Update 9 Oct 2017
MI5 knew of cover-up over Cyril Smith child abuse, inquiry hears
9 Oct 2017
MI5 knew the country’s chief prosecutor had covered up a sex abuse inquiry into Cyril Smith but did nothing because it was not its job to expose paedophiles, an inquiry has heard.
Files released by the intelligence agency show it was aware that the Director of Public prosecutions (DPP) had lied to a newspaper over its decision not to prosecute Smith. But it decided not to make the information public because its duty was to ‘defend the realm’ rather than to expose a prominent politicians accused of being a paedophile.
The disclosure came during the first day of hearings into how Smith, the former Liberal MP, was able to abuse boys at Cambridge House hostel and Knowl View residential school in Rochdale. Smith died in 2010, having never faced prosecution.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) last night released an MI5 briefing note which showed how Sir Thomas Hetherington, the then DPP, had lied to a local newspaper about the existence of a 1970 police inquiry into allegations of gross indecency made against Smith.
Had the DPP admitted Smith had been under investigation, it would have led to a new inquiry and Smith being put on trial in his lifetime.
Hetherington had called a legal adviser in the intelligence agency to inform him of the press interest from David Bartlett, a journalist with the Rochdale Alternative Press. The briefing note states: “After consultations, the DPP’s press representative had untruthfully told Bartlett that they had no record of this case. In fact their file closely accorded with the details given by Bartlett.”
The memo, from the MI5 legal adviser and written in April 1979, goes on to suggest that the South African intelligence agency had been “trying to obtain compromising information about political figures” and that Smith was one of them.
The police investigation into Smith had been closed nine years earlier in 1970 by Hetherington’s predecessor Sir Norman Skelhorn who decided it was unlikely to lead to a prosecution.
Skelhorn’s decision was made despite a senior detective warning that the “sordid” accusations against Smith “stood up”.
Brian Altman QC, IICSA’s lead counsel, told the inquiry: “The documents show that the Security Service’s legal adviser was informed of the false representations to the press from the DPP’s office.
“Based upon their review of the information they hold, the Security Service considers they took active steps to ensure that those involved in investigating allegations of child sexual abuse against Smith were made aware of all information of relevance to their inquiries.
wording here starts off exactly like the torygraph article – so ‘official brief via No 10?’
Don Hale report vindicated?
“Sir Norman SKELHORN was habitually and reliably soft on paedophiles.” Sir Norman SKELHORN bears the responsibility for ensuring that Victor MONTAGU, Bishop of Stepney Trevor HUDDLESTON, Cyril SMITH and & Peter JACONELLI escaped trial Victor Montagu and son BISHOP TREVOR HUDDELSTON The Queen Mother chats with sadist paedophile Cyril Smith SAVILE and JACONELLI PETER JACONELLI And The Paedo-Friendly DPP Continue reading SKELHORN – PAEDO-FRIENDLY DPP/VIP COVER-UPS