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Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

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Dr Majeed Ridha charged over supply of abortion drug

27/03/2014

Baljit Ubhey, CPS London Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has today authorised the Metropolitan Police Service to charge Dr Majeed Ridha with allegedly encouraging or assisting either (i) the administration of a drug called Misoprostol with intent to procure a miscarriage or (ii) the supply of a drug called Misoprostol for the purpose of procuring a miscarriage. This charge relates to an investigation by The Sunday Times newspaper involving an undercover journalist conducted in September 2012.

"Dr Ridha faces a charge of encouraging or assisting an offence, contrary to section 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007. He is alleged to have encouraged an offence under either section 58 or section 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

"This decision to prosecute was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. We have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.

"Dr Ridha will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on 10 April 2014.

"We have also decided that no further action should be taken in relation to a pharmacist who was also connected with the same investigation by The Sunday Times newspaper, as we determined that there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

"May I remind all concerned that Dr Ridha has a right to a fair trial. It is very important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings. For these reasons, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further."

Background

Under s46 of the Serious Crime Act, the prosecution can allege that a defendant encouraged one or more offences. Our duty is to select the most appropriate offence. Parliament allows this form of charging where encouragement of assistance might relate to one or more offence.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.