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Attorney General responds to John Hemming's Concerns

The Attorney General has decided to act on John Hemming's concerns about criminal proceedings in which Dr. David Southall did not reveal to a court that secret medical files existed on suspects. The link above is to his letter to John Hemming sent by fax this morning.

In a written ministerial statement to the House of Lords today, the Attorney
General, Lord Goldsmith, said:

"It is said that Professor Southall kept so-called 'special case' files containing original medical records relating to his patients that were not also kept on the child's proper hospital file. Concerns have been raised that in some of those cases criminal proceedings may have been taken but the existence of the files not revealed, resulting in their not being disclosed as part of the prosecution process. I share those concerns.

"What is not clear at this stage is the nature and extent of the failure of disclosure, if such it be. I have therefore decided that I will conduct an assessment of the cases where Professor Southall was instructed as a prosecution witness to determine if any 'special case' files existed in any cases involving criminal proceedings. Once that assessment has been completed, I will decide what, if any, further review is required."


The Attorney General hasn't seen fit to extend his assessment to civil proceedings in the family courts in which these secret 'Special Case Files' were not disclosed, and John Hemming has written to him asking why this is the case.

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