The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was called in to investigate the police’s role if any in the collapse of the trial by South Wales Police. Simultaneously, the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer ordered an investigation of the CPS’s role. He eventually instructed Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) to establish why the prosecution failed. The terms of reference of both investigations are limited to the failure of that trial. We are very concerned about this.
Neither investigation is concerned with the events that caused the trial in the first place – events that began over 24 years ago. South Wales Police made no secret that they did not want a Public Inquiry into this case or any other and the failed process was designed to prevent it.
Ironically, the collapsed trial is helping to achieve that end, aided by the surviving members of the Cardiff Five and their current lawyers, who are judicially reviewing the Home Secretary’s decision not to order a public inquiry into the collapse of the trial while the IPCC and HMCPSI investigations are being conducted. There is no time-frame for either investigation to conclude.
Avoidance of Responsibility
South Wales Police, the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) and IPCC refuse to comment on the Lynette White Inquiry while these inquiries continue. This has been going on for more than a decade, preventing discussion and independent review of one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice in British history. It has been almost a quarter of a century without independent and adequate review of the causes of a miscarriage that can still change the criminal justice to the benefit of all. This was why our CEO Satish Sekar refused to co-operate, predicting that both inquiries would not establish why justice had miscarried.
The numerous failures of the criminal justice system in that case – one that could have prevented the miscarrying of justice in many others – still have not been addressed. Assurances that some recommendations which have never been published, have been implemented will not suffice – ever. The lessons remain ignored despite numerous public officials failing to do the jobs they had been appointed to do. The quest for accountability remains unfulfilled and an investigative process that promised much has wasted £30m of taxpayers’ resources without delivering justice to anyone or accountability either. It must never be allowed to happen again.
Despite the failure of the police to investigate themselves, the current investigations provide more of the same. The lessons remain unlearned; the bill to the public increases and still there is no accountability or sign of it. There are still many lessons to be learned and not just from that case. Vindication was essential to establish this opportunity, which has been wasted, but still it offers great potential, which we are developing through our projects and activities and by refusing to taint ourselves by involving ourselves in grossly tainted procedures.
Continue to Exceptional Injustice P.7