The BBC has admitted that an interview with Jeffrey Epsteins former lawyer Alan Dershowitz following the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell should never have happened.
The broadcaster said that the Dershowitz interview which took place in the immediate aftermath of the Maxwell trial did not meet their editorial standards and they will be looking into the matter.
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MSN reports: The corporation was widely criticised for turning to Dershowitz for reaction, despite his own links to the case.
Dershowitz, 83, has been accused of sexual abuse by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has made similar charges against Prince Andrew. Both men deny the charges.
However, when he appeared on the BBC News channel just minutes after a guilty verdict was reached in Maxwell’s trial, the Harvard professor was introduced as a “constitutional lawyer” and no reference was made to his involvement in the case or his links to Epstein.
Dershowitz then tried to discredit Ms Giuffre without being challenged by the presenter.
The BBC said in a statement today: “Last night’s interview with Alan Dershowitz after the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict did not meet the BBC’s editorial standards, as Mr Dershowitz was not a suitable person to interview as an impartial analyst, and we did not make the relevant background clear to our audience.
“We will look into how this happened.”
Dershowtiz told the channel on Wednesday night: “The most important thing for British viewers is that the Government was very careful who it used as witnesses.
“It did not use as a witness the woman who accused Prince Andrew, who accused me, who accused many other people, because the government didn’t believe she was telling the truth.
“In fact she, Virginia Giuffre, was mentioned in the trial as somebody who brought young people to Epstein for him to abuse, so this case does nothing to strengthen the case against Prince Andrew, indeed it weakens the case against Prince Andrew considerably because the government was very selective in who it used.
“It used only witnesses it said were credible and it deliberately didn’t use the main witness, the woman who started the whole investigation — Virginia Giuffre — because they ultimately didn’t believe she was telling the truth and they didn’t believe a jury would believe her and they were right in doing so.”
Nadia Whitthome, the Labour MP, said: “Alan Dershowitz, who was accused of the same crimes as Prince Andrew, is on the BBC trying to silence victims following Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction.
“I can’t believe this needs to be said but the BBC should not give a platform to people accused of child sexual abuse.”
Adam Wagner, a human rights barrister, said that the interview represented a “huge error by the BBC” and that all the BBC had to do was search Dershowitz’s name on Google to see that he was not an appropriate guest.
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