Janner-DPP claims denied by CPS


Published: Saturday 25th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Britain’s most senior prosecutor and Lord Janner have never met, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Alison Saunders has come under intense pressure following her decision not to prosecute the peer over child sex allegations.

It was claimed last night that she began her legal career at a chambers where Lord Janner had worked.

But the CPS hit back today. A spokeswoman said: “The DPP and Greville Janner have never met. This is ridiculous.”

The Sun claimed that Lord Janner worked from a chambers based at One Garden Court, where Ms Saunders undertook a pupillage, which is part of a barrister’s training.

The chambers now operating at the address, One Garden Court Family Law Chambers, said it “was founded in 1989 and has no connection with any set of barristers, chambers or individuals practising from One Garden Court prior to that date”.

Meanwhile, former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer joined the chorus of criticism of the decision not to prosecute Lord Janner.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? on Friday night: ” I think she was wrong.

“I think the position was that there should have been an open hearing before a jury as to whether or not Lord Janner was fit to plead or not.

“What Alison Saunders has said, there’s no question there was sufficient evidence to justify a prosecution, it would be for the jury to decide whether he was guilty.

“But the idea of making that decision behind closed doors gives rise to suspicion.

“I’m not saying either he was or was not fit to plead, but it should have been decided by a jury.”

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

“If it had been decided that he was unfit to plead, there is a procedure that allows for the facts to be heard and a view by a court to be formed as to whether or not the offences occurred,” Lord Falconer said.

“I can think of nothing more awful, if I was genuinely a victim, and I don’t know whether or not these – the people who make complaints are genuine victims or not – that I wasn’t given an opportunity for my case to be heard and if the court took the view it was true, my views to be validated.

“I think it is wholly wrong that this has been done behind closed doors.

“There is a legitimate court process that would have ensured fairness and I believe the DPP should have used it.”

The CPS has been engulfed by a storm of controversy since announcing its conclusion that Lord Janner, 86, was too unwell to stand trial because of his dementia despite there being enough evidence to prosecute him.

Earlier this week, Ms Saunders defended the decision.

“If somebody wants to challenge my decision, I’m not afraid. The proper way to challenge it is through the right to review or judicial review,” she told the Evening Standard.

“I’m confident that if they want to do that, my decision will stand up. I thought long and hard before making it, and I’m confident I got it right.”

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

Published: Saturday 25th April 2015 by The News Editor

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