A WOMAN claiming to be the victim of a “VIP paedophile ring”, which involved three former prime ministers, has alleged she was prostituted to “paedophile parties” at Parliament House in Canberra.
By Liz Burke
Speaking to media in Sydney, Fiona Barnett detailed her alleged abuse by the alleged elite paedophile ring 40 years ago.
The 45-year-old said she was abused by the ring, which included high-ranking politicians, police and members of the judiciary, at the age of five and claimed there were thousands of other victims.
“My experiences were horrific beyond words,” she said. “But the way I’ve been treated for reporting the crimes I witnessed and experienced has been far worse than my original abuse experiences.”
The northern NSW woman went on to detail “hundreds of crimes” she claimed she had witnessed, including child abduction, torture, rape and murder.
Ms Barnett described the alleged operation as a “very well-coordinated international paedophile ring”, and said there was a strict hierarchy.
“I was only saved for the VIP paedophiles,” she said.
“It’s a hierarchy, what I witnessed was the very top of the hierarchy.”
Ms Barnett said she “lives in absolute fear” and only decided to speak out because she “has nothing left to lose”.
She maintains the network is still in operation, and urged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to make it a priority to “make the kids safe”.
Ms Barnett said she had taken the allegations to multiple health professionals in the 1980s, NSW Police in 2008 and approached the Royal Commission in 2013. She said she and other victims of “VIP” perpetrators were “stonewalled” by authorities.
ACT Police release a statement this afternoon after Ms Barnett’s press conference.
“The matter was thoroughly investigated by ACT Policing’s Operation Attest and there was no evidence to substantiate the complainant’s allegations,” the statement read.
“The matter was finalised and the complainant was notified on April 30, 2015.”
Leader of child sex abuse advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Nicky Davis said Ms Barnett’s alleged experience was not unique.
“SNAP has heard from a number of survivors of very similar offences who have been raped, who have been tortured, whose perpetrators include the most senior people in Australia.”
SNAP says allegations have been ignored by the Royal Commission and government officials.
The group claims many survivors have spoken to police, the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse, politicians and government officials and had produced “considerable” evidence.
“There are a large number who want to speak out,” Ms Davis told news.com.au.
“These are some of the worst crime committed by the most powerful against the most vulnerable.”
Allegations of the elite paedophile ring surfaced in a Senate estimates hearing earlier this week, with Liberal senator Bill Heffernan claiming he had obtained a police list containing the names of 28 prominent people.
Senator Heffernan wouldn’t name names on Tuesday but called on Attorney-General George Brandis to expand the child abuse Royal Commission to include the legal fraternity, as well as a former prime minister.
He told the Senate estimates hearing in Canberra he had provided the Commission with documents, one naming the alleged paedophiles including “a whole lot of prominent people.”
Senator Heffernan is a vociferous campaigner against paedophiles, but in 2002 he used parliamentary privilege to falsely accuse a judge of using commonwealth cars to procure young men for sex.
Senator Heffernan said the documents relating to these allegations, delivered to him by a police agency some time ago, were very disturbing.
Ms Barnett said she wanted to see her claims and the claims of others investigated the Royal Commission.
“I’m not the only one who’s seen this stuff,” she said.
“What I want to see happen is not just my claims, I want all of the claims pooled and I want them investigated.”
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