Press release 12th Mar 2024

Transparency campaigners urge due process in Gibraltar corruption inquiry

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Related Publication

The McGrail Inquiry set to examine the events surrounding the retirement of former Chief Commissioner of the Royal Gibraltar Police

  • Statement from Transparency International UK for immediate release (12 March 2024).
  • For more information or interviews contact Jon Narcross, Senior UK Media and Communications Manager (020 3096 7695) 

Transparency International UK has warned against threats to the independence of an inquiry examining serious allegations of corruption at highest level of the Government of Gibraltar.     

The McGrail Inquiry is set to examine the facts relating to allegations of corruption surrounding the retirement of former Chief Commissioner of the Royal Gibraltar Police Ian McGrail [1].

Mr McGrail claimed he was pressured into taking early retirement in June 2020 after seeking to execute a search warrant against an associate of the territory’s Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo. Mr Picardo denies these allegations. [2]

After several delays hearings are due to begin next month; however, last week the authorities published a new bill governing public inquiries which could give the Gibraltar Government powers to stop the inquiry before it concludes. [3]

The bill is set to be passed next week under emergency legislation powers – bypassing the normal six-week wait for bills to be debated by Gibraltar’s Parliament.

The Gibraltar Government claims it is introducing this legislation to align with the UK’s Inquiries Act 2005, however the UK law received Royal Assent almost two decades ago, with the timing of the bill raising suspicion that it is intended to undermine the McGrail Inquiry.

Responding to reports of political interference in the inquiry, Daniel Bruce, Chief Executive of Transparency International UK said:

“The purpose of this inquiry is to establish the facts surrounding the early retirement of Gibraltar’s former Police Commissioner. Proceedings are due to start in earnest this April, which include hearing serious allegations of corruption that reach the highest level of office in this British Overseas Territory.

“Any attempt to fetter the independence of the inquiry, obstruct its timely progress, or unduly influence witnesses would severely undermine confidence in the quality of Gibraltar’s governance. Due process must take its course without fear or favour.”


Notes to editors:

[1] In February 2022, Her Majesty’s Governor of Gibraltar established a commission of inquiry into the reasons and circumstances of his early retirement:



The Commission held initial preliminary hearings in June 2022, and issued a call for evidence in September of that year:

Subsequent preliminary hearings and the main hearing have been delayed due to a data breach, which resulted in a request for assistance from UK law enforcement.

On 1 March 2024, the inquiry stated it would be investigating allegations that evidence it had received was given in return for incentives: