Monday, March 15, 1999 Published at 19:57 GMT
Bulger mother 'will fight' trial ruling
Jon Venables (left) and Robert Thompson: Both are now aged 17
The mother of murdered toddler James Bulger has vowed to fight a European ruling that his child killers were denied a fair trial.
The two boys were both aged 11 at the time of the trial in 1993.
The European Commission for Human Rights ruled on Monday that these procedures were "severely intimidating".
It ruled that the procedures prevented the boys from participating effectively in their trial and violated Article Six of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Ms Fergus was not impressed. "They say they were unfairly treated. Why didn't they stop the case when it was going on, instead of waiting six years before they say it?" she said.
"I don't think they were unfairly treated in any way. They had top lawyers, social workers, care workers, they had the best of everything"
"Truthfully, I'd like them locked up and the key thrown away. Let's forget about them instead of forgetting about James," she said.
The judgement paves the way for a full human rights hearing later this year.
The Commission filters cases for consideration by the European Court of Human Rights, and its opinion is often seen as a pointer to the eventual outcome, although there is no guarantee that they will come to the same conclusion.
Britain said it will continue to contest the application.
'Another turn of the knife'
Rex Makin, solicitor for James' father Ralph, said: "How the Bulger family are expected to understand this decision is beyond comprehension.
But John Dickinson, the Sheffield-based solicitor representing Venables, said he was encouraged by the ruling, although there was still a long way to go.
He said: "I think the sentence and the trial proceedings raised substantