UK

CPS grants Lord Janner review

Lord Janner Image copyright PA
Image caption More than a dozen allegations have been made against Lord Janner, pictured here in 2000

A group who claim ex-Labour MP Lord Janner sexually abused them have been granted a review of the CPS's decision not to prosecute him.

The Director of Public Prosecutions had said Lord Janner, 86, would not be prosecuted, despite sufficient evidence to bring a case, due to his dementia.

But the CPS said a senior prosecutor unconnected to the original case would now review that decision.

The ex-MP has denied any wrongdoing.

Defending her decision following calls for a review last month, DPP Alison Saunders told the BBC that Lord Janner's dementia was so severe that he could "play no part in a trial".

Ms Saunders said that she had written to the alleged victims to inform them they have the right to a review.

Image caption Alison Saunders has said she was aware her decision "might not be welcome"

Lawyers representing a group of alleged victims confirmed shortly afterwards that they would seek a review.

One man, who claims he was abused by Lord Janner, had called for the release of the medical reports which prompted the decision not to prosecute the peer.

He told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme that seeing the reports would give him peace of mind.

'Unique circumstances'

The CPS Victims' Right to Review Scheme allows a complainant to request a charging decision be reconsidered.

A spokesman for the CPS said in a statement on Friday that reviews are usually conducted by the CPS appeals unit, but added that "due to the unique circumstances surrounding this case, the CPS has instructed external counsel instead".

Guidelines suggest that a review would normally take six weeks.

More than a dozen individuals have made allegations to police relating to Greville Janner.

The allegations relate to residents in children's homes in Leicestershire in the 1970s and 1980s.

The NSPCC welcomed news of the review, and a spokesman said: "This review needs to reassure those with allegations that every option was fully explored.

"We have questioned why a trial of facts was not suitable whatever the state of Lord Janner's health."

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