Leicester

Lord Janner inquiry: Further delays to investigation

Lord Janner Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Lord Janner, who was a Leicester MP, died in 2015

An investigation into institutional failings around sex abuse claims against the late Lord Janner has been delayed again.

The Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) planned to hear allegations against the former MP in February 2020.

But possible criminal proceedings against a former member of staff at Leicestershire Police, connected to the case, means it has been pushed back.

The hearing date is now October 2020.

At a preliminary hearing in September the inquiry was told a related Independent Office for Police Conduct's investigation into Leicestershire Police's handling of Lord Janner abuse claims, known as Operation Nori, had recently concluded.

It had passed a file concerning one individual to the CPS.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prof Alexis Jay is leading the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)

In her determination, inquiry chair Alexis Jay decided there would be another preliminary hearing once the CPS made a decision on this, by February at the latest.

But the main inquiry will not now begin until October 2020, when it has been provisionally listed.

She added she "recognised that this may be deeply distressing to some" but she did not want the inquiry to risk "undermining those investigations".

At the September hearing Nick Stanage, representing 14 alleged victims, said his clients had "waited decades" and "waited patiently".

Image caption Greville Janner, pictured in 1987, was a former Leicester MP

Lord Janner, a barrister and MP in Leicester, was the subject of child sex abuse allegations dating back to 1955 during three police investigations in the 1990s and 2000s.

Following a fourth police inquiry, he was charged in 2015 with sexually abusing nine alleged victims.

The peer, who suffered from dementia and was ruled unfit to plead, died later that year in December aged 87 before a trial of the facts could take place.

Six of Lord Janner's accusers began the process of suing his estate for damages, but this civil case was discontinued in May 2017.

But his son, Daniel Janner QC, complained in IICSA, they would not be able to cross examine the complainants, and said the civil cases against his father had "collapsed".

He added: "This strand [of IICSA] is a macabre witch hunt of a dead, innocent man who can't answer false and unproven allegations."

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