Wass Inquiry Cover Up Scandal – EXPOSED

THE WASS INQUIRY SCANDAL – ST HELENA CHILD ABUSE

REVEALED: Substantial links between Sasha Wass QC, the Judge heading up the Wass Inquiry into child abuse in St Helena and co-conspirator in cover up – the Department for International Development

In November 2014, the British Foreign Secretary, Phillip Hammond appointed UK barrister, Sasha Wass QC to head up an independent Inquiry to investigate claims of extensive child sexual abuse on the Island of St Helena, a UK Territory.

The Foreign Secretary established this judge led Inquiry – The Wass Inquiry, to investigate the allegations, after whistle-blowers Martin Warsama and Claire Gannon exposed child exploitation on the Island.

It was also claimed that both, the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had plotted to cover up exceptionally grave child abuse allegations.

A significant part of Wass QC’s remit has been to examine the failings of DFID and the FCO but also the extent of their complicity in the ensuing cover up scandal.

The Inquiry is also to consider police corruption and incompetence.

At the time, categorical representations were made by Hammond to Parliament and publically of the Inquiry’s complete independence. It has now been revealed that Sasha Wass QC has a significant long standing professional relationship with DFID and the FCO.

Sasha Wass QC hid her relationship with DFID

Sasha Wass QC hid her relationship with DFID

In a shocking discovery, Sasha Wass QC has been and continues to be instructed by DFID in the controversial 8 year long prosecution of Nigerian Governor James Ibori, as its principle advisor and lead prosecutor.

It is understood that Ms Wass and a colleague, Esther Shutzer-Weissman have worked exclusively for DFID and implemented DFID’s UK and international political agenda in its prosecution of Ibori and others since 2008.

Despite being aware of this compromising relationship, Sasha Wass QC openly made numerous bold representations to the Island’s abused victims and the UK media of being completely independent.

DFID and FCO officials would have been aware of Wass QC’s close ties.

DFID is believed to have spent some £40m of UK aid designated funds on the complex and wide-ranging Ibori prosecution. Ms Wass appears to have kept hidden her close relationship with the parties she is now seemingly investigating.

Court documents within the Ibori proceedings accuse Wass QC of serious dishonesty and professional misconduct.

One particular aspect relates to the withholding of significant information as to DFID’s complicit involvement through its subsidiary CDC Plc, which has been implicated in a number of scandals within the Ibori case.

Concerns have also been raised surrounding Ms Wass’s actual expertise in dealing with child abuse matters and the veracity of her claims of judicial experience.

Ms Wass’s appointment appears to be part of yet a further deliberately orchestrated conspiracy designed to prejudice abused victims and mislead the public.

This latest revelation gravely questions the integrity of Sasha Wass QC and the Wass Inquiry.

Wass QC’s direct irreconcilable ties with those she is tasked to investigate makes a shambolic and dishonest mockery of the independent Inquiry.

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THE WASS INQUIRY SCANDAL  – FURTHER CHILD ABUSE COVER UP –  DFID and FCO EXPOSED AGAIN

THE WASS INQUIRY SCANDAL – FURTHER CHILD ABUSE COVER UP – DFID and FCO EXPOSED AGAIN

THE WASS INQUIRY SCANDAL – ST HELENA CHILD ABUSE

REVEALED: Substantial links between Sasha Wass QC, the Judge heading up the Wass Inquiry into child abuse in St Helena and co-conspirator in cover up – the Department for International Development

In November 2014, the British Foreign Secretary, Phillip Hammond appointed UK barrister, Sasha Wass QC to head up an independent Inquiry to investigate claims of extensive child sexual abuse on the Island of St Helena, a UK Territory.

The Foreign Secretary established this judge led Inquiry – The Wass Inquiry, to investigate the allegations, after whistle-blowers Martin Warsama and Claire Gannon exposed child exploitation on the Island.

It was also claimed that both, the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had plotted to cover up exceptionally grave child abuse allegations.

A significant part of Wass QC’s remit has been to examine the failings of DFID and the FCO but also the extent of their complicity in the ensuing cover up scandal. The Inquiry is also to consider police corruption and incompetence.

At the time, categorical representations were made by Hammond to Parliament and publically of the Inquiry’s complete independence.

It has now been revealed that Sasha Wass QC has a significant long standing professional relationship with DFID and the FCO.

