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Savile 'victims' await court ruling

Scores of women who say they were abused by Jimmy Savile are waiting for a High Court judge's ruling on a legal dispute which might affect the future of a planned compensation scheme.

A charity and a bank are fighting over who should be the executor of Savile's estate, at a High Court hearing in London expected to end later this week.

And lawyers say Mr Justice Sales' ruling could be bad news for more than 140 people who say they were sexually abused and have made compensation claims.

Lawyers representing victims say they have agreed a compensation scheme with NatWest bank, the estate's current executor. They say the NHS and the BBC also support the scheme.

But the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust - the major beneficiary of the estate, worth around £4 million - wants the bank replaced as executor.

Trust bosses are unhappy with the bank's performance, suggest that compensation issues have not been fully thought through and say NatWest should be replaced by another executor.

NatWest disputes their complaints.

Mr Justice Sales is expected to make a decision on whether or not NatWest should continue as executor after hearing argument over the next few days.

Lawyers for alleged victims say if NatWest is replaced the compensation scheme could be undermined and claimants might be forced into litigation.

""This is an important hearing for our victims," said solicitor Liz Dux, from Slater & Gordon, which represents alleged victims, before the hearing. "The money is available and it should be paid out as soon as possible to deliver some closure. "

She added: "It is not about amounts or cold hard cash but redress."


From Belfast Telegraph