Lord Advocate blocked investigation into alleged paedophile ring: £2 million spent on Establishment-led cover-up
- ‘Slush fund’ of public money to silence whistleblowers
- Cross-border raids on English homes by Scottish police
- Property taken without inventory
- First Minister’s law firm gags the media
Thrifty taxpayers should stop complaining about the £1.5 million it cost to investigate Ted Heath. Far less defensible is the financial drain which continues north of the border, where UK taxpayers have had their pockets picked to the tune of £2 million: not in order to put an end to crimes against children, but to make sure alleged perpetrators never face a jury.
It is not only the English Establishment, it seems, who fear investigations into organised child abuse. Wearing full academic regalia as she accepted an honorary degree from St Andrew’s University on 22 June this year, Elish Angiolini, Scotland’s legal supremo from 2006 until her resignation in 2011, continued to defy criticism of her high-profile role in quashing investigations into an alleged paedophile ring in Aberdeen.
It was during Angiolini’s stint as Lord Advocate that the Crown Office in Edinburgh called a halt to inquiries into Down’s-syndrome girl Hollie Greig’s claims of long-term gang-rape and ritual abuse by 22 named persons – despite the fact that Hollie’s allegations had been endorsed by an award of £13,500 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and by abundant expert-witness testimony.
When campaigners questioned Angiolini’s easily disproved assertion that the alleged ring had been fully investigated and all accusations shown to be false, the Scottish legal establishment struck back, unleashing a £2 million onslaught of cross-border raids, theft of private property, dodgy court orders and questionable prison sentences. And Angiolini herself launched a personal vendetta against Hollie’s committed champion, former Nobel Peace Prize nominee Robert Green, with a private legal action which appears to have been financed at taxpayers’ expense.
Press and media gagged
The true facts of the Hollie Greig case are among the Scottish Establishment’s most closely guarded secrets. Law firm Levy & McRae, former stamping ground of ex Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, are known to have threatened media outlets in a successful bid to keep the story under wraps. Peter Watson, at that time a leading light at Levy & McCrae, who are the legal representatives of both Elish Angiolini and former First Minister Alex Salmond, was also a part-time sheriff, but was suspended from this role in 2015, after being questioned in relation to the Heather Capital fraud. Watson, who has been described as “the eighth defender” in this case, remains under investigation.
Angiolini has fought tooth and nail to divert attention from the part she played in making sure that Hollie’s allegations never came before a jury, even threatening legal action against the online law magazine, The Firm, when they dared to flout the press embargo. But a letter to Robert Green on government headed notepaper contradicts her claim to the Press Complaints Commission that she “never had any involvement in the case”. This letter, written on behalf of Kenny MacAskill, states unequivocally that Hollie’s allegations “were investigated by Grampian Police and reviewed by then Lord Advocate, Dame Elish Angiolini, and were found to be false”. (My emphasis.) The lie that the allegations have been disproved was pressed home in a shameless piece of eyewash in the Sunday Herald, and is still being quoted by journalists too lazy, or too corrupt, to do their homework.
No investigation – so where did the money go ?
By the beginning of 2014 the Scottish Establishment had already poured out £1.7 million of taxpayers’ money to silence campaigners demanding a full investigation into Hollie Greig’s allegations of abuse. Robert Green was twice sentenced to extended terms in prison on what many believe to be trumped up charges, and another campaigner, Tim Rustige, was also imprisoned for some months on questionable grounds.
Yet all they were demanding was a full investigation of the facts.
Among those accused by Hollie were a sheriff, a high-ranking police officer, and the head of her special school. The abuse, which she claims included rape, the ritual killing of animals and human beings, and enforced cannibalism, persisted for fourteen years, and is alleged to have involved seven other children. Nearly all of the named perpetrators are still alive and, if the allegations are true, may still be posing a threat to others.
The response of the Crown Office was not to interrogate the alleged offenders, or even to examine their computers. Instead, huge sums of public money have been spent on damage limitation: multiple court hearings; multiple prosecutions; numerous legal teams and solicitors; legal aid; long-term surveillance and forensic analysis teams; special police units set up to monitor Robert Green and others; cross-border raids to arrest campaigners and steal their computers; prison bills; bills from law firms … the list goes on and on.
All with the object of silencing those demanding justice for Hollie Greig.
Over the past three years, expenses have continued to mount, with a running total now well in excess of that notched up by Operation Conifer, and most probably exceeding £2 million.
Yet never has there been any attempt by the Establishment to stem this haemorrhaging of public funds by putting all the evidence before a jury.
Nor has there been any querying of the ex Lord Advocate’s reasons for claiming, in the teeth of all the evidence, that an investigation has already taken place.
According to the sworn testimony of DC Lisa Evans in Stonehaven Court on 16 January, 2012, during one of Robert Green’s many trials, not a single one of the 22 people named as abusers was questioned after Hollie gave a three-and-a-half hour statement to Police Scotland in Shropshire – where she and her mother, Anne, had fled for safety after being threatened at their Scottish home. Listening to this statement, which was made to DC Evans on 8 September, 2009, was, Robert Green declares, “the worst three-and-a-half hours of my life”, and the reason why he will never give up the fight for a full investigation.
Even when Hollie initially reported the alleged crimes only two people were interrogated by Grampian Police. Although it is officially recorded in a Police Intelligence Report dated 8 May, 2007, that these two are believed to have “a predilection towards very young girls”, neither was detained, and they continue to travel freely between Scotland and Portugal, and to maintain business links with South America. In between times, one of them has even been spotted enjoying a glass or two with police officers in an Aberdeen pub.
Honours for Angiolini
Angiolini – born Elish McPhilomy, in Glasgow – rose rapidly through the ranks of the prosecution service after writing a report for the Crown Office which sought to circumvent the protections offered by Common Law to sexually abused teenage boys.
In 2006 she was the first Lord Advocate of Scotland to be appointed from the ranks of the Crown Office.
She resigned, according to the Scottish Law Reporter, after “a string of high-profile case failures”, and “doubts over the prosecution of hundreds of criminal cases” where it was alleged that evidence had “either not been provided to courts” or “had simply been made up by prosecutors”.
According to Robert Black QC, who is Professor Emeritus of Scots Law at the University of Edinburgh and who has taken a close interest in the conduct of the Lockerbie Case since 1993, “ … the appointment of a Crown Office staffer as Lord Advocate was a disastrous experiment which should never be repeated … She had never in her working life spent a day outside the Crown Office, when the whole point of a Lord Advocate is that he or she is not a Crown Office creature.”
Yet despite her repeated failures this particular Crown-Office creature continues to pile up the honours: Dame of the British Empire, on the recommendation, apparently, of the Scottish Government; Principal of St Hugh’s College, Oxford, despite her lack of academic kudos; and now an honorary degree from Scotland’s most ancient university.
“Important people in gowns”
Angiolini’s first encounter with the legal profession was as witness in a burglary trial, when she was still in her teens. “There were a lot of important people in gowns,” she says, “and witnesses were left a very long time in the witness room and not given any information … All the attention was focused on the permanent figures of the court, while us (sic) witnesses, and those in the dock, seemed irrelevant”.
This experience, she says, persuaded her to pursue a career in the law: perhaps on the principle of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”.
She has certainly succeeded in being a focus of attention, not all of it admiring: and her role in blocking investigations into the Hollie Greig case suggests that now she herself is one of those “important people in gowns”she, too, thinks it best to keep crucial information close to her chest.
Perhaps no one should be surprised.
For, judging by her actual record, it seems that this is one ‘high achiever’ whose glowing public image deserves to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Elish Angiolini: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elish_Angiolini
For the expert-witness testimony supporting Hollie, see https://holliedemandsjustice.org/faq/
For the persecution of Robert Green, and its cost in pounds sterling: http://scottishlaw.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/12-million-breach-of-peace-charge-13.html
- copy of Police Intelligence Report from 8 May, 2007; copy of letter to Anne Greig from Stephen McGowan; complaint against The Firm by Elish Angiolini; copies of letter from Ronnie Fraser of Criminal Law and Licensing Division, and cover letter from Kenny MacAskill; article from The Drum, 6 August, 2010;
- FACTSHEET: WHY WE BELIEVE HOLLIE GREIG