Britains director of public prosecutions said on Wednesday that he would review a decision by prosecutors in 2009 not to file charges of sexual abuse against Jimmy Savile,one of Britains best-known television hosts,apparently because his accusers did not wish to proceed to trial.
The announcement seemed certain to reinforce accusations by critics of Savile that neither the authorities nor the BBC took action to restrain or censure him even though rumors about his misbehavior had been swirling for decades.
Keir Starmer,the director of public prosecutions,said prosecutors in 2009 had considered four cases assembled by the police in Surrey but had decided not to proceed. A more recent review by a different prosecutor came to the same conclusion,he said.
The accusations related to episodes reported among pupils at the Duncroft school for emotionally disturbed girls and at Stoke Mandeville Hospital west of London. Starmer said he had asked out of an abundance of caution for his principal legal adviser to review the cases once more.
The prosecutors decision came as Prime Minister David Cameron increased pressure on the BBC to fully investigate Saviles behavior,deepening a confrontation between the government and the public broadcaster once regarded as an emblem of probity and integrity.
Meanwhile,on Tuesday,the culture secretary,Maria Miller,sent a letter to Lord Christopher Patten,the chairman of the governing BBC Trust,saying,Very real concerns are being raised about public trust and confidence in the BBC, which is financed by mandatory license fees paid by viewers. Lord Patten delivered a clear rebuke to Miller,defending the BBCs freedom as a public broadcaster from political control. I know that you will not want to give any impression that you are questioning the independence of the BBC.