THE Chief Minister has requested an independent review into the unlawful raid of premises allegedly linked to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
Deputy Kristina Moore has asked for the review to be conducted in relation to an ongoing investigation led by Jersey’s Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit, which raided two properties in April this year – seizing documents and devices.
Following the raids, more than $7 billion worth of assets suspected to be connected to Mr Abramovich were frozen by the Royal Court by means of a formal order, known as a saisie judiciaire.
After submitting questions to the Judicial Greffe, the JEP has seen a copy of a consent order dated 9 November, in which police chief Robin Smith acknowledged that the search warrants were obtained ‘unlawfully’.
He agreed that the warrants ‘should be quashed’ and that a ‘private apology’ be issued in addition to an undisclosed payment for the damages.
He also confirmed the evidence seized in the raid had been destroyed.
In a statement released this afternoon, Chief Minister Kristina Moore said: ‘One of Jersey’s strengths is our high-quality judicial system, which alongside a highly regulated professional services industry, has assured the Island’s position and reputation as an internationally respected and well-regulated jurisdiction.
‘The Government requires all Jersey authorities to adhere to the highest international standards, including the most stringent checks and balances.’
She added: ‘I have therefore requested an independent review is undertaken following recent media reports relating to an ongoing investigation led by Jersey’s Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit within the Law Officers’ Department. This will ensure any lessons learned can be considered and implemented in the most expedient manner.’
However, she said she did not think the matter would impact the ongoing legal proceedings.
‘I should be clear that the Jersey authorities will never make funds available to anyone designated under UK or UN sanctions. Our sanctions authority acts without fear or favour and all sanctioned individuals have access to proper licence arrangements,’ she added.