‘Are we to assume that all high profile, well connected sex offenders will now be allowed to use a high profile BBC platform to attack witnesses post conviction?’
Ian Maxwell told BBC Radio 4 his sister’s appeal to overturn five child sex-trafficking charges would claim the harsh conditions she faced in jail made it impossible to mount a proper defence.
He said the appeal would also follow arguments made in court by Maxwell’s defence team, who portrayed the four victims who took the stand as being motivated by money, and misremembering the events they described.
Critics claimed the BBC had again given a platform for the Maxwell family and supporters to attack the credibility of the four victims who testified.
Soon after the verdicts were reached on 29 Desember, Mr Dershowitz appeared on the BBC News Channel where he was introduced as a “constitutional lawyer”, but no reference was made to his links to Maxwell and Epstein.
The 83-year-old and the Duke vehemently deny any wrongdoing and have not been charged with any crime.
Mr Dershowitz used the airtime to denigrate Ms Giuffre’s claims against himself and the Duke of York.
Afterwards, the BBC said the interview did not meet the its editorial standards and promised to “look into how this happened”.
Ms Giuffre’s claims against Maxwell did not form part of the prosecution’s case but were raised during the trial.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted on five out of six charges after a month-long trial related to the grooming and trafficking of young girls for the late paedophile Epstein to molest.
She faces up to 65 jaar tronkstraf.
Prior to her conviction, the Maxwell family had appealed to the US Attorney General and the United Nations claiming the conditions she was being held in were “torture”.
During Mr Maxwell’s interview with experienced broadcaster Mishal Husain, he said his sister’s appeal would reiterate claims made in court by her defence attorneys.
One woman, an actor who testified under the pseudonym Jane, was accused of making up her story as if she was playing another television role. Others came under lengthy cross-examination over payments they received from a compensation fund set up to help Epstein’s victims.
In one segment aired by the BBC, Mr Maxwell said: “I’m not saying that [die slagoffers] are lying, it may well be that they were victims of Jeffrey Epstein, but I do not accept that they were victims of Ghislaine. That’s my position and that’s also her position.”
Husain pushed back against some of Mr Maxwell’s claims in the segments aired on the network. Radio 4 also made clear that it would take something “huge” for the convictions to be overturned.
But the BBC still faced stinging criticism for the interview.
SNP party MP John Nicolson wrote on Twitter: “Another odd decision by the BBC post #GhislaineMaxwellTrial – this time to allow her brother Ian Maxwell a lengthy opportunity to tell #r4today that her victims are lying.
“Are we to assume that all high profile, well connected sex offenders will now be allowed to use a high profile BBC platform to attack witnesses post conviction?”
Are we to assume that all high profile, well connected sex offenders will now be allowed to use a high profile BBC platform to attack witnesses post conviction? #GhislaineMaxwellTrial #r4today http://t.co/uN2Px34hCe
— JOHN NICOLSON M.P. (@MrJohnNicolson) Desember 31, 2021
Meral Hussein-Ece, a member of the House of Lords, gesê: “Ghislaine Maxwell‘s brother is given a platform on #r4today to proclaim his sister’s innocence – incredibly based on no evidence other than ‘my own view’. Trying to recall last time the defenders of anyone convicted of a serious crime were offered such an opportunity on BBC News.”
#GhislaineMaxwell‘s brother is given a platform on #r4today to proclaim his sisters innocence- incredibly based on no evidence other than “my own view” Trying to recall last time the defenders of anyone convicted of a serious crime were offered such an opportunity on @BBCNews
— Baroness Hussein-Ece 😷 (@meralhece) Desember 31, 2021
In a statement to Die Onafhanklike, the BBC pushed back on the criticism.
“The BBC has covered the guilty verdict against Ghislaine Maxwell extensively, including interviews with her victims on multiple outlets. The interview on the Today Programme with Ian Maxwell was about the family’s decision to appeal the verdict; he was robustly challenged and his arguments were critiqued directly afterwards by a barrister”.
In a separate interview with Sky News, Mr Maxwell declined to apologise to the four women who testified at his sister’s trial, but said he did feel empathy for them.
“They clearly had a terrible experience," hy het gesê.
“I accept that these accusers were victims of Jeffrey Epstein. What I do not accept is that they were victims of Ghislaine Maxwell.”
Mr Maxwell added that his sister was unlikely to “flip” on others in the hopes of receiving a reduced sentence.