Lord Janner inquiry: Alleged abuse investigation was cover-up

Lord Janner inquiry: Alleged abuse investigation was cover-up

Police investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse against Lord Janner amounted to a “cover-up”, an inquiry has heard.

A lawyer for some of the alleged victims told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) he was shown “deference and preferential treatment” because of his position.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and officers involved denied this.

Lord Janner himself denied abuse charges before his death in 2015.

The former Leicester MP had been facing trial for 22 child sexual abuse offences.

The inquiry, which is on its final day, will not decide if he was guilty, but will look at how authorities reacted to multiple allegations of indecent assault and buggery, dating back decades.

Despite a number of earlier investigations, he was not charged until Leicestershire Police launched Operation Enamel in 2012.

Will Chapman, representing 13 complainants, said during one of those previous investigations that statements from two complainants were “dismissed”, which “points to something much darker”.

He told the chair Alexis Jay: “You should call this what it is: a cover-up.”

Nick Stanage, who also represents 13 complainants, said the overall impression from the evidence was of “a police force that… didn’t make the effort”.

He added: “The institutional touching of the forelock well into the 21st Century is foolish and discreditable.

“The evidence shows an unjustifiable, unexplained and suspicious reticence properly to investigate Lord Janner.”

Leicestershire Police accepted Lord Janner “could and should” have been investigated more thoroughly.

But lawyers for former senior officers denied being swayed by his position.

A representative of the CPS also said there was “no evidence of preferential treatment” on their part.

Lord Janner’s family have always maintained his innocence.

Their lawyer, Daniel Friedman, said: “Unless you are prepared to look at the evidence that caused [decision makers] to take the view [that the evidence could not produce a successful conviction in court], 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 legality.

“When complaints were made, it was right they should have been investigated. If a case called for an answer, he should have been interviewed when he was able to defend himself.

“Where that didn’t happen as it should have, it was not his fault.”

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