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Anorak | Lord Janner: DPP, FGM and shuffling across the carpet to genital abuse

Lord Janner: DPP, FGM and shuffling across the carpet to genital abuse

by | 25th, April 2015

DPP Janner

 

Lord Janner: a look at reporting on the Labout peer in the news.

The Sun : “CRONY PROSECUTOR”

DPP worked at same firm as peado rap Lord she let off

It’s about Ms Alison Saunders, the head of the Crown Prosection service. The Sun says she “started her career” at 1 Garden Court Chamebers  – where Janner…was a top QC.”

Thsi is an “exclusive”. Well, it is to anyone who has never read the Saunders CV or other news sources days ago.

The upper echelons of the judiciary are incestuous places.

Daily Telegraph : “CPS chief’s husbands is member of ‘tax loophole’ film investment scheme”

The knives are out for Director of Public Prosecutions boss Saunders.

Neil Saunders, whose wife is the Director of Public Prosecutions, is a member of a controversial scheme being investigated by the taxman, The Telegraph can disclose.

A lecture from the Daily Telegraph on the wrongs of legally exploiting tax loopholes might make you roll your eyes, but is it valid?

Neil Saunders, a defence barrister, is listed by Companies House as a member of a film industry investment scheme which is being pursued by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

How are the husband’s tax affairs relevant to Sauncders’ decicion not to send Janner to court? We’re not told. It’s just out there. As are these facts:

DPP Alison Saunders took legal advice on Greville Janner from former colleague of his son
DPP Alison Saunders spent £7,000 on business class flights while CPS headed towards crisis

The Press Gazette : “‘Eight officers stormed into my bedroom shouting Met Police’: Reporter’s three-year ordeal ‘for writing story about a fox'”

As well as looking at what cases Saunders did not think fit for court, it’s worth looking what what cases she has approved.

The Sun’s online news editor Vince Soodin has has condemned the Met Police for turning Operation Elveden into “a probe into unauthorised leaks to journalists whether they were paid for or not”.

Soodin, along with former News of the World reporter Lucy Panton, was officially cleared at the Old Bailey yesterday – nearly three years after his initial arrest.

Good.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph today, Soodin, 40, said Operation Elveden has been “pursued without any sense of proportion” by the Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe and Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders who he said “must resign”.

On his 7 August 2012 arrest, Soodin wrote: “I was set to go the London Olympics; instead I was woken at 6.06am by my doorbell. I was confronted by eight police officers; detectives stormed past me into my bedroom, waking my girlfriend, who was unaware I had gone to the front door, shouting ‘Met Police’ before I was allowed to explain to her what was happening. We were in shock.

“Officers bagged up our computers. Seized our belongings. They went through our clothes and underwear, personal diaries, everything. Almost anything connected to my job was tagged and taken. They still have my Sun contract of employment as though this is damning evidence that I am a criminal.

“Detectives stood over us as we dressed. Then I was taken away from my girlfriend and thrown into a cell at a north London police station before being questioned by two detectives.”

Snodin then nails Saunders.

“Set alongside the Lord Janner scandal and February’s ludicrous prosecution of a doctor – on charges of female genital mutilation – who had stitched up a woman bleeding after childbirth, Operation Elveden has destroyed confidence in the Crown Prosecution Service under Alison Saunders. There is only one proper course of action now. She must resign.”

The FGM show trial was a disaster for the CPS. It was a victory for the jury which found Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena not guilty of carrying out female genital mutilation on a newly delivered young mother. Another man was cleared of abetting Dr Dharmasena. Both men was used to showcase the authorities’ commitment to combatting FGM.

But what of calling for someone to lose their job? Is that fair?

The Indepedent : “Lord Janner: How the Director of Public Prosecutions should have handled the Labour peer”

In hindsight:

What most angers her critics is that after taking the trouble to consult widely on the decision, Saunders has chosen to deny Janner’s alleged victims any chance of having their day in court.

What angers her critics is that Saunders came to the conclusion they didn’t want.

Lord Janner’s mental capacity – he is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s – is not in question.

It is the question. It is very much the question. And many have sought to answer it. If Lord Janner was well, he would be charged with 14 indecent assaults on a male under 16 between 1969 and 1988; two indecent assaults between 1984 and 1988; four counts of buggery of a male under 16 between 1972 and 1987; and two counts of buggery between 1977 and 1988.

…she seemed to perfectly understand what is at stake by deciding not to prosecute. Saunders explained: “There has been considerable public interest, and media coverage, of the fact of the investigations including identifying Lord Janner as the subject of them. Indeed, concern has been expressed publicly of a cover-up.”

And she went on: “The allegations that have been made against Lord Janner are extremely serious . Those who have made them are, entirely understandably, vociferous in urging the taking of action against Lord Janner.”

But what Saunders woefully failed to address was the possibility of a trial on the facts alone, so that the victims would at least have their allegations tested in a court of law. It would have required Lord Janner to be charged and then for the judge to officially rule that, although he was unfit to plead, a jury could still hear the issues.

No. She did not fail to address that . As David Pannick QC explains :

The critics have also referred to cases under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 where a criminal court does decide the truth of allegations against a person suffering from a mental incapacity. But, as confirmed by the Court of Appeal in a judgment, R v Wells, in January, such cases are heard, despite the mental incapacity, because consideration is being given to imposing a hospital order or a supervision order on the defendant for reasons of public protection, or because treatment is required, and it is in the defendant’s interest that the facts are found before such an intrusive order is made. In the present case, and as the DPP has explained, the medical evidence is again unequivocal that Lord Janner poses no current threat to anyone.

Of course the decision is disappointing to the complainants. But the criminal process does not exist to give a platform for the making of allegations against a defendant who is incapable of defending himself. The gravity of the allegations makes it especially appropriate to protect such a defendant from unfairness, particularly when he denied the allegations in the past while able to do so.

The Indy goes on:

This would have been highly unusual, and may have broken new legal ground, but this is a highly unusual case in which the police and CPS have failed three times to do their job.

Saunders’ inability to anticipate the political backlash left her badly exposed.

So. Justice should be dictated by fear of the public mood?

Sir Clive Loader, Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, described the decision as ‘not just wrong’ but ‘wholly perverse’ and ‘contrary to any notion of natural justice’.

The police are now on the side of the angels.

Daily Mail : “The rape of justice: Damning new evidence of Labour peer Lord

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Posted: 25th, April 2015 | In: News, Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink