By Christopher Stanley Litigation Consultant KRW LAW LLP Belfast.
Last year I wrote piece for Village called The Accused and the Accusers: If Not Now, When? There,I offered an analysis of the proceedings of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry (IICSA) in relation to its investigation into the allegations of child sexual abuse against former British Labour MP Greville Janner (Lord Janner of Braunstone QC). (Braunstone is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, giving a population of “two sokemen and four villeins”).
Child sexual abuse whether within a public (institutional/official) or private (familial/domestic) setting occurs behind closed doors. Part of the power/violence of the abuser is the assumption of or enforcement of silence upon the abused. The abused is made mute even though their abuse may be known by many who either decide not to intervene or are themselves objects/subjects of abuse.
It is ironic therefore that on the 12 October 2020 IICSA commenced its ‘public’ hearings under the title “Institutional responses to allegations of child sexual abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC”. Public hearings about silenced acts in private spaces from muted voices.
These hearings were subject to a Restriction Order under Section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005. Restriction Orders and Notices were controversial additions to the Inquiries Act 2005 as they have the effect of running counter to the principles of transparency and openness in the administration of justice and due process.
A Restriction Order denies the public access to the hearing (in whole or in part), it denies the public access to the oral and written evidence (in whole or in part) and it restricts an inquiry from publishing a complete report of Conclusion and Recommendations (in whole or in part). It excludes the public gaze. It can also appear to exclude or silence the victims if an investigation is examining a matter such as systemic institutional abuse where the testimony of the victims is core to testing the allegations.
The IICSA accepted the need for anonymity of victims:
“As a matter of law in this country, a complainant who makes an allegation of sexual abuse is entitled to lifelong anonymity. The right to anonymity is enshrined in section 1(1) of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992. This prevents any matter being published, which includes, for these purposes, references in a speech or in writing, about the complainant which might enable the public to identify them as being someone against whom a sexual offence has been said to have been committed.”
Open Session 12 October 2020 page 20
A distinction needs to be made for the sake of clarity.
When identifying witnesses there are those witnesses who are the victims of Janner’s alleged sexual abuse. They are identified by the IICSA as the Complainant Core Participants. These witnesses speak through their witness statements and through their legal representatives. They may waive their anonymity.
Then there are those witnesses who represent institutions, police officers, prosecutors, politicians. They cannot waive their anonymity but give their oral evidence either in Open or Closed session.
Evidence of several witnesses is read into the Record of the Hearings.
The ‘institutional witnesses’ are identified by their Name in the Timetable of the Hearings but become Witness 1 in the Open Summary of the Closed Session. For example, Matthew Baggott 26 October 2020 of the IICSA hearing becomes Witness 2 in the Open Summary of the Closed Session of 26 October 2020.
I refer you to the Timetable for Week 1 Closed Session (1). There were 17 morning and afternoon sessions timetabled. 13 were Closed Session. The Witnesses being heard were either from members of the police service or from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The Timetable for Week 2 commenced hearing evidence from more police officers or prosecutors Closed Session (2).The Timetable for Week 3 Closed Session (3) heard evidence from the police and members of the Labour Party including former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Janner (dead) cannot be a witness save through the venting anger of his family.
No victims’ voices are heard save by way of their witness statements and the voices of their legal representatives.
Some victims may not want to speak or accept they can be spoken for, but some may want to be heard in their own voice either as themselves or as their ciphered selves.
The List of Core Participants identified in the IICSA include 28 ciphered persons in the Janner Investigation. These are victims or as IISCA identifies them the Complainant Core Participants. They are Janner’s Accusers.
“6. In summary, I have concluded that, by reason of the allegations they have made, all the complainant core participants have (and, for the avoidance of doubt, continue to have) a significant interest in the matters under investigation.”
“10. Messrs Janner and Butler are wrong to say that only three of the complainant core participants had made allegations of abuse against Lord Janner at the time that the Inquiry was established. On the Inquiry’s present understanding of the evidence, 19 of the 33 complainant core participants had made such allegations to the Police by the time that the Inquiry was established in March 2015.”
But the only ‘live’ voices in these virtual hearings were from the Corridors of Power (Westminster) which Janner stalked, or those institutions charged with investigating the allegations against him (the Labour Party, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), and Local Authorities).
The Chair of IICSA must have been relieved that there were hearings at given the resistance and protestations of the family of Greville Janner which I examined in my earlier piece.
In a spirit of transparency IISCA has published certain documents referenced or relied upon in its investigation.
For example, “Charges brought against Lord Janner in 2015” including:
“6. INDECENT ASSAULT on a Male Person contrary to section 15 (1) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 (multiple incidents – forced JA-A27 to perform oral sex on him) Between 21 November 1972 and 22 December 1975”
There were 22 charges.
“Summary of child sexual abuse allegations made by complainant core participants and the institutional response concerning the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC”
“JA-A41 1969 – 1970 Allegation of buggery at a flat in London (Dolphin Square) Referred to the police by the IICSA. Video interviewed July 2018. JA-41 states that he did not tell anyone at the time as he was homeless having run away from a care home. JA-A41 states that he also suffered abuse at the care home and thus had no one he could turn to or trust. “So, there was no opportunity or person I could have told.”
“JA-A1 August 1987 – Summer 1988 Alleged buggery and indecent assault at two children’s home. Video interviewed in June and November 2013. Advice file provided to the CPS in July 2014. Charged. JA-A1 states that he felt responsible and to blame and so tried to “bury the awful memories of finding it too shameful and embarrassing to talk to anyone.” INQ006312
There are 13 pages of containing 33 allegations. 19 of these allegations were referred to the CPS.
Counsel to the Inquiry (CTI) took the allegation made by JA-A41 and analysed it in terms of the controversial ‘barrier to disclosure’ which appears to undermine the credibility of the accuser in relation to the accused:
“Moving now to the second entry in the 1960s, JA-A41. 24 Date of alleged offending: 1969 to 1970. The summary of 25 allegations — and this runs between the first and the second page: Lord Janner allegation of buggery at a flat in London, in particular Dolphin Square. The date of disclosure: the matter was referred to the police by this inquiry and the complainant was video interviewed in July 2018. The response to his disclosure was, in effect, it came to nothing because Lord Janner died in December 2015. His barrier to disclosure was, he states that he didn’t tell anyone about this at the time as he was homeless, having run away from a care home. A41 states 1that he also suffered abuse at the care home and thus had no-one he could turn to or trust. “So there was just no opportunity or person I could have told”.
One important matter to note is the summary given of why many of these allegations were not reported contemporaneously. Delays in the reporting of allegations of child sexual abuse is a theme that cuts across the entirety of this inquiry’s work. You will see, as we have, from the column entitled “Barrier to disclosure” that there are myriad reasons why the complainants say that they didn’t make their disclosures at the time. The reasons include feelings of fear, shame, embarrassment and confusion about what the complainant says happened or concern by the child that they would not be believed, particularly in circumstances where they were resident in a children’s home, as we have seen from the “Barrier to disclosure” column in the table I just took you to. This table therefore feeds into the wider work of the inquiry.”
Open Session 12 October 2020 pages 16 – 20
In a spirit of transparency and openness IICSA has published “Open Summary of Closed Session”
For example, on the 21 October 2020:
“The witness acknowledged thinking that it was a possibility that JA-A19 was lying, but said that despite this scepticism he did not dismiss JA-A19’s allegations and did not seek to influence any of the other officers or the investigation. The witness denied comments made by another officer (in a witness statement produced in 2018), that officers in Operation Magnolia had made comments about complainants, such as ‘he’s just a piss head’ and ‘he’s in prison so must be a scumbag’. The witness pointed out that the same officer had also stated that the officers involved in Operation Magnolia were not biased.”
“The witness also gave evidence about a further complaint against Lord Janner, made by a complainant, JA-A6. He said that he had prepared a witness statement detailing JA-A6’s allegations, but like JA-A19, JA-A6 was considered to fall outside of the parameters of Operation Magnolia. He said that as a result, potential actions including an interview with Lord Janner, were ‘pended’. He explained this meant that the actions were queued pending an instruction from the SIO or Deputy SIO as to whether the action should be completed or not. The witness stated that at the time he thought it was the right decision not to interview Lord Janner.”
This witness was a former Sergeant with Leicestershire Police. He is Witness 1 “OPEN summary of CLOSED session 21 October 2020” and is identified as James Sidney Wynne Operation Magnolia “Timetable for week 2 of the public hearing commencing on 19 October 2020”
Open Summary of Closed Session 21 October 2020
For example, on 26 October 2020:
“The witness said that in earlier investigations the police’s approach to allegations of child sexual abuse was different to the current approach. He said the culture, at divisional level, was to get as many cases detected as possible and there was not “… any focus whatsoever” on child sexual abuse investigations. He said it wasn’t seen as ‘real’ crime as it “… didn’t tick the target boxes”. The witness said that when proposals were made to give investigative training and detective status to those investigating child protection cases, there had been a “kickback” by detective officers and the changes weren’t supported by the force. He described this ‘kickback’ as “horrific”. The witness said that “… by and large” children were not believed and the “… tragedy that haunted” him was that police officers had taken children back to children’s homes where they were being abused. He described a culture in which the police would also “… close down” investigations once they had sufficient complainants to bring a prosecution, without examining other complainants that may have come forwards.”
This witness was a former Chief Constable. He is Witness 2 “OPEN summary of CLOSED session 26 October 2020” and is identified as a former Chief Constbale of Leicestershire Police Matthew Baggott “Timetable for week 2 of the public hearing commencing on 19 October 2020” (also the former Chief Constable of the PSNI).
Open Summary of Closed Session 26 October 2020
In her Determination to proceed with this investigation, the Chair of IICSA stated:
“42. I have carefully considered all of the written and oral submissions made to me, including those made in closed session. Having done so, it is my decision that the Investigation should continue, using closed proceedings under section 19 of the 2005 Act where necessary.”
“44. The main reason for my decision is that there remain, in my view, too many unanswered questions about institutional responses to the allegations made against Lord Janner. Those allegations were extremely serious, and they span a period of decades. For most, and perhaps all, of the complainant core participants, this Investigation represents the last opportunity to get answers to those questions.”
“73. I remind those reading this Determination that this is not an investigation into Lord Janner’s guilt or innocence. It is not a proxy criminal or civil trial. As the Definition of Scope of the Investigation makes clear, it is an investigation into institutions, and into how they responded to the allegations made against Lord Janner. Among the questions the Investigation will seek to answer are whether those institutions gave Lord Janner preferential treatment, and if so why. Together with the Panel members, I will consider all matters with an open mind, based on the evidence that is adduced in the Investigation. We are not bound by the findings of any previous inquiries or investigations”
In her Determination, the Chair of IICSA cited the Oral Submissions of Counsel for 13 of the Core Participants Complainants which he made on 20 February 2020:
36. “First, let it be said that Lord Janner, described this morning [by Mr Friedman on behalf of the Janner family] as a devoted public servant, died while awaiting trial at the Central Criminal Court on 22 charges of sexual offences against children. On several previous occasions, he should have been prosecuted. In the view of Sir Richard Henriques, prosecution would have led to a realistic prospect of conviction …[T]he allegations against Lord Janner … were of rape, buggery, indecent assault and gross indecency, dating from around 1955 until August 1988. The first question that our clients ask is: how did such a prominent person, known to have easy access to children in care, repeatedly, and for decades, escape prosecution and, therefore, accountability?”
“Another factor that cannot be ignored and that leads me to my second question is this: there were apparent failures in institutional responses for decades. Those apparent failures deprived our clients and all other complainants of three things: dignity, justice and redress. Those three things are now available only from this inquiry. The second question, therefore, is: if not now, when?”
In his opening statement to the IICSA on 12 October 2020, Counsel for 13 of the Core Participant Complainants said:
“Over man years, all of our clients have given, or tried to give, evidence to the police regarding the sexual abuse that they say was committed against them by the late Lord Janner. All of our clients then expected the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to take appropriate action against Lord Janner. When, at long last, that action was taken, in 2015, Lord Janner was prosecuted on an indictment alleging sexual offences. That prosecution came many years after the evidence against Lord Janner had first surfaced, and it was a prosecution that came too late. Lord Janner, as you have just heard, then died, and so, for our clients, justice delayed was justice denied.”
Open Session 12 October 2020 pages 26 – 27
“Since 2015, when the inquiry into the case of Lord Janner began, his family has tried to prevent this inquiry from happening. Daniel Janner QC has vilified and insulted the inquiry day after day, and frequently in terms which bear little or no relation to reality.
Friends of the Janner family in high places, including in the House of Lords, have joined a campaign to stop the objective and systematic examination of the evidence. But you have resisted all these extraordinary attempts to frustrate your work and to close down your inquiry, and our clients are grateful to you for that.
In the course of their campaign, the Janner family has attacked the reputation of each and every one of our clients. Many of them were in the care system, a corporate parenting system that failed because, as you have heard in other parts of this inquiry, it allowed sexual abuse to occur.
Our clients can be attacked as imperfect victims or imperfect complainants, and that slur is easily thrown at them. It always is thrown at victims of abuse who use drink or drugs to self-medicate or who have any sort of criminal record.
Victims of abuse are often broken by their experiences and then punished for being lame.
But because that slur has been made against our clients we highlight that the inquiry has received evidence from other witnesses whose professional reputation, character and stature not even the Janner family could impugn.
One of those witnesses is from within the Jewish community. He describes an attempt by Lord Janner to abuse his young son. On another occasion, in similar circumstances, this witness intervened to protect another child from Lord Janner.
We hope that, in due course, that evidence will be published so that the public can see the full extent of the evidence against Lord Janner.
Chair, the questions of particular importance to our clients are as follows.
Number one: what more could have been done to investigate and prosecute the abuse Greville Janner is alleged to have perpetrated?
Question two: more precisely, who could have done more?
Question three: when investigations took place, were sufficient resources applied to them?
Question four: were those who investigated and made decisions on prosecution alive to any actual or potential conflicts of interest? Question five: was improper pressure applied to undermine or abandon any investigation or any line of enquiry?”
“When you consider decisions from the past, you must understand the context of the time and the legal constraints within which witnesses were working. But we urge you to remember all aspects of that context.
In your report into allegations of child sexual abuse linked to Westminster, you found, quite rightly, that, in the past, there was deference by police, prosecutors and political parties towards politicians and others believed to have some importance in public life.
You heard, as you put in your report, “evidence of overt and direct deference by police towards powerful people, such as a conscious decision not to arrest or investigate someone because of their profile or position”.
You also heard, as you put it in your report, “striking evidence of how wealth and social status insulated perpetrators of child sexual abuse from being brought to justice to the detriment of the victims of their alleged abuse”.
Did that same culture of deference prevent the authorities in this case from seeing clearly and from acting fairly on the allegations against Lord Janner? That is a key question. If the dangerous culture of deference was a factor here, then we ask you to say so and to make recommendations on how institutions now can work to eliminate that culture.”
