inquiry's lead Council Julian Santos has

play00:20

been on his feet for nearly 6 hours

play00:23

today he's hand to through a colossal 94

play00:27

witness statements and his open open in

play00:30

submissions were at times broad

play00:32

summaries but sometimes delved into

play00:35

great detail but it's all provided

play00:38

context for the evidence we'll be

play00:41

hearing in the coming weeks so Peter

play00:43

opa's opening words were brief and to

play00:46

the point observing the events of the

play00:49

last few weeks but not dwelling on them

play00:52

and saying he's determined to fulfill

play00:54

his terms of

play00:56

Engagement quite how if at all the the

play01:00

new act will otherwise impact upon the

play01:02

inquiry remains to be

play01:04

seen but it is important that I make

play01:07

abundant to clear that nothing in the

play01:09

new act affects my resolve and indeed my

play01:13

duty under the law to find and Report

play01:16

upon the facts which I am determined to

play01:19

do the floor then passed to the

play01:21

inquiry's lead Council who explained

play01:24

this isn't a criminal or Civil Trial nor

play01:27

is it an adversarial process

play01:30

he said there had been a cacophony of

play01:32

public commentary in recent weeks which

play01:34

had been painful for jalter and it was

play01:37

important to finally ventilate these

play01:40

issues Mr Santos dedicated a large part

play01:43

of his opening submissions to

play01:44

summarizing the evidence already

play01:47

provided by core

play01:49

participants at this point there is in

play01:52

Mr Santos's words Fierce disagreement on

play01:55

the facts in the case of operation Delhi

play01:58

the conspiracy investigation there are

play02:01

some established facts there was an

play02:03

investigation into the alleged hacking

play02:05

of jalter's security systems in May 2020

play02:09

the complainant was James gerero of the

play02:12

Bland group who ran the system and three

play02:15

men were arrested two of them directors

play02:18

of 36 North of which Hassan's owned

play02:23

33% officers attempted to execute search

play02:26

warrants at the offices and home of

play02:29

Hassan senior partner James levie Mr

play02:32

levie agreed to hand over his devices

play02:35

voluntarily he was never arrested or

play02:37

charged and his devices were returned Mr

play02:40

mcgrael was called into a meeting at

play02:43

number six Convent place the following

play02:46

day the chief minister said his only

play02:48

action was to make his views known

play02:51

robustly and even then only after the

play02:54

event had happened he said he was

play02:57

seriously concerned about the financial

play02:58

liabilities on government for a

play03:00

potential data breach and would have

play03:03

reacted in the same way had it been any

play03:05

other senior member of the bar he said

play03:08

the moment he lost confidence in Mr

play03:10

mcgrail was when the former commissioner

play03:12

said he'd acted on the advice of the

play03:14

attorney general which Mr picardo said

play03:17

was a lie that Mr mcgrael no longer

play03:19

enjoyed my confidence and My Views as to

play03:21

the mechanisms to see Mr mcgrael removed

play03:23

and the consequences thereof I recall

play03:26

seeing Mr Levi casc also at this time on

play03:28

one occasion with Mr Vago cas

play03:30

I believe I saw him at my home the

play03:32

security of which is incidentally

play03:34

provided by OSG who have a live video

play03:37

feed um I recall also that Mr levik casc

play03:41

was at this time both incensed but also

play03:43

deeply embarrassed by the EV events of

play03:45

his home and office being searched Mr

play03:48

mcgrael says the chief minister gave him

play03:50

the dressing down of his 36-year career

play03:54

he said he felt Fabian picardo was

play03:56

threatening him and questioning an

play03:58

operational matter which was

play04:00

inappropriate he also said the Attorney

play04:02

General was mistaken in his assertion

play04:05

that any agreement had been reached I

play04:08

left the cabinet room quite shaken and

play04:09

in utter disbelief I'd somehow expected

play04:11

there to be reactions post to the search

play04:13

warrants being executed on JL but I

play04:15

never did I anticipate the level of

play04:17

chastisement I was subjected to I have

play04:20

had a few previous unpleasant encounters

play04:22

with the CM but none reached the levels

play04:24

I experienced on that day Mr Santos made

play04:27

his own submissions and stressed that

play04:30

they were just that submissions to the

play04:32

chairman arguments that the chairman

play04:35

could take into account when making his

play04:37

own findings but they were not binding

play04:40

in any way have identified what we would

play04:42

say in our submission are two key

play04:46

deficiencies in the paces put forward

play04:48

for the search warrants the reason

play04:50

provided by the rgp for seeking a

play04:52

warrant was that because Mr levie was a

play04:54

suspect he was highly likely to destroy

play04:56

evidence that is in our submission

play04:59

unsatisfactory fact and generic and

play05:01

indeed would apply to all suspects and

play05:02

mean that production orders would never

play05:05

be obtained against suspects second

play05:08

there is no power under the CPA to

play05:10

execute a search warrant authorizing

play05:12

entry on premises for the purpose of

play05:13

seizure of Legally privileged material

play05:15

or material including legally privileged

play05:17

material I should make clear that even

play05:20

if it were accepted that there were

play05:21

flaws in the procedure that is not

play05:23

necessarily a justification of this

play05:25

Chief ministers or the Attorney

play05:26

General's subsequent actions it is his

play05:29

only relevant context in March 2020 two

play05:34

men aboard a Spanish rib suspected of

play05:36

being involved in illicit activities

play05:39

died following a collision with an rgp

play05:42

vessel according to Mr Santos the then

play05:45

Governor Nick pile repeatedly asked Mr

play05:48

mcgrael to establish whether the

play05:49

incident had occurred in Spanish Waters

play05:52

and suspected the commissioner was

play05:53

withholding essential information from

play05:55

him he said this was one of the reasons

play05:58

he'd lost confidence in the the

play05:59

commissioner a sentiment echoed by the

play06:02

chief

play06:03

minister but Mr mcgrael contends it was

play06:06

never his intention to withhold anything

play06:09

and had pledged to provide full details

play06:11

once the investigation was completed Mr

play06:14

Santos also addressed other issues which

play06:17

will come before the inquiry a search

play06:19

carried out in Alessa by police officers

play06:22

which resulted in criminal prosecutions

play06:24

against them in Spain the standoff at

play06:27

the airport in 2017 over jurisdiction

play06:31

between the police and the ml to carry

play06:33

out an arrest which led to the arrest of

play06:36

three senior forces members of Staff the

play06:40

fractured relationship with the police

play06:42

Federation and the findings of a UK

play06:45

police body investigating the rgp and an

play06:49

incident in which a helicopter pilot was

play06:54

assaulted tomorrow lawyers acting for

play06:57

some of the core participant

play07:00

will be making their own initial

play07:02

submissions to the

play07:10

judge

Rate This

5.0 / 5 (0 votes)

Related Tags
McGrael InquiryLocal GovernanceSecurity SystemsInvestigationLegal ProceedingsDue ProcessConfidentialityPublic InterestLaw EnforcementGovernment Accountability