“The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Alison Saunders will now bring criminal proceedings against Greville Janner for child sex offences.
This follows a review of the case under the recently introduced CPS Victims’ Right to Review scheme, which allows victims to have their cases looked at again, no matter who in the CPS made the original decision not to prosecute.
In the past year the scheme has meant that more than 200 prosecutions have been brought that would not have been brought otherwise.
In April this year the DPP decided that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute, meaning that, in her view, if there could be a full criminal trial a jury would be likely to convict Lord Janner. However, the DPP considered that it was not in the public interest to prosecute. This was because there was undisputed medical evidence that Greville Janner was not fit to stand trial which meant there could not be a full criminal trial and he could not therefore be found guilty of any offence and because he was not a danger to the public. It was also in light of the fact that the DPP sought assurances that the complainants would have the opportunity to give their account to the public inquiry led by Justice Goddard which has been set up to look at cases which may have been mis-handled in the past.
Without the compelling medical evidence the DPP has made clear that she would have brought a prosecution.
In May, six of the complainants in this case requested a formal Right to Review, and at the DPP’s request, David Perry QC was instructed to provide advice to inform the CPS review of the decision.
The review concluded that it was in the public interest to bring proceedings before the court.
In reaching that conclusion, the review agreed that although there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, it is right to assume that Greville Janner will inevitably be found unfit to plead and therefore not fit to instruct his legal team and not fit to challenge or give evidence in a trial. Therefore the most likely outcome of a “trial of the facts” would be an absolute discharge, which is neither punishment nor conviction.”
It’s going to be a long day for Alison Saunders.