Anorak | Hacking the memories of Greville Janner: the CPS shoots the messengers

Hacking the memories of Greville Janner: the CPS shoots the messengers

by | 19th, April 2015

The hunt for Westminster VIP paedophiles has focused in recent days on Lord Grenville Janner, who says he’s innocent of allegations that he abused boys dating back to the 1960s. Janner, a Labour peer, and his accusers won’t get their days in court because the good Lord has dementia and Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, says he won’t be able to understand what’s being put to him.

The Sunday Times says this has resulted in a row:

ALISON SAUNDERS, the director of public prosecutions (DPP), last night faced demands for a judge-led review of the decision making that has spared Lord Janner child abuse charges and resulted in a string of failed prosecutions against journalists.

Contrasting the huge three-year police and prosecution operation on phone-hacking to the hunt for so-called VIP paedos is a fair point. The primary charges against tabloid journalists were that they listened to private voicemail messages before 2006 and paid public officials for information. Operation Elveden saw journalists charged with the crime of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.

The investigation has cost millions. It has ended in farce :

The Met Police has spent more than £11m on Operation Elveden, which last year had 56 dedicated officers and staff. Police have made 87 arrests and interviewed 56 suspects under caution. Dozens of those investigated have been journalists, 29 of whom have been charged. Of those, 13 have been cleared following trials.

The CPS has spent a fortune chasing journalists for trying to find information they believe to be in the public interest. Hacking crime victims’ phones is ugly and indefensible. But the pursuit of journalist was a more about censorship than justice.

As Mick Hume notes , without paying insiders, the truth often will not out:

Even the international gold standard of investigative reporting – the pursuit of the Watergate scandal by the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, which eventually brought down US president Richard Nixon in 1974 – was not quite as squeaky clean as some ethical purists like to claim. A couple of years ago a memo came to light, written by Bernstein, summarising his conversation with a member of the Watergate grand jury. The reporters had always denied that they illegally obtained crucial information from a grand juror – unsurprisingly, since Judge John Sirica has made clear that he would have sent Woodward and Bernstein to jail ‘had they actually obtained information from that grand juror’. Which, in fact, it appears that they did, risking jail to expose corruption in the White House.

But the CPS that’s so hot on journalists is less keen on seeing Janner and his accusers in court.

The Sunday Times continues:

Saunders’s leadership of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is in crisis after Lord Macdonald, a former director of the service, launched an unprecedented attack on her decision not to try Janner and Theresa May, the home secretary, voiced concerns about the case…


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Posted: 19th, April 2015 | In: News Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink