Daniel O’Donnell says his close friend Sir Cliff Richard should never have been named after a recent sex abuse claim was made against him.
Daniel described Cliff as a “really genuine, good person who would do nothing to anybody, least of all a child”.
The English singer strongly denies allegations that he was involved in sexually assaulting a boy at a rally by US evangelist Billy Graham in Sheffield in 1985.
Daniel said he felt it was “absolutely unfair and unjust” that Cliff’s name was made public before the case had been fully investigated.
“In my limited knowledge of the law, I don’t think we should know at this stage who the accused is,” he said.
“I think the way it has all been conducted is definitely unfair and not in keeping with the law. It is like there is some kind of witch- hunt,” he said.
The Kincasslagh star said steps should be taken to ensure that the name of an accused person was protected until they were charged with an offense.
“It’s not the first time this has happened and an individual’s name has been made public before being charged. In some of those cases, the person was later deemed not to have a case to answer. But, by then, the damage was done to the person’s reputation,” he said.
“As well as everything else, this also diminishes the legitimate cases of people who have been abused.”
Daniel added: “In Cliff’s case, his name should not have been revealed until good investigative work is done to see if there are any grounds for the case to go any further. And I believe that Cliff will not have a case to answer.”
Last week Daniel’s wife Majella took to Twitter to defend the singer.
Sir Cliff has now been interviewed under caution by South Yorkshire Police detectives investigating the sex crime claim.