Inquiry to ask if ex-MP accused of child abuse was protected by police, prosecutors and politicians

By Ciaran Fagan
Leicester Mercury
October 12, 2020

The veteran politician's family insist he was innocent of any wrongdoing
Photo by Jonathan Brady

The late Greville Janner

[with video]

Allegations against the late Greville Janner first surfaced when he was a Leicester MP

The official inquiry into multiple - and decades-old - child sexual abuse allegations against a former Leicester politician is to begin today.

The three-week hearing in London will examine how Leicestershire Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and other public bodies handled the allegations against the ex-MP and later peer, Greville Janner.

In particular, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, (IICSA), will seek to establish whether the senior Labour politician received preferential treatment because of his political and social status and, as a consequence, was never put on trial.

Parts of the hearing will go ahead behind closed doors to protect the identities of alleged victims.

Lord Janner was accused of multiple sexual offences against boys between 1963 and 1988 but died shortly before Christmas 2015, aged 87.

His death ended the prospect of his alleged victims’ evidence ever being tested in a criminal court.

His family insist he is innocent of all allegations.

However, an official report later prepared by a retired High Court judge concluded that three chances to put the former Leicester West MP on trial for child abuse were missed because of mistakes by the police or prosecutors.

The independent inquiry was asked by the Government to consider how the allegations were handled by the authorities in Leicestershire and beyond.

The Janner investigation is one of a number of strands of its investigations into allegations of sexual abuse by significant public figures, including those within children’s homes and the Catholic and Anglican churches and in the Houses of Parliament.

Other organisations providing evidence to the inquiry include the Labour Party and Leicestershire County Council, which ran the children's homes where many of the alleged victims were living at the time.

In a statement, the inquiry said: "This hearing will examine whether the Labour politician’s public prominence led to deferential treatment from institutions including Leicestershire Police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Leicestershire County Council and the Labour Party.

"Issues relating to the anonymity of a witness mean that the majority of the hearing will be held in closed session.

"There will be no public access, live stream or transcript for the closed sessions, although a summary will be provided.

"Lord Janner was facing 22 charges of child sexual abuse offences, relating to nine different boys, but was deemed too ill to stand criminal trial.

"He died in 2015 before a trial of the facts could take place."In his 2016 report into CPS decision-making, retired judge Sir Richard Henriques concluded that three opportunities were missed to prosecute Lord Janner for indecent assault and buggery, as it then was.

"This investigation will consider whether any attempts were made to exert improper influence in order to hinder or prevent an institution from effectively responding to the allegations against Lord Janner.

"It will not examine individual allegations."



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