Sasha Wass QC hid her relationship with DFID

Sasha Wass QC hid her relationship with DFID

In a shocking discovery, Sasha Wass QC has been and continues to be instructed by DFID in the controversial 8 year long prosecution of Nigerian Governor James Ibori, as its principle advisor and lead prosecutor.  It is understood that Ms Wass and a colleague, Esther Shutzer-Weissman have worked exclusively for DFID and implemented DFID’s UK and international political agenda in its prosecution of Ibori and others since 2008.

Despite being aware of this compromising relationship, Sasha Wass QC openly made numerous bold representations to the Island’s abused victims and the UK media of being completely independent.

DFID and FCO officials would have been aware of Wass QC’s close ties. DFID is believed to have spent some £40m of UK aid designated funds on the complex and wide-ranging Ibori prosecution.

Ms Wass appears to have kept hidden her close relationship with the parties she is now seemingly investigating.

Court documents within the Ibori proceedings accuse Wass QC of serious dishonesty and professional misconduct. One particular aspect relates to the withholding of significant information as to DFID’s complicit involvement through its subsidiary CDC Plc, which has been implicated in a number of scandals within the Ibori case.

Concerns have also been raised surrounding Ms Wass’s actual expertise in dealing with child abuse matters and the veracity of her claims of judicial experience.

Ms Wass’s appointment appears to be part of yet a further deliberately orchestrated conspiracy designed to prejudice abused victims and mislead the public.

This latest revelation gravely questions the integrity of Sasha Wass QC and the Wass Inquiry.

Wass QC’s direct irreconcilable ties with those she is tasked to investigate makes a shambolic and dishonest mockery of the independent Inquiry.

SASHA WASS QC – THE WASS INQUIRY INTO CHILD ABUSE

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Sasha Wass QC

Sasha Wass has over 33 years’ experience at the Criminal Bar. She has both defended and prosecuted in numerous cases of complex fraud, international money laundering, murder and serious sexual misconduct. She has a particular interest in cases where scientific and medical evidence is disputed, such as allegations of “Shaken Baby Syndrome” and unexplained deaths in infants. She has successfully defended cases involving medical malpractice. Recent notable cases include the prosecution of children’s entertainer, Rolf Harris; rogue trader Kweku Adoboli, responsible for largest British banking fraud $2.3bn; the ex-Nigerian State Governor, James Ibori and associates; serial killer, Rosemary West and financier, Roger Levitt.

St Helena Abuse Inquiry

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr Philip Hammond, has announced that Sasha Wass QC will lead the St Helena Child Abuse Inquiry. These allegations involve claims in the British Overseas Territory of St Helena relating to child abuse, police corruption and incompetence and a conspiracy by the St Helena Government, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department of International Developments to cover these up.

Written Ministerial Statement on St Helena Child Abuse Inquiry

Written Ministerial Statement on St Helena Child Abuse Inquiry

Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP First published: 20 November 2014 Part of: St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

This news article was published under the

2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond announces Sasha Wass QC will lead the St Helena Child Abuse Inquiry.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

The House will be aware that serious allegations have been made by former employees of the authorities of the British Overseas Territory of St Helena. These allegations involve claims relating to child abuse in the Territory, police corruption and incompetence, and a conspiracy by the St Helena Government (SHG), the FCO and DFID to cover these up.

We are bound to take such allegations extremely seriously. Former FCO Minister for Overseas Territories, hon Member for Boston and Skegness (Mark Simmonds) announced to the House of Commons on 21 July the establishment of an independent Inquiry to establish the truth of these allegations and make recommendations as appropriate.

I am pleased to inform the House that I have agreed that Ms. Sasha Wass QC should lead this Inquiry. Ms. Wass is a very accomplished barrister with substantial professional experience of dealing with these kinds of issues. I am confident that she will lead this Inquiry with great rigour, fairness and sensitivity.

Matters of child safety require discretion and confidentiality. The issues self-evidently involve vulnerable people, whose privacy must be protected and confidences respected. I am certain this Inquiry will do that. But it is also important that this process is as transparent as possible. That is why I am today publishing the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference (TORs), agreed with Sasha Wass, so the full scope of the issues is clear to everyone.

I understand that Ms. Wass will conduct an initial review of the allegations contained in various documents, including the independent reports produced by others in response to specific concerns raised previously. We are also providing Sasha Wass with full disclosure of the UK papers that relate to these allegations. Ms. Wass will then make a judgement about the scope of her investigations, including on the appointment of a team of independent experts to help her with this task. I also understand that Ms. Wass will travel to St Helena once this initial phase of her work is completed.

Since allegations relating to child safety were first raised in late 2012, the British Government has been swift to ensure that they were investigated appropriately. We commissioned the respected Lucy Faithfull Foundation to conduct an initial review, which was then followed by an investigation by Northumbria Police. The reports made important recommendations, which the authorities on St Helena are working to implement with support from the UK. A number of arrests and convictions for child sex offences have also occurred.

More, however, needs to be done. This new Inquiry will not be quick. But it will be thorough. And I am confident that the facts will be established.

 

UK authorities ‘failed to stop sex abuse of children’ on British territory of St Helena

UK authorities ‘failed to stop sex abuse of children’ on British territory of St Helena

  • UK ‘failed to stop St Helena sex abuse’ says former head of health
  • Child abuse on the island was routinely ‘ignored’ as long ago as 2002
  • In some cases of child sex abuse, perpetrators let off with a fine of £50

By Francesca Infante

Published: 19 January 2015

The UK authorities ‘failed to act’ to save children from sex abuse on the British territory of St Helena and took 12 years to order an independent inquiry, according to new claims.

The Government was told child abuse on the South Atlantic island was being routinely ‘ignored’ as long ago as 2002 and that men who abused youngsters were in some cases let off with a fine of £50.

But the Foreign Office disregarded warnings that the island simply ‘couldn’t cope’ with the scale of the problem.

The UK Foreign Office disregarded warnings that child abuse was being routinely ‘ignored’ on St Helena and that men who abused youngsters were in some cases let off with a fine of £50

The UK Foreign Office disregarded warnings that child abuse was being routinely ‘ignored’ on St Helena and that men who abused youngsters were in some cases let off with a fine of £50

The explosive claims come from Ivy Ellick, a retired head of public health and social services on the island.

She claims she told the British government that the South Atlantic Island did not have the resources to protect children there.

But nothing was done and in the years between her warning and the start of the inquiry last year at least another 20 children were sexually abused on the island of 4,500 people.

Mrs Ellick, who was awarded an OBE in 2004 for her 46-year career in the St Helenian government claims, numerous abusers evaded justice because of the slowness of the authorities.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, she said: ‘They [the Foreign Office] were aware that we didn’t have the resources to cope with it because we’ve been pointing it out ever since. I said they were unfair to expect us to do it without the resources.

‘We did have some convictions of child abuse but some of them didn’t reach conviction because we didn’t have the resources to do proper investigations. The police weren’t equipped enough, they didn’t have all the tools that were necessary.

‘People were actually brought to court but once they were before the judge the case got thrown out on technical points. It happened on a couple of occasions when I was in the health and social services department.’

It wasn’t until 2014 that the British government launched an inquiry, headed by Sasha Wass, the QC who prosecuted Rolf Harris, after whistleblowers detailed abuse and an alleged cover-up by the island’s government and the Foreign Office.

Last night, a Foreign Office spokesperson said: ‘We take all measures of child abuse very seriously. Where we could act, we believe we have.

‘In recent years, we have sent police to provide training, investigate cases and look at the effectiveness of policing on St Helena.

‘In 2013 the FCO sent a child safeguarding NGO to St Helena to investigate child protection and there have also been visits from other child safeguarding experts. The FCO has also dedicated extra resource to child safeguarding.

‘However, we know from the current allegations that there is more to do to make sure that children on St Helena are given the right level of protection.’

Sasha Wass QC, prosecutor in Rolf Harris trial, to lead island sex abuse inquiry

Sasha Wass QC, has been brought into to head an investigation into an alleged cover-up on St Helena and Ascension

Paul Peachey

Crime correspondent

Thursday 20 November 2014

A prominent barrister who successfully prosecuted Rolf Harris will head an investigation into an alleged police and government conspiracy to cover up the widespread sexual exploitation of girls on a British overseas territory.

Sasha Wass QC, has been brought in after a review of child safety on St Helena and Ascension – two tiny and remote islands in the South Atlantic with a combined population of some 5,500 – revealed that a number of paedophiles had escaped prosecution amid claims of police incompetence and corruption.

The Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, said yesterday that Ms Wass would travel to the island to investigate a series of claims by whistleblowers against senior police, some brought over from Britain to run the tiny force.

Social workers said they raised concerns about a paedophile officer but were snubbed and told not to rock the boat and “enjoy the view” on St Helena, famous as the island prison of Napoleon.

The announcement by Mr Hammond came a week before the start of what could be a protracted employment tribunal starting in London brought by two of the whistleblowers who say they were hounded off the island. One of them had her home searched by police and was threatened with prosecution for perjury.

They have said that entrenched abuse on the island was worse than the scandal on Pitcairn, another isolated and tiny British territory, where six men jailed for child sex abuse in 2004.

The announcement was made by Philip Hammond (Getty Images) The announcement was made by Philip Hammond (Getty Images)

“Nobody gets married, it’s like stepping back in time. Hardly anyone stays together and there are kids all over the place. It’s really odd,” one told The Independent.

As well as the police, Mr Hammond said the inquiry would look into the roles of officials from the St Helena government, the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development.

“This new inquiry will not be quick. But it will be thorough. And I am confident that the facts will be established,” said Mr Hammond.

The crisis on the island was sparked after a whistleblower came forward to make allegations against police in 2012 and the details were passed to the Foreign Office.

A senior social worker made separate allegations the following year after trawling through old cases to highlight ones that had not been acted on. They included a file on a serving police officer accused of abusing a child but the claims were not investigated.

The officer was later convicted of firearms offences, and subsequently for downloading child abuse images but not the most serious abuse. But following further pressure from the whistleblowers and an investigation by a police team brought over from Britain, the former officer was later jailed for 11 years for child abuse.

Experts from the child protection charity, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, said in a report there had been a “malaise” in the upper ranks of the police force. It criticised its handling of child sex abuse allegations and highlighted how victims were often castigated when coming forward to make claims. It said there were “a number of ‘serial’ offenders, a number of ‘serial’ victims, and a number of women whose children were very much at risk of repeat victimisation.”

St Helena child abuse: Foreign Office ‘was warned British island couldn’t cope 12 years ago’

Exclusive investigation: child abuse “ignored throughout” St Helena, where men who abused children were fined as little as £50

By  Tom Rowley, Special Correspondent, St Helena

10:00PM GMT 18 Jan 2015

The Foreign Office knew the British territory of St Helena “couldn’t cope” with child abuse as long ago as 2002 but failed to order an independent inquiry for 12 years, a retired senior civil servant has claimed.

Ivy Ellick, a former head of public health and social services on the island, said she delivered the warning in a meeting with the British government. At least 20 children were sexually abused on the South Atlantic island, which has a population of only 4,500, during the years between the warning and the inquiry.

Establishment paedophiles, including a social work manager who advised on child protection and a deputy manager of a sheltered accommodation complex, were not brought to justice. Both men were finally sentenced in the past two years.

During this period, the Foreign Office repeatedly assured the United Nations that there was “no evidence” of sexual exploitation of children on the island, where seven out of 11 prisoners are child sex offenders. A new prison is being built that could accommodate up to one in 50 of the island’s men.

The British government launched the inquiry, headed by Sasha Wass, the QC who prosecuted Rolf Harris, last year after whistleblowers detailed abuse and an alleged cover-up by the island’s government and the Foreign Office.

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The island has been administered by the Crown since 1834. The Foreign Office appoints its governor and the Department for International Development funds dozens of government posts.

Mrs Ellick’s claims are published as a Telegraph investigation discloses:

  • Child abuse was “ignored throughout society” until recently, according to an official report, and men who sexually abused children were handed fines of as little as £50;
  • The sheltered accommodation worker, Leslie Clingham, was not brought to court until seven years after he admitted to police that he had sexually abused a child. He continued to work for the government and was allowed to have a relationship with a sheltered accommodation resident who had suffered a stroke;

Jeromy Cairns-Wicks, former police officer and social worker, has been jailed (SAMS)

