20 February 2015 | Comments
In view of recent media speculation regarding criminal investigations into former employees of the St Helena Government it is appropriate that I confirm that those investigations have now concluded.
The investigation was instigated by St Helena Police following a family case heard in the Supreme Court where the Chief Justice concluded:
“So troubled am I by what has occurred that I shall direct that a copy of this judgment and addendum be sent to HE The Governor. I shall recommend that experienced independent Counsel should urgently be engaged to review the papers in this case and to advise on whether the evidence is such as to disclose reasonable grounds for suspecting the commission by any member of the Applicant’s staff of any criminal offence pertinent to attempting to pervert the course of justice or perjury.”
HE The Governor followed the Chief Justice’s recommendation and appointed an independent Queen’s Counsel, experienced in family and international matters, to complete the review. It was as a direct result of that review that the St Helena Police Service was requested to undertake an investigation into allegations of criminal conduct. The investigation was led by St Helena Police and supported by Merseyside Police in the UK.
The matters were rigorously and thoroughly investigated. The evidence from this investigation was reviewed by a second independent Counsel, appointed as Public Prosecutor of St Helena specifically to undertake this task. Counsel concluded that some of the actions of the suspected persons were ill-advised, unprofessional and showed poor judgment but that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. Counsel applied the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors as would be applied by the UK Crown Prosecution Service. There will therefore be no criminal charges preferred following this investigation.
The criminal aspects of the investigation are now concluded and relevant evidence in this matter will be shared with the professional regulatory bodies concerned.
20 February 2015