The first wider issue here, and it applies to all investigations, is the reliability of the human memory. I witnessed an event. I neither benefited nor was injured by that event. Thirty years on one of the parties affected by the event had completely reversed their perception. Black was now white and white was black. Insurance companies encourage those involved in car incidents to record their perceptions within 15 minutes of the incident. Why, because “guilt” quickly steps in to “predudice” the objectivity of memory of what occurred. As the driver I witnessed an accident on a Spanish motorway. I was immediately behind a white car (at least three - four car lengths, maintaining the same speed - around 90Km/h) I was aware from my mirror that a black car behind me in the lane to my left and travelling faster than I was signalling to move to the right i.e. the lane I was in (and possibly to the right again because there was a junction coming up ) The next thing I knew was that the white car involuntary crossed into the lane to my right, hit the concrete barrier and spun round 180 degrees to face the other direction. The distance between myself and the white car enable me to avoid getting involved in a multiple pile up, only the white and black car were involved. I assumed that the black had hit the white. In the instance I was watching the black car in my mirror my wife said the white car had started to move into the lane to the left. My point being two observers, at the same time but differing viewpoints had two critically significantly different observations of the one event, and again neither of us benefited or was injured by the event. How does the human memory perform when we do benefit or are injured, particularly when the participation is second hand. How does the media portray the emotions of remaining family members when there is an event of human tragedy. How do emotions harden / soften with the passage of time. How much reliability can be placed on the recollections some twenty, thirty perhaps even fourty plus years in the case of a nazi war criminal on the recollections of witnesses / observers.
The second general point is what is the purpose of the investigation? Learn from the past and enact changes in the system to reduce the possibility of reoccurrence? Apply justice? Seek retribution. Sell media? Enable “whistle blowers” to present their evidenced report in safety? Others must have known about Jimmy Saville, Weinstein and other abusers, why did they keep silent for so long? This year a politician was rebuked for “political incorrectness” when drawing greater attention to abusers. She had evidence. Surely, she was fulfilling responsibilities as a “public servant” to make more of the vulnerable aware of the dangers. Only this morning the UK government annouced planned measures to make the internet safer. My own experience is that secrecy is imposed to save embarassement rather than provide information that if “known” to enemies (if we totally believe the media then North Korea knows what I am going to have for breakfast tomorrow) that will escalate security risks.
I have made the point before. The public must demand more accountability, and demand it now rather than decades later when the accused cannot defend themselves and memories are unreliable.