Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bungled VIP Child Abuse Probe 'Worthy of Clouseau'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bungled VIP Child Abuse Probe 'Worthy of Clouseau'

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport Crime Editor

SCOTLAND Yard's investigation into claims of a VIP paedophile ring was likened to the antics of the bungling fictional detective Inspector Clouseau today as a review of the inquiry was published.

The son of the late Labour peer Lord Janner, who was separately accused of child sex abuse, hit out at how detectives were taken in by a "blatant fantasist" in a 16-month investigation codenamed Operation Midland.

The PS2.5 million probe was launched in November 2014 after claims by a key witness called "Nick" that boys had been sexually abused by public figures more than 30 years ago.

The allegations included accounts of child abuse, murder and torture by politicians and military figures in the Seventies and Eighties. The inquiry was abandoned this year after it found no evidence to support the claims.

Today, Daniel Janner QC told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Inspector Clouseau could have done better and not spent PS2.5 million in 16 months investigating what were blatant fantasies." Inspector Clouseau was played by Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther series of films.

Mr Janner, who maintains his father's innocence, said Lord Janner who died last December at the age of 87 was wrongly dragged into Operation Midland by its key witness. He also criticised the force for apparently choosing to publish the report on the day of the US election to escape scrutiny, and said: "To come out today is, in our view, no coincidence and it is a shame."

Mr Janner called on the Crown Prosecution Service to mount a prosecution against "Nick" over his claims, saying in a separate interview that if it failed to do so he would seek legal advice about launching a private prosecution.

The review of the Operation Midland inquiry is included in High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques' examination of the Met's handling of a number of historical sex crime investigations involving high-profile suspects. …

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