DPP Rocca Testifies at McGrail Inquiry on Operation Delhi Investigation

The Gibraltar McGrail Inquiry examines the resignation of the former Police Commissioner amid an investigation into alleged hacking and sabotage, raising questions about the independence of law enforcement in the territory.

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DPP Rocca Testifies at McGrail Inquiry on Operation Delhi Investigation

DPP Rocca Testifies at McGrail Inquiry on Operation Delhi Investigation

Christian Rocca, KC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, provided evidence to the McGrail Inquiry on Friday regarding Operation Delhi, a key investigation into the alleged hacking and sabotage of Gibraltar's National Security Centralised Intelligence System (NSCIS). Rocca stated that it was always up to the Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) how to deal with senior Hassans partner James Levy, KC, when he was a suspect in the case.

The ongoing public inquiry is examining the sudden resignation of Ian McGrail as Gibraltar's Commissioner of Police in 2020 during Operation Delhi. Both McGrail and the lead investigator, Superintendent Paul Richardson, had pushed for a search warrant of Levy's home and office due to concerns about the destruction of evidence. Levy, a close friend of Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, denied deleting WhatsApp messages from his phone, claiming it had 'collapsed' and he couldn't restore the texts.

McGrail alleges that pressure to leave from the then Governor, Nick Pyle, had begun during the investigation into the hacking of the national security system. However, government parties refuted this, stating McGrail retired because he had lost the confidence of the Governor and the Chief Minister.

Why this matters: The McGrail Inquiry's investigation into Operation Delhi and the circumstances surrounding the former Police Commissioner's early retirement raises important questions about the handling of high-profile cases and the independence of law enforcement in Gibraltar. The outcome of the inquiry could have significant implications for public trust in the justice system and the governance of the British overseas territory.

Rocca told the Inquiry that while he felt a search warrant was not the appropriate way to proceed, the police were free from influence on operational matters. He described his evolving view of Levy's involvement, initially seeing it as "sharp business practice" and later considering him a person of interest. Rocca emphasized that he did not provide any information on operational matters to the Chief Minister and was shocked to learn that McGrail had secretly recorded meetings. The inquiry, which started on 8 April, is expected to continue into May.

Key Takeaways

  • DPP Rocca testified on Operation Delhi, an investigation into Gibraltar's security system hacking.
  • Inquiry examines resignation of ex-Police Commissioner McGrail during Operation Delhi investigation.
  • Rocca said he did not advise against search warrant on Levy, a suspect and Picardo's friend.
  • McGrail alleges pressure from Governor led to his resignation, but government disputes this.
  • Inquiry raises questions about handling of high-profile cases and law enforcement independence.