Scotland’s most senior law officer has been challenged to withdraw dismissive comments about allegations over the investigation and trial of the Lockerbie bombing. Campaigners for a public inquiry to re-open the case have issued a stinging rebuke to Frank Mulholland, Lord Advocate and head of the Crown Office, Scotland’s prosecuting authority, over his handling of their allegations of criminal conduct in the original case.
UK / CHILD ABUSE
MPs are accusing the Ministry of Defence of forcing children of service personnel to stay at schools in the face of allegations of sexual abuse.
MoD officials revealed that, under the rules on education benefit for top forces personnel, children may have to remain at a private school even where they allege that they have been sexually abused.
Interpreters are warning that the huge private contract to provide translation services for courts in England and Wales is on the brink of collapse. It comes as court interpreters are refusing to work after Capita, the outsourcing giant that took over the contract, slashed their travel expenses. Hearings are being held up as court officials scramble to find replacements.
Police have dropped their investigation into sexual abuse of boys by former Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith. The move by Greater Manchester Police is bound to trigger accusations by victims of the ex-MP for Rochdale in Lancashire of an establishment cover-up. It contrasts with Scotland Yard’s decision to carry out a comprehensive investigation into Jimmy Savile, ex-BBC star and paedophile. Updated 21 May 2013.
Ex-IRA prisoners who received European Union funding through an organisation exposed by Exaro for failing to comply with company law have been granted more money. The Northern Irish and Irish governments backed the decision by the EU to give the additional funding to Coiste Na N-Iarchimi, a UK-registered company based in Belfast whose name means “committee of ex-prisoners”.
Detectives are investigating links between Elm Guest House and what became known as Britain’s biggest paedophile ring. Evidence uncovered by Exaro, and also obtained by the Metropolitan Police Service’s ‘Operation Fernbridge’, suggests that the notorious guest house that operated three decades ago in south-west London was part of loosely-connected rings of paedophiles, pimps and pornographers throughout the capital and beyond.
Question: when is a former council director not a former council director? Answer: when he is Louis Minster, and he has some questions to answer. Minster’s dismissal in 1984 as director of social services at the London borough of Richmond-upon-Thames is under scrutiny in the Metropolitan Police Service paedophile unit’s ‘Operation Fernbridge’. But Minster pretended to Exaro that he was not Minster.
Lawyers are gearing up to protest about reforms to legal aid by staging “strikes” nationwide that threaten chaos in courts in England and Wales. Meetings are being planned for barristers and solicitors that will have the effect of making them withdraw their labour and so disrupt court hearings. They will be similar to unions’ “mandatory meetings” in workplaces. Update 17 May 2013: MPs on the House of Commons justice committee are to launch an investigation into government plans for legal aid.
Summer 1981 in the backyard of a children’s home in Richmond at the centre of allegations of child sex abuse. Children at the home enjoy a barbeque to mark the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. One boy gives a clenched-fist salute. But the impression of an upbeat mood masks a dark side to Grafton Close children’s home.
Police and council staff decided to take “no further action” after a boy in care alleged child sex abuse in Richmond 30 years ago. Exaro today reveals how files held by the London borough of Richmond-upon-Thames show that police formally interviewed a friend of the boy who supplied some corroborating evidence of the alleged sexual abuse.
Scottish police have launched an investigation into the conduct of the original case over the bombing of a Pan Am jumbo jet over Lockerbie. Exaro can reveal the development amid allegations that Scotland’s police and prosecuting authorities attempted to pervert the course of justice in the case. It remains Britain’s biggest-ever terrorist attack, but controversy has dogged the investigation into the case.