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Prince Charles called to give witness statement on accused paedophile bishop

Prince Charles has been called to give a witness statement for the public inquiry of Peter Ball.

The 85-year-old bishop was jailed in October 2015 for numerous offences against 18 teenage boys and men.

The acts of the Bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester took place between the 1970s to the 1990s.

Prince Charles had previously sent letters back-and-forth with Ball as The Prince of Wales’ Highgrove home is in the Gloucester diocese.

According to BBC, Clarence House said the prince had “made it clear the he was unaware of the extent of Mr Ball’s behaviour”.

They added that Prince Charles was “more than willing to provide context on his contact” with Peter Ball.

In February 2017, Ball was released from jail after serving 16 months. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) is now dealing with the allegations.

During the hearing on Wednesday, Fiona Scolding QC, counsel to the inquiry noted that they had asked Prince Charles and his principal private secretary for statements.

A transcript posted on the inquiry website said: “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.”

Slater and Gordon’s lawyer, Richard Scorer who is representing the complainants, 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.”

Clarence House released a short statement after the hearing on Wednesday, saying: “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.”

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