Open Session 12 October 2020 pages 26 – 29
Another Counsel for another Complainant Core Participant stated:
“I appear for F54, who is with me, safely. He is also ciphered as JA-A41. F54 is an intelligent, dignified and compassionate man. By way of example, on 31 January 2018, he appeared in your hearing room and his then counsel, Mr Sam Stein QC, made an application on his behalf. That application was made on his specific instructions on a measured basis, offering no criticism of his alleged abuser. However, in response, Daniel Janner QC attacked my client, and others, in deeply personal terms, including describing them as “fantasists”, “liars” and “fraudulent 6 compensation seekers”. F54 has never claimed compensation. Mr Stein addressed you on Mr Janner’s outburst, advising you that F54 was present during the attack. He respectfully asked that, no matter what feelings were being expressed, that great care be given to making such accusations.
What was F54’s response to this attack? Well, it was twofold. It is set out in his witness statement at paragraphs 114 to 121.
First, he was shocked, shaken and angry because, as he stated, “The resemblance between the man who had abused me at Dolphin Square and Daniel Janner QC was extraordinary”.
F54 said, “It was not Daniel Janner’s offensive words that shocked me and made me shake, it was the face of Daniel Janner that did so”, a face that was almost identical to that of the man who raped him as a child.
Secondly, and despite this, my client was still able to empathise with the Janner family.
He stated: “I hold no ill will towards him, Daniel Janner, and his family. I understand why they are trying so hard to protect the reputation of their father.”
F54 does not respond to personal insults and attacks with anger, he does so with empathy and understanding. F54 is also an intelligent and thoughtful man. He has played an important part in the shaping of the course of this investigation. His submissions in February played a significant part in your decision to continue this investigation.
On 2 July, you agreed, again in response to his submissions, that it is relevant to the inquiry to consider whether the background of complainants affected the way in which their allegations were considered and investigated and that this would form part of this investigation.
Indeed, Mr Altman carefully took you through the barriers to disclosure that my clients and others experienced and the reasons why children delayed in coming forward to speak of their abuse. My client is less focused on the allegations that Lord Janner abused him and others but more on his contention that most of the alleged victims of Lord Janner and others appear to have been from poor and deprived backgrounds, subject to care orders, living in children’s homes, with poor literacy or communication skills or were persons who had accrued criminal records after suffering abuse. F54 asks the inquiry to note that the victim profile he describes is strikingly similar to that revealed in your other investigation strands. F54 has often said to me that it is like poor children are on a conveyor belt to abuse and that nobody seems to believe them. F54 points to the statement of Nigel Hewson of the CPS as a prime example. That statement details investigation after investigation and opportunity after opportunity when Lord Janner should, and could, have been prosecuted long before 2015. F54 maintains that the evidence shows that the prominence of Lord Janner created barriers to interview, arrest and prosecution and that the CPS seemed unwilling t o charge Lord Janner, no matter what. In F54’s own words, “hurdles were erected that no horse could jump”
Open Session 12 October 2020 pages 37 – 40
I cited an account from JA-A41/F54 of being sexually abused by Janner above.
Following Counsel’s opening statement on behalf of JA-A41/F54, Counsel for the family of Greville Janner made his opening statement by reading out words written by Janner’s youngest daughter:
“We have listened carefully to all the serious accusations. We believe as totally in our father’s innocence today as we always have, because we knew him and we watched him living his life with total openness. We believe that dad became a target because of his determination to defend the suffering, his particular public profile and being financially comfortable in his later years. “Dad was unconventional. In his enthusiasm to help people, he challenged the status quo. He saw helping others in difficulty as his duty and was perhaps naive as to how such kindness could be exploited. Radical kindness and heartfelt compassion aren’t weird or sinister; they are just in short supply. His belief in fighting injustice meant dad aligned himself with victims. He prioritised his constituents in dealing with their housing, immigration and disability issues. He made legislation that protected lives, such as back seat belts in cars and child safety tops on medicines. Our parents made generosity the foundation stone of their lives, guided by the Jewish commandment to feed others and give hospitality. Often, those whom they helped were in extreme difficulties and many of them wanted to give evidence here “Child abuse is despicable, hateful, sadistic and coercive. Dad got annoyed with us sometimes, like any parent, but he never, ever hit us, was never violent, threatening or coercive. We do not recognise any of our father’s character in the depiction of these complaints.”
