BBC probes Savile report cancellation

Oct. 13, 2012 at 11:10 AM
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LONDON, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The head of the Britain's BBC said the network will look into why an investigative report into sex-abuse allegations against presenter Jimmy Savile was shelved.

George Entwistle, director general of the network, said Friday the investigation into the scuttling of the "Newsnight" story would be accompanied by a separate inquiry into the corporate culture at BBC and whether it accommodated Savile's alleged sexual abuse of children.

Britain's The Daily Telegraph said police have received 340 potential "lines of inquiry" into allegations against Savile.

"Newsnight" had conducted an investigation into the budding scandal last year, but it never aired and was replaced by what The Telegraph described as a "series of tributes to the TV presenter."

Sir Christopher Bland, who was chairman of the BBC from 1996-2001, told Radio 4 he welcomed the internal probes and hoped they would clear up concerns that upper management pressured "Newsnight" to halt its investigation.

"'Newsnight' decided to mount an investigation and it was 'Newsnight's' decision to pull it" Bland said. "But plainly the suspicion is there and the inquiry in to 'Newsnight' may find those suspicions to be justified or, much more likely I think, they will be found to be absolutely unfounded."

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