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19th April 2024, 19:10

McGrail Inquiry - 'Unorthodox' warrant execution attempt created problem, says DPP

Published by GBC News

The Director of Public Prosecutions has told the McGrail Inquiry the way police attempted to execute a search warrant on James Levy KC was unorthodox, and created a problem which then had to be addressed.

Christian Rocca KC said the police were free from influence at all times on operational matters, although a search warrant in his opinion wasn’t an appropriate way to proceed.

Operation Delhi was a police investigation into the alleged hacking of the national security system.

The Inquiry is investigating the early retirement of former Commissioner Ian McGrail.

Christian Rocca said his relationship with the police, its commissioner and the officers involved in Operation Delhi was a good once. He spoke highly of the officers involved.

He said he expressed a preference for a less intrusive production order rather than a search warrant, but that the police was free to proceed however they saw fit.

The Director of public prosecutions said he had described Mr Levy’s conduct to police at an early stage as ‘sharp business practice’ and ‘not criminal’. But Mr Rocca said he later believed Mr Levy was a person of interest - and understandable for the RGP to consider him a suspect. He said the decision to proceed with a search warrant was defendable.

Mr Rocca said he had never provided any information on operational matters to the Chief Minister, and that Fabian Picardo has never sought to contact him about any criminal investigation.

Mr Rocca said he felt shocked and betrayed when he learned Mr McGrail had secretly recorded meetings with five people in the room. He said he wasn’t in Mr McGrail’s mind, but believed a secret recording could never be justified.

Mr Rocca told the Inquiry the manner of the execution of the warrant was a bit unorthodox, and that this was a part of the problem.

He said it was odd to obtain a warrant, then negotiate a warrant with the suspect, then leave the suspect for 9 hours. The matter came up again when Mr Rocca was questioned by the police’s lawyer, Nick Cruz.

Mr Rocca said he has never been a mouthpiece for anyone – he said the Attorney General was a well-regarded and respected silk, and to his knowledge had never attempted to influence the police’s operational matters.

The Inquiry now takes a break from the public sessions, and its lawyers will have a few reading days. It will return on Thursday to hear evidence from the Attorney General, Michael Llamas KC.