Senator arrested over data breach

April 6, 2009 / BBC News

A Jersey States politician has been arrested over allegations of breaching data protection laws.

Police arrested Senator Stuart Syvret at an address in Grouville shortly after 0900 BST.

The 43-year-old senator and former health minister is currently in custody helping police with their inquiries.

A spokeswoman for Jersey Police confirmed that a 43-year-old man had been arrested in connection with alleged breaches of data.

Inquiry call

Senator Syvret was an outspoken critic of the establishment's handling of the police investigation in the island into claims of child abuse from the 1960s to 1980s.

In 2007 he was dismissed from his post as Minister for Health and Social Services after claiming abuse cases were being covered up.

The investigation focused on the former Haut de la Garenne children's home.

Hundreds of ex-residents contacted detectives with details of alleged sexual and violent assaults.

Senator Syvret, who called for both an independent inquiry and for court cases to be held on the UK mainland, was accused by the Chief Minister, Frank Walker, of damaging Jersey's reputation.

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Syvret and his response....

According to press-reports, Syvret was not charged and, after a day in custody, he was released "pending further inquiries".

He said officers searched his home and he was kept in a police cell all day other than for a two-hour interview. He claims the police did not have a warrant to search his property and believes the arrest was politically motivated.

Mr Syvret said: "The whole exercise was designed to intimidate and harass me and to intimidate the whistle-blowers who give me information. This was an act of oppression against the person who is leading the opposition to the establishment on this island.

"I am certainly going to seriously contemplate a legal action of my own because of this.

"This is what happens to anyone on Jersey who rocks the boat - you get clobbered."

More can be read at Syvret's blog (Arrested:  I've escaped from the cops).

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