Open Session 12 October 2020 pages 76 – 78
In his Closing Statement, Counsel for the family of Janner said:
“Before you is the very real risk that vulnerable people, who may have been abused, have, many years later, transposed their pain and need for recompense onto Janner.
Certain individuals of profile can also become the subject of societal myths and stereotyping
Unless you are prepared to look at the evidence you now have that caused them to take that view, then you will be rubber stamping a revisionist history without reading the primary sources. You will exacerbate the myths about Janner, rather than ground the public in reality.”
You will recall:
“F54 said, “It was not Daniel Janner’s offensive words that shocked me and made me shake, it was the face of Daniel Janner that did so”, a face that was almost identical to that of the man who raped him as a child”.
22 counts against 9 complaints over 6 pages: INQ006311
On 22 October 2020 Witness 2 (fromer Detective Inspector of Leicestershire Police David Swift-Rollinson Operation Dauntless) gave evidence to IISCA:
“The witness said that in December 2006, a number of references to Lord Janner were discovered in the files relating to Operation Magnolia. He said that these included JA-A6’s witness statement which alleged that Lord Janner had touched JA-A6’s naked buttocks and JA-A19’s statement in which JA-A19 alleged that Lord Janner had anal sex with him.
The witness explained the steps that he took to investigate these matters further, acknowledging that it was “difficult”, as not all the information was available and “…certain things [he] would have expected to have discovered were not discoverable as if, quite simply, the job hadn’t been done properly”
He explained that he contacted two former officers from Operation Magnolia.
He asked them what Operation Magnolia had centred upon, the reasons why Lord Janner had not been interviewed, whether Lord Janner had formed any part of the advice file to the CPS and, if so, what the result of that advice was. The witness referred to comments made by one of those officers that “…this one will keep coming back to haunt me for the rest of my service”.
He said that whilst he could not say what the officer had meant by the comment, he took the implication to be that “…because it surrounded Lord Janner, who was a high-profile individual, that he feared that the statement not being dealt with properly would come back to haunt him”.
The witness explained that as a result of his contact with these officers, he had identified that the statements concerning Lord Janner were never pursued by Leicestershire Police during Operation Magnolia or drawn to the attention of the CPS. He said that he understood from what those officers had said in emails to him, that the decision not to further investigate the statement of JA-A19 was taken by the SIO in Operation Magnolia, in conjunction with the Acting Assistant Chief Constable.
The witness acknowledged that his conclusion in the covering report that Leicestershire police failed to investigate an allegation of child sexual abuse against Lord Janner was a “significant conclusion”, as was his conclusion that Lord Janner had not been spoken to about the allegation and that the CPS had not been provided with those statements. He said that he thought that it was “…wholly wrong that such serious allegations should be made and then not be investigated and … to receive two emails of other serving officers who say it was not proceeded with because it fell out of the remit of the enquiry felt wrong for me as a serving officer”.
The witness said that the SIO decided not to arrest Lord Janner or to search his properties. The witness stated that he thought Lord Janner should have been arrested as it would have allowed for further exploratory work to be carried out by Leicestershire Police.
He said that he also thought that “someone who is accused, and accused of serious allegations, in their life should be allowed to account for them. They should be allowed to provide answers to questions and reasonable explanations, and, if necessary, assert their innocence”. He added that he and the investigation team all felt it was “…incredible that an individual such as Lord Janner should be treated any differently by not interviewing him, not arresting and searching” his properties.
He stated that the fact that Lord Janner “…was not allowed the opportunity to dispel those allegations or provide a reasonable account is staggering, bewildering and disappointing”.
“15. BUGGERY contrary to section 12 (1) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 (buggering JA-A19) Between 27 August 1985 and 20 September 1987
16. BUGGERY contrary to section 12 (1) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 (buggering JA-A19 on a second occasion)Between 22 August 1985 and 20 September 1987
17. INDECENT ASSAULT on a Male Person contrary to section 15 (1) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 (forcing his penis inside JA-A19’s mouth) Between 22 August 1985 and 20 September 1987
18. INDECENT ASSAULT on a Male Person contrary to section 15 (1) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 (forcing JA-A19 to fondle him) Between 22 August 1985 and 20 September 1987”
“The officer stated that during the course of the investigation, a senior officer instructed him not to arrest Lord Janner because he was an MP. The officer explained that he had believed that there was sufficient evidence to provide grounds for an arrest and that he had been very disappointed by this decision. He suggested that if he had been “…arresting a man off the street…” he would have had “…plenty of evidence to do so…” and “…wouldn’t have hesitated…” to arrest him, but “…was told not to in this case”. When asked to reflect on the decision not to arrest Lord Janner, he confirmed that it was his view that Lord Janner had been given “preferential treatment”.”
Open Summary Of Closed Session 14 10 2020
This witness is retired Detective Kelvyn Ashby of Leicester Police
In the UK a statutory inquiry established under the Inquiries Act 2005 there can be no attribution of either criminal or civil liability. It is not a court of law. It is an inquisitorial process not an adversarial trial. It is about fact finding and coming to Conclusions and Recommendations:
“(1) A Minister may cause an inquiry to be held under this Act in relation to a case where it appears to him that — (a) particular events have caused, or are capable of causing, public concern, or (b) there is public concern that particular events may have occurred.
(2) (1) An inquiry panel is not to rule on, and has no power to determine, any person’s civil or criminal liability. (2) But an inquiry panel is not to be inhibited in the discharge of its functions by any likelihood of liability being inferred from facts that it determines or recommendations that it makes.”
The Chair of the Inquiry has made it clear throughout the Janner investigation that the process is not a proxy criminal trial. There is no defendant. The dock is empty (of course there is no dock). His family shout his innocence and vilify the witnesses and the process. His family doth protest to much. After all this is not about Janner but about institutional failure, institutional complicity, institutional fear, institutional arrogance, institutional collusion (by active commission or omission).
In his closing statement Counsel for 13 of the Complainant Core Participants stated:
“This deference shown to Lord Janner offered him the luxury of a series of timid and incomplete investigations.
Over a period of several decades, serious allegations against Lord Janner received nothing like serious institutional responses from Leicestershire Police and the CPS. The allegations of child sexual abuse demanded, but never received, thorough and objective analysis. The allegations did not lead to appropriate action.”
Counsel for F54 stated:
“F54 maintains that this investigation revealed a heavy, heavy thumb on the scales of justice. It appears that Lord Greville Janner enjoyed the halo effect of high office, and children the default of 6 disbelief. F54 feared that there was some kind of conspiracy in relation to Lord Janner. You will make your decision on that based on the evidence. However, F54 contends that the evidence overwhelmingly supports a finding that all of the institutions involved in child protection, detection or prosecution took decisions to explain away, to ignore, to soft pedal, to hesitate, to delay, to fail to arrest, to pull their punches, to act differently and deferentially in relation to allegations relating to Lord Greville Janner than they would have done to another person charged with child abuse.”
Counsel for JA6 and other complainants noted that:
“Janner got away with never having to face the evidence …How much more could have been obtained earlier and with what greater evidential weight? We think you will reach the same conclusion as you did in Westminster, that this investigation has provided striking evidence of how wealth and social status insulated perpetrators of child ssexual abuse from being brought to justice to the detriment of the victims of their alleged abuse.”
And the victims – the accusers – those who confronted the “hurdles (were) erected that no horse could jump” – F54, JA6 – they sit in silence, out-with the process of which they are the core, waiting for justice or at least an expression of contrition or an act of atonement.
There is no date as to when the IICSA will publish its report, either in whole or in part. Or at all.