Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar has today convened a Public Inquiry, under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, into the retirement of the former Commissioner of Police, Mr Ian McGrail (‘the Inquiry’). A Legal Notice, containing the ‘Issue of Commission’ which is the document under the Public Seal of Gibraltar which formally convenes the Inquiry, has been published this afternoon.
Given the circumstances into which the Inquiry will inquire, the Chief Minister has asked his Excellency the Governor, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel KBE, DL, to independently identify a retired High Court to Chair the Inquiry.
The Governor has identified Sir Peter Openshaw, DL, a retired High Court Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division in England and Wales, who has agreed to Chair the Inquiry.
The Inquiry will inquire, as Sir Peter Openshaw, DL, shall, in his absolute discretion consider appropriate, into the reasons and circumstances leading to Mr Ian McGrail ceasing to be Commissioner of Police in June 2020 by taking early retirement.
Sir Peter Openshaw, DL, is to ascertain the facts and report to the Government on the above matters.
The full report will be published by the Government, subject only to such redactions as Sir Peter Openshaw, DL, may himself consider appropriate.
Except insofar as Sir Peter Openshaw, DL, may determine, the Inquiry will be held in public at a venue, and to commence on a date, to be specified by the Government by notice in the Gazette.
The dates for commencement of the Inquiry will depend entirely on the availability of Sir Peter Openshaw, DL, and Counsel.
Further information about the conduct of the Inquiry, evidence to be taken by it and procedure etc, will be published and communicated to parties by the Inquiry itself in the usual way.
Gibraltarian Barrister in independent practice in London and Gibraltar, Julian Santos, has been appointed as Counsel to the Inquiry.
The Government has appointed Sir Peter Caruana KCMG, QC, to represent it before the Inquiry.
The Chief Minister said: ‘As the COVID waters start to recede it is time to start this Inquiry. I also expect to soon be able to convene the COVID inquiry. In the context of this Inquiry, and to guarantee independence and perception of independence, I have asked the Governor to identify a retired High Court judge of England and Wales. Additionally, I have asked Sir David to sign the Commission establishing the Inquiry, under the Public Seal of Gibraltar. I look forward to receiving and publishing the findings of the Inquiry.’