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High profile public inquiry starts into sudden departure of Gibraltar's Police Commissioner
Public inquiry

High profile public inquiry starts into sudden departure of Gibraltar's Police Commissioner

Ian McGrail's early retirement during a major investigation in 2020 came as a surprise to many as he was only in the post two years

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Gibraltar

Friday, 12 April 2024, 13:30

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On Monday this week the public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Ian McGrail as Gibraltar's Commissioner of Police in June 2020 began. The inquiry and the intrigue behind it has drawn widespread media interest beyond the Rock.

The inquiry into the reasons that led to McGrail stepping down to take early retirement after only two years in the post is chaired by retired English High Court judge Sir Peter Openshaw and, after several delays, is scheduled to last five weeks.

McGrail maintains he was pressured to leave early because his officers wanted to search the offices and home of a friend of Chief Minister Fabian Picardo. The suggestion is that somebody in Gibraltar's government was attempting to cover something up.

Gibraltar has denied this but last week its government issued a restraint notice under new powers so that some of the evidence from the inquiry would not be made public.

It said that only a small number of documents would be affected that could damage vital public interests, both security and of a wider nature, including Gibraltar's economic interests.

Lost confidence

In April last year McGrail was held but acquitted over a suspected sexual assault after an investigation into an alleged attack on a female police officer in 2018. He was previously arrested in March 2023 in connection with a public inquiry regarding a data breach but also released.

The Gibraltar government has always maintained that McGrail retired early from his top police job because the Chief Minister and Governor had lost confidence in him.

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