Thursday, September 13, 2012

An S.O.S. from the people of tax haven Jersey

Cross-posted from Treasure Islands:

A petition has been launched which is introduced as follows:

"Leah McGrath Goodman is an American investigative journalist, author and former UK resident who began researching reports of the breakdown of the rule of law in Jersey – a British Crown Dependency and one of the world’s leading offshore tax havens."

Her particular interest is the Haut de la Garenne child abuse scandal and repressive cover-up -- involving the smearing of critics, which I've described elsewhere. Now what happens when you go to a tax haven to try and research a scandal? Well, there's no final proof of who did what, but it's a sure bet that she was targeted by the Jersey authorities for being so impudent:

"Ms. Goodman successfully conducted her research until 11 September 2011, when the UK Border Agency detained her at the request of the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service. Absent any charges, Ms. Goodman was fingerprinted, photographed and stripped of her passport, phone, wallet and possessions and held in the basement of Heathrow Airport for more than 12 hours – past the legal limit – without access to a lawyer or the U.S. consulate. The UK Border Agency copied her papers without her consent and questioned her about her work in Jersey before sending her back to the U.S. In January 2012, the Border Agency then sent Ms. Goodman a letter informing her it had taken the additional step of banning her from entering the UK Common Travel Area for two years, but did not explain the reason for this action. It denied her the right to an appeal."

Trevor Pitman, a brave and outspoken Deputy of the States of Jersey, had this to say about her case, backing the petition:

As a member of Jersey’s parliament, I have been witness to the extensive efforts made by Jersey’s government to keep the international press at bay and guard against even the slightest further marring of its public image. Jersey may be one of the world's leading offshore financial centres, but it still operates much like a mini-politburo, claiming to be a “democracy” but seeking to discredit and even suppress media and Web content; redacting court and legislative records; forcing policemen and elected officials out of their jobs while denying them due process – and, now, seeking to gag the international press so no one will know about it. With our checks and balances duly hamstrung, the international media may be our last hope for reclaiming our democracy and re-establishing the rule of law.

The piece is well worth reading in full, and it finishes like this:

On behalf of the people of Jersey, this is quite literally an S.O.S.

UK Member of Parliament John Hemming tables motion in support of this petition:

The Guardian: Jersey's secrecy culture and interview with Leah McGrath Goodman:

BBC: Interview with Leah McGrath Goodman:

Leah McGrath Goodman: Anarchy in the UK?

#FreeJersey: A Small Island Fights For Its Democracy:

All evidence suggests that there has been an attack on a U.S. journalist, though of course carried out in a way that it's impossible to point the finger at anyone definitively. Jersey has oceans of past form in this respect.

Act now, and sign the petition. This is just the snout of a gigantic black iceberg of global corruption.


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