NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2013/PRNewswire/ – In the wake of the child-abuse scandal surrounding BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, the United Kingdom lifted its 500-day travel ban on American journalist Leah McGrath Goodman and restored her visa this past week, allowing her to complete an investigation into allegations of systemic child abuse in the UK and its territories.
As reported by The Guardian and the BBC, Goodman was banned after being detained and questioned by UK authorities in September 2011 about her research into allegations of horrific crimes against children at the orphanage Haut de la Garenne on the island of Jersey, a leading offshore tax shelter controlled by the British Crown.
Amid fresh allegations about Savile’s predatory activities on the island of Jersey, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley John Hemming filed a parliamentary motion in September 2012 protesting Goodman’s ban. “I am pleased that Leah now has her visa,” says Hemming. “They should not have banned her in the first place. She wished to investigate the story relating to Jimmy Savile and Haut de la Garenne before it became public. Clearly, her ban was part of the cover-up which should be investigated itself.”
Trevor Pitman, a member of Jersey’s Parliament, initiated a petition in defense of Goodman in September on Change.org, signed by thousands. “I'm pleased our campaign has been successful,” says Pitman. “Leah's ban was politically motivated and symptomatic of a justice system that has been hijacked.”
Haut de la Garenne made international headlines in 2008, when Jersey police launched an investigation into nearly 200 complaints of alleged abuse, torture and murder at the children’s home. The investigation was abruptly halted in 2009 after the island’s Health Minister and Chief of Police were removed from their jobs under pressure to end the probe.
Leah McGrath Goodman, a member of The London Speaker Bureau and contributor to Fortune plans to write a book on her findings. Her first book, “The Asylum: Inside the Rise and Ruin of the Global Oil Market,” will be released in paperback by HarperCollins this spring.