LETTER FROM LENNY HARPER TO JERSEY’S CHIEF MINISTER TERRY LE SUEUR

Relates to:
Date: 2009-02-09

Dear Chief Minister,

Thank you for your letter of 23 December. I am sorry for the delay in replying. However, can I now inform you that I no longer require the copy of the e mail in which Bill Ogley reprimanded me for considering the financial costs of the Abuse Enquiry and in which he told me that the cost was irrelevant.

In respect of the second e mail, may I give you the brief background? This was an e mail sent by me on 2nd May in which I outlined the findings of the Anthropologist Andrew Chamberlain in respect of bones being sent to him which appeared to be human juvenile and burnt and buried shortly after death. He did not identify any particular part of the body. I quoted from his report verbatim. The quotes in the Mail were inaccurate and had obviously been invented in places. A Mail journalist told me that your predecessor’s office had leaked the e mail. It is difficult to see how else the Mail could have got it. Unfortunately this time there is no tape recorded conversation implicating a Jersey Minister. In any event, the e mail can only have been falsified by either the Chief Minister’s office or the journalist. Another Sunday newspaper has carried out enquiries on this matter, including speaking to Mr Chamberlain who accepts that I was misquoted and who states that he was never shown the actual e mail and that he never heard me say anything contrary to his findings. He has made other comments to the journalist which will no doubt appear in the forthcoming article. My instinct tells me that it was the journalist who falsified the e mail but in the face of your refusal to assist, the opposite impression endures. Those are the reasons for which I ask for the e mail. I fail to see how it can be a breach of policy when the e mail has already been (wrongly) quoted in the media. One good reason under law for disclosing communication is to correct a public mis-perception. This would seem to fit that criteria perfectly.

Yours sincerely

Leonard Harper.

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