  • In June 2013, a Dorset Police report failed to substantiate any criminal allegations against Jeromy Cairns-Wicks, the former social work manager, or to suspend him from his job as a police officer. Five months later, after Cairns-Wicks was imprisoned for separate firearms offences, he was finally sentenced to 11 years in prison for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old. Pam Trevillion, who produced the Dorset report, has since been employed as the island’s head of crime, running child abuse investigations;
  • The police were not told that a 15-year-old girl was pregnant on Ascension island, a dependency of St Helena, until four days after she was flown to Britain for medical care. Police suspected the father was five years older and launched a criminal investigation. No prosecution was ever brought;

Mrs Ellick, who was awarded an OBE in 2004 for her 46-year career in the St Helenian government, said she delivered her warning in a meeting with the Foreign Office in 2002, saying that the island did not have the resources to meet its convention obligations to the United Nations to protect its children.

A UK-qualified social worker was subsequently appointed for a three-year term to train local staff, but they often left the island, where government employees earn as little as £5,000 a year, once they were qualified. “This happened every time,” she said. “It was very difficult, and still is, to retain staff because of the low wages.

“They [the Foreign Office] were aware that we didn’t have the resources to cope with it because we’ve been pointing it out ever since. I said they were unfair to expect us to do it without the resources.

“I said to them, ‘you’ve signed up to this convention, but it’s going to require big money and we don’t have the social workers nor the resources to do it’.

“We did have some convictions of child abuse but some of them didn’t reach conviction because we didn’t have the resources to do proper investigations. The police weren’t equipped enough, they didn’t have all the tools that were necessary.

“People were actually brought to court but once they were before the judge the case got thrown out on technical points. It happened on a couple of occasions when I was in the health and social services department.”

Social workers Claire Gannon and Martin Warsama, tried to raise concerns about allegations of child abuse.

The British social workers, Claire Gannon and Martin Warsama, who worked on the island in 2013 and triggered the Wass inquiry, are now suing the Foreign Office claiming they lost their jobs because of their whistleblowing.

At the same time, they are being investigated over alleged perjury in an adoption case on Ascension island and could eventually be extradited back to St Helena to be tried by the very criminal justice system they complained about.

“Which whistleblower would stand up if it meant removal from their place of work or even the UK?” said Lawrence Davies, director of Equal Justice Solicitors, who is representing them. “The spectre of extradition is a horrible thing for these British whistleblowers to have to live with.”

Twenty-seven men are on the island’s recently introduced sex offenders’ register out of a total male population of around 2,000, more than six times the figure per head in England and Wales.

Seven out of 11 prisoners are child sex offenders (Moonbeams)

The Telegraph investigation also found a children’s disco had to be cancelled because of “voyeurs” hoping to watch “young children gyrating on the floor”.

Islanders with learning difficulties and disabilities were said to be kept in “Victorian” conditions in its “challenging behaviour unit”. They will only move to purpose-built accommodation next month. The island’s government denied a reporter access to the unit.

Dr Karen Harrison, an expert in sex offender sentencing from the University of Hull, said the fines amounted to “a slap on the wrist” and “suggests the offence isn’t taken seriously”.

Comparing the fines for child sex offenders to heftier penalties sometimes awarded in other cases, Dave Gardiner, who has worked in the British probation service for 30 years, said “you were better off worrying children than sheep” on the island. “The fines don’t mark society’s disapproval,” he said. “Fining people for sexual abuse is just not tackling the abuse.”

Dorset Police confirmed that Ms Trevillion conducted an investigation on behalf of the Foreign Office into an allegation against a St Helena police officer but declined to comment further.

A Foreign Office (FCO) spokesman said: “We take all measures of child abuse very seriously. Where we could act, we believe we have. In recent years, we have sent police to provide training, investigate cases and look at the effectiveness of policing on St Helena.

“In 2013, the FCO sent a chid safeguarding non-governmental organisation to St Helena to investigate child protection and there have also been visits from other child safeguarding experts. The FCO has also dedicated extra resource to child safeguarding.

“However, we know from the current allegations that there is more to do to make sure that children on St Helena are given the right level of protection. That is why the Foreign Secretary launched the Wass inquiry which will look at these allegations.”

A St Helena government spokesman said it “welcomed” the Wass inquiry and “looks forward to giving it the fullest cooperation”. He said the investigation into Cairns-Wicks “was in fact undertaken by St Helena police with independent oversight from Pam Trevillion, and resulted in a guilty plea and a significant sentence”.

Additional reporting by Andrew Turner