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'Victims' want Janner case review

Published 28/04/2015

Lord Janner denies accusations that he carried out a catalogue of abuse against vulnerable young boys
Lord Janner denies accusations that he carried out a catalogue of abuse against vulnerable young boys

A number of alleged victims of Lord Janner are seeking a formal review of the decision not to prosecute the former MP over child sex abuse claims.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided that the former Labour peer, 86, was too unwell to stand trial because of his dementia.

Lord Janner was accused of carrying out a catalogue of abuse against vulnerable young boys, and more than a dozen people came forward to claim he abused them during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

But last week Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), decided not to charge him on health grounds, despite admitting there was enough evidence to prosecute for 22 sex offences against nine people.

Lawyers representing a number of his alleged victims have written to the DPP to formally request a review of the decision.

Liz Dux, specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: "We have been instructed by our clients to seek a review of the Director of Public Prosecutions' decision not to charge Lord Janner.

"They very much hope that she gives their request the careful attention it deserves.

"All they have ever wanted is for the opportunity to give their evidence and to be heard."

The CPS has been engulfed in a storm of controversy since announcing it would not bring charges against Lord Janner, despite there being enough evidence to prosecute.

A cross-party group of MPs wrote in a letter to The Times that the decision was "damaging public confidence", and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he had "sympathy" with calls for a review of the decision, saying it was essential people understood how Ms Saunders had come to such a "highly controversial" decision.

Former lord chancellor Lord Falconer said Ms Saunders was wrong, and suggested there should have been an open hearing before a jury to decide whether Lord Janner was fit to plead.

He also suggested a special hearing - known as a trial of facts - could test the allegations in Lord Janner's absence.

Lord Janner denies the allegations against him. His family have said he is "entirely innocent of any wrongdoing".

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