Former Gibraltar Police Commissioner Testifies About Pressure to Retire Amid Tensions

Former Gibraltar police chief Ian McGrail testifies about intense pressure to retire, alleging it came from top officials. Inquiry examines circumstances surrounding his departure as Gibraltar navigates UK-EU treaty negotiations.

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Former Gibraltar Police Commissioner Testifies About Pressure to Retire Amid Tensions

Former Gibraltar Police Commissioner Testifies About Pressure to Retire Amid Tensions

Former Commissioner of the Royal Gibraltar Police, Ian McGrail, testified before an inquiry on Monday about the intense pressure he faced to retire from his position in 2020. McGrail described the pressure as "relentless" and claimed it came from the then Governor, Nick Pyle, as well as the Chief Minister, Attorney General, and Director of Public Prosecutions.

During his testimony, McGrail said he felt he had to be very careful with every step he took, as his wellbeing was being severely affected by the constant pressure. He eventually decided that retiring was the best course of action for Gibraltar, the police force, and himself.

The inquiry hearing saw rising tensions as the Government's lawyer, Sir Peter Caruana, questioned the propriety of McGrail's covert recordings and challenged his characterization of the Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions putting him under pressure. Caruana also questioned McGrail's handling of a death at sea incident, which was cited by the former Governor as a reason for losing confidence in the Commissioner.

McGrail described being berated and threatened by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo over the Royal Gibraltar Police's decision to execute a search warrant at the offices and home of Hassans senior partner James Levy KC as part of an investigation into alleged sabotage of national security.

The Chairman of the inquiry, Sir Peter Openshaw, intervened during the hearing, taking Caruana to task on the length of his questions as tensions mounted.

In a separate development, the UK, Gibraltar, Spain, and the European Commission have agreed on general political lines regarding the airport, goods, and mobility, following a high-level meeting to review progress toward a UK-EU treaty for Gibraltar. Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares stated that negotiators are getting closer to having everything agreed for the treaty.

McGrail's testimony sheds light on the internal pressures and conflicts within Gibraltar's government and police force during his tenure as Commissioner. The inquiry continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding McGrail's retirement and the alleged pressure he faced from high-ranking officials.

Key Takeaways

  • Former Gibraltar police chief Ian McGrail testified about intense pressure to retire
  • McGrail claimed pressure came from Governor, Chief Minister, Attorney General, and DPP
  • Tensions rose as government lawyer questioned McGrail's actions and recordings
  • Gibraltar, UK, Spain, and EU agreed on general political lines for airport, goods, mobility
  • Inquiry continues to investigate circumstances around McGrail's retirement and alleged pressure