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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

This is what it was like in Berlin in 1936


I am struggling with the ongoing coverage of the disciplinary hearings of three police officers, the matter is turning into a farce.

The case law (R. v Metropolitan Police Commissioner) is quite clear; a police officer's first and overriding duty is to uphold the law, even if that means disobeying the direct order of a superior.

We have only to look back to the Nuremburg trials to remain assured that, 'I was only following orders' is not a defence. Gassing Jews because a Crown Advocate says you can, does not make it right, or Lawful.

That the three officers did not take the honourable course and resign immediately is regrettable.

Unfortunately in this island too many are too ready to forget that one is innocent until proven guilty. As an innocent who has suffered such a proceeding I am not unaware of the distress it causes but there should be nothing defamatory about being the subject of a proceeding, all police officers make mistakes, despite what the JEP would normally claim, and these police officers should be fully aware of this.

However in this case, quite openly and clearly the highest Court in the land has stated, without hesitation, that the three police officers involved, were guilty of breaking the law, repeatedly.

Now I may only have an academic interest, but it is quite clear that no Court in Jersey can overrule the Supreme Court. Therefore the three police officers are guilty of committing a crime and there is no further avenue of appeal open to them. We can be assured that had Mr. Warren's trial taken place anywhere other than in this Island the case would have been thrown out. This does not do anything for our reputation internationally.

As guilt has been established it is only possible for them to make a statement in mitigation of their actions and whilst the disciplinary hearing may have decided to take no action, there is no way that an internal police hearing can overrule the Lord Chief Justice and exonerate them from any wrong doing. To suggest otherwise is ludicrous and makes a joke of our judicial system.

This island is becoming increasingly fascist in outlook; the States of Jersey now pay people to inform on their neighbours, the officers of that once great institution are now, it appears, above the Law. Are you living in fear? Unfortunately that is not my style - after all you can only die once and I would rather die than submit to self-oppression through fear.

I wonder if Jersey now is like Berlin in 1936, I think it probably is. I wonder who the lunatic dictator could be?