Roman Abramovich: No comment from Jersey's Attorney General on unlawful office raids

- Advertisement -

THE Attorney General has said he is unable to comment on disciplinary proceedings in his department – after questions about unlawful raids were raised in the States Assembly.

During yesterday’s sitting, Mark Temple maintained it was ‘very important’ that live criminal investigations were not subjected to ‘political interference’.

He made the comments after Reform Jersey Deputy Sam Mézec asked him what he was doing to ensure his department – and those who operate under it – ‘abide by the rule of law’.

Deputy Mézec, who chairs the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel, has told the JEP his question related to the unlawful raids on premises allegedly linked to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

Mr Temple said: ‘All employees within the Law Officers Department abide by the rule of law and would be liable to disciplinary proceedings if they did not, in accordance with the relevant disciplinary procedure. Further, the Law Officers Department is annually inspected by an independent assessor – Lexcel – which is an accredited organisation. Lexcel’s accreditation of the department was renewed last month.’

Court documents released to the JEP and Bailiwick Express earlier this month confirmed that search warrants, used by police officers seconded to the Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit, were ‘obtained unlawfully’.

At an unpublicised Royal Court hearing, police chief Robin Smith agreed to apologise to two applicants – whose lawyers’ names were blacked out on the document provided to the paper.

The applicants, referred to as XY and A Ltd, are understood to be local financial services firms allegedly linked to Mr Abramovich and were reported by news agency Reuters as being the two companies searched.

Mr Temple said: ‘In so far as the Deputy’s question relates to the XY judicial review proceedings, which were the subject of press comment earlier this month, I regret that I cannot comment further as it relates to a live criminal investigation.’

Deputy Mézec said the Attorney General’s reassurances – that Law Officers Department employees abide by the rule of law – stood ‘at odds’ with the documented admission that there had been an unlawful search.

Mr Temple responded: ‘As I have just said, this relates to a live criminal investigation – it is very important that live criminal investigations are not subject to political interference in the work of law-enforcement authorities. I am not going to comment on any disciplinary proceedings either of the police or in my department, and I regret I cannot answer the Deputy’s question any further for the reasons I have just explained.’

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.