Stuart Syvret to be charged over Jersey child abuse blog
The politician who drew attention to the island’s child abuse scandal has been charged under the Data Protection Act. Stuart Syvret, 44, was charged the day after the island’s authorities announced on Tuesday that no action would be taken against 11 people accused of child sex offences.
The charges relate to articles written on his internet blog, one of which allegedly contained personal details taken from a confidential police report. Mr Syvret, a senator in the island’s government, was arrested in April when his home was raided by officers who interviewed and released him pending further inquiries. He was called back to police headquarters on Wednesday evening and is due to appear at Jersey Magistrates’ Court next Thursday.
Mr Syvret has been an outspoken critic of the way the island’s establishment has dealt with allegations of abuse at children’s homes dating back to the 1970s and 1980s. In 2007 he was dismissed from his post as Minister for Health and Social Services after claiming that abuse cases were being covered up.
A police investigation into the Haut de la Garenne children’s home, where hundreds of former residents claimed that they were sexually and violently assaulted, has so far led to charges against two people.
Mr Syvret, who called for both an independent inquiry and for court cases to be held in Britain, had been accused by the former Chief Minister, Frank Walker, of damaging Jersey’s reputation. After his arrest in April he said the action against him was politically motivated and he was considering legal action against the police.
Mr Syvret denies he has done anything wrong and says his actions were in the public interest.
He said: “I can’t see the charges standing up before any competent and just court. Whether there is the faintest chance of getting that on Jersey remains to be seen.”