Socialist Worker

Abuse inquiry won’t hear from the victims

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2726

Victims of Janner will not be able to put forward evidence

Victims of Janner will not be able to put forward evidence (Pic: Emil Pakarklis on Flickr)


Child sex abuse victims of Greville Janner have been barred from giving live evidence to the public inquiry into the former Labour MP.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) started to hold partially closed hearings into the way police, prosecutors, local government and the Labour Party dealt with allegations involving Lord Janner on Monday.

Child abuse at the heart of the British establishment
Child abuse at the heart of the British establishment
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The inquiry will take place almost entirely in closed sessions to protect the identities of complainants even though none of those who accused Janner will be called to give evidence.

Greville Janner QC represented Leicester West for Labour between 1970 and 1997. He was later given a peerage.

Relating

At the time of his death in December 2015, at the age of 87, he was facing 22 charges of child sexual abuse relating to nine different boys. He was deemed too ill to stand trial.

In his absence, a trial of the facts was scheduled but it was cancelled when he died. A report the following year by the retired judge Sir Richard Henriques concluded that the Crown Prosecution Service had missed three opportunities to prosecute Janner.

There have been a number of police investigations into Janner—in 1991, 2002 and 2006.

The inquiry will examine whether his “public prominence led to deferential treatment” from institutions including Leicestershire Police, the CPS, Leicestershire county council and the Labour Party.

Announcing her decision in March to go ahead with the Janner hearings under such restrictive conditions, IICSA chair Alexis Jay said, “This is not an investigation into Lord Janner’s guilt or innocence. It is not a proxy criminal or civil trial.”


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