By Charles Bayliss
- Peter Ball was sentenced to 32 months in 2015 for string of sexual offences
- Independent investigators are now looking into allegations made against him
- Prince Charles used to send letters to the former Bishop of Gloucester
Prince Charles has been asked to give a witness statement to a public inquiry about a paedophile bishop who was jailed for abusing young men.
Peter Ball was sentenced to 32 months in 2015 for a string of historic sex offences dating back as far as the 1970s – but investigators working for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) are looking into the allegations made against him.
Fiona Scolding QC said at a hearing today that statements had been requested from the Prince of Wales and his principal private secretary.
According to a transcript posted on the inquiry website, she said: ‘We have also requested a witness statement from both His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and his principal private secretary.
‘The Prince’s solicitors have indicated their client’s willingness to assist us and have raised a number of important issues for us to consider.
‘This has led to lengthy and complex discussions and we are currently considering the latest points they have raised. We hope to be able to provide an update to core participants on this in the next couple of weeks.’
Prince Charles is known to have sent letters to Ball, the former Bishop of Gloucester. His diocese covers Highgrove, the prince’s country home.
A spokesman for the prince told the Daily Mail last year that the correspondence contained nothing of relevance to the clergyman’s offending.
Lawyer Richard Scorer from Slater and Gordon, who is representing complainants at the IICSA, said: ‘It is imperative that the inquiry leaves no stone unturned in its efforts to establish how Peter Ball was able to evade justice for two decades.
‘If this means calling Prince Charles and other prominent establishment figures as witnesses then the inquiry should do so without fear or favour.’
A spokesman for Charles said: ‘IICSA has asked The Prince of Wales if he can help the part of their Inquiry that deals with Mr Peter Ball.
‘Whilst the prince has made it clear that he was unaware of the extent of Mr Ball’s behaviour, he has indicated that he is more than willing to provide context on his contact with Mr Ball, as his former local bishop, if that would help the inquiry.’
This article (Prince Charles is asked to give a witness statement) was originally published on Daily Mail and syndicated by The Event Chronicle.