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Police chief's suspension 'justified' say ex-ministers

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TWO former ministers have stood by a decision to suspend the police chief in 2008, after transcripts of previously secret debates were released to the public.

Former Chief Minister Frank Walker and former Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis both said that the decision to suspend Graham Power was 'justified' and that evidence relating to an interim report from the Metropolitan police was not crucial in the process.

Mr Power was suspended in 2008 following a letter sent to senior States officials by the then-deputy police chief David Warcup, which accused the police chief of a number of failings during Operation Rectangle – the police investigation into historic child abuse which was launched covertly in 2007 – and referenced the interim report.

Deputy Lewis has been accused of misleading the States by citing the Met police report while being questioned by the Assembly despite having publicly stated that he had not seen the interim review prior to Mr Power's suspension and that it had only played a small part in the decision-making process. There have also been claims that proper procedure was not followed.

Mr Walker, giving evidence to the inquiry last week, said that the Met report had not been a major factor and that the weight of evidence provided by Mr Warcup meant that Mr Power had to be suspended.

However, in a transcript of an in-camera debate, which was released yesterday following a States decision to grant access to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, Deputy Lewis appears to suggest that the interim Met report had been a factor in the decision.

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