LONDON (AP) — Victims of childhood sexual abuse said Friday they were disappointed that prosecutors had dropped a sex-crimes prosecution against politician Greville Janner, who died before court proceedings could begin.
Lord Janner, a former Labour Party lawmaker and peer, died Dec. 19 aged 87. At the time he stood accused of 22 offences in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, most involving boys in children’s homes in his central England constituency.
His family denied all the allegations.
Prosecutor Richard Whittam told a judge Friday that before Lord Janner died, prosecutors had applied to introduce more charges. But he said the law “makes no provision for posthumous proceedings” so the prosecution is now over.
Liz Dux, lawyer for six of Lord Janner’s alleged victims, said her clients were “devastated.”
“They understand the reasons why but that doesn’t make up for the real travesty — that many gave their statements decades ago and have been denied justice through a failure to prosecute earlier when Janner was alive and well,” she said.
Police and child-abuse victims expressed outrage last year when prosecutors announced they would not charge Lord Janner, although there was enough evidence to do so, because he had advanced Alzheimer’s.
The Crown Prosecution Service later reversed the decision and said a judge and jury would conduct a “trial of the facts,” which considers evidence but does not issue a verdict or pass sentence. It had been scheduled to start in April, without Lord Janner present.
Britain’s judge-led inquiry into institutional child abuse said Friday it would consider the claims against Lord Janner as part of its investigation.