Lord Greville Janner.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jerusalem Post correspondent LONDON – Lord Greville Janner, 86, will be told Monday that despite officially being ruled too ill to face trial, months of persistent complaints from alleged victims of historic child sex abuse claimed to have been committed by him, will result in charges and a court case.
However Alison Saunders, director of public prosecutions, who only three months ago controversially ruled Janner could not be charged as he was in no state to defend himself – a decision taken on the advice of four independent examining doctors, two instructed by the prosecuting authorities and two by lawyers of his alleged victims – may face renewed criticism and could be forced out of her job, over her initial decision.
An independent senior lawyer who undertook a review of the evidence, which included claims by at least a dozen people of 22 sexual offenses from the 1960s to 1980s, has decided that a court case must be held to allow for a “trial of the facts” even though Janner – who all agree has advanced dementia – will not be present as he is judged to be too ill to engage in the court process in any meaningful way.
The news will upset his family, who have constantly maintained he is “entirely innocent of any wrongdoing” and disappoint many of his friends and colleagues and those who worked for him throughout his legal, parliamentary and Jewish communal careers, who believe he is being hounded by various individuals determined to end his otherwise unblemished record of service to politics and in the fight against anti-Semitism and for Israel.
Janner has been subjected to at least three police investigations by the Leicestershire Police, who cover the area of his parliamentary constituency of Leicester West and previously Leicester North West, and some former officers have registered complaints that no action was taken by their senior colleagues at the time, as part of an organized cover up.
It is understood that any trial will probably be conducted under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act, which enables a judge to accept that a person is unfit to plead, but he or she can allow a “trial of the facts” to go ahead, though there can be no verdict nor sentence save for a hospital or supervision order or to declare a total discharge for the person concerned.
In such a case, Janner would not be required to be present, though his defense team would be allowed to refute any allegations against him. All involved agree prison is not an option as in his present condition he is most unlikely to be a potential cause of harm to anyone.
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In a BBC Radio interview last week, Saunders accepted that the independent review of her earlier decision could come to another conclusion, and said she would accept the advice, though she emphasized that the medical guidance had not changed and that on the basis of the medical reports “he would not be fit to be tried,” adding, “We take the medical advice and it’s not for me to question.”
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