Ill UK peer accused of child sex abuse ordered to appear in court

  • Reuters, London
  • Updated: Aug 07, 2015 20:58 IST

An elderly member of Britain's House of Lords was ordered to present himself in court on Friday to face charges of child sex abuse, despite the defence arguing that he was too unwell to attend.

Lord Greville Janner, 87, a former Labour member of Parliament and ex-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, is accused of 22 offences in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. He denies the charges.

"Lord Janner is fit to attend," Judge Howard Riddle told Westminster Magistrates Court, saying his presence was necessary in the interests of justice.

Riddle said that the peer, who has been suspended by the opposition Labour party, would only be needed for as little as a minute in a brief hearing.

In April, prosecutors said that Janner, who has Alzheimer's, was too ill to face the charges in court, but were forced to reverse their decision a few months later following anger from his alleged victims.

Riddle ended up adjourning the hearing for seven days for arrangements to be made so Janner could appear at the hearing after defence lawyers said the former lawmaker would not be able to attend on Friday, despite the judge's ruling.

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