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Slavery probe man facing 25 charges

A Maoist activist investigated over allegations of slavery has been charged with 25 counts of offences including rape, police said.

Aravindan Balakrishnan, 74, is also accused of crimes including false imprisonment, indecent assault and cruelty to a child under 16, Scotland Y ard said.

He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on December 17.

Anthony Connell, senior prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The CPS has today authorised the police to charge Aravindan Balakrishnan with a number of charges including false imprisonment, cruelty to a person under 16 years, indecent assault and rape.

"After careful consideration we have decided that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest."

Balakrishnan, who was arrested in Lambeth, south London, in November last year, faces one count of cruelty to a person under the age of 16, one count of false imprisonment, 19 counts of indecent assault and four counts of rape.

These offences relate to three women and span a period between January 1980 and October 2013, Scotland Yard said.

A 67-year-old woman, understood to be Balakrishnan's wife, Chanda Pattni, was arrested alongside him in November 2013.

In September, after 10 months on bail, she was told she would face no further action from police and released without charge.

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