The Government notes the comments made yesterday to the media by the lawyers acting for the Former Commissioner of Police, Mr Ian McGrail.
The Government entirely rejects the outrageous comments made by Mr McGrail’s lawyer, Mr Charles Gomez, in so far as his allegation that Mr McGrail is, somehow, facing an uneven contest between himself and ‘the Establishment’.
The claim that an uneven contest exists between the Establishment and an individual citizen, cannot be allowed to pass unnoticed and must be corrected immediately.
In fact, contrary to the fanciful suggestion of any uneven contest, the reality is that Mr McGrail’s legal representation for the Inquiry, which HE called for, includes very experienced UK King’s Counsel and this representation is being entirely funded by the taxpayer, at huge public expense.
This ensures that Mr McGrail has the necessary support to present his case effectively and is able to provide a comprehensive account of his version of events in the Inquiry he called for and which is being funded for him by the taxpayer at the cost of millions of pounds.
The provision of legal representation funded by the taxpayer further emphasises the Government’s commitment to fairness and equal opportunity in the McGrail Inquiry for all parties before the Inquiry, not just Mr McGrail.
The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo KC MP, said: “The comments made to the media by Mr McGrail’s legal team about an uneven contest between Mr McGrail and the establishment is entirely false and disgraceful. It is an allegation that I cannot allow to go unchallenged. There is an Inquiry because Mr McGrail called for it. There have been criminal charges against Mr McGrail before the Inquiry HE called for referred statements to the Royal Gibraltar Police. Mr McGrail’s legal counsel for the inquiry, which HE called for, are being entirely funded by the taxpayer and will cost the public millions of pounds. There can therefore not, by any stretch of the imagination, be said to be any uneven contest whatsoever. What there is, is an open and transparent process under a retired UK judge to get to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, however uncomfortable that may now be for Mr McGrail, who called for the Inquiry in the first place. I would urge Mr McGrail’s legal team to consider carefully any public comments made to this effect, as not only are they untrue, but they can also be hugely damaging to Gibraltar given that they represent a false picture of a conspiracy against Mr McGrail which is worse than fictitious and is being used politically against the Government and me personally for the party political advantage of my opponents who have close links to Mr McGrail’s lawyers.”