The BBC reject calls to further investigate their own conduct
The BBC has rejected calls to launch an enquiry into Rolf Harris’ career at the broadcaster company following the 83-year-old's guilty verdict. The Australian was convicted of sexually abusing four young girls over a period of two decades.
Rolf Harris is found guilty - photo: Getty 2014, Ben A. Pruchnie
Spokesman Peter Saunders asserted that the BBC’s stance on the Harris case was reminiscent to that of Jimmy Savile, the late presenter, and jailed TV presenter Stuart Hall.
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"Harris, like Savile, like Hall, was part of a corporation that helped cover up institutionalised abuse. The BBC has to come clean to expose what has gone on,” he explained to The Sun, adding that the BBC was "almost aiding the abusers" and "they need to lance this horrible boil and get it out there". (AAP, via Daily Mail)
In retort to these claims, a spokesman for the BBC said the Harris convictions "do not relate to the BBC," adding: "We already have the Dame Janet Smith review which is making an impartial and independent investigation into the past culture and practices of the BBC during the period Savile worked for the corporation.”
The spokesman continued: "And, related to that, we commissioned an independent assessment of our current child protection and whistleblowing policies which will report later in the year."
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Harris is the second person to be convicted under Operation Yewtree, which was set up in the wake of the Savile scandal – the late entertainer was posthumously found out to be a serial paedophile, with numerous reports of his criminal activities being reported following his death.
Following his guilty verdicts on 12 counts, Harris will be sentenced next month, with jail time almost a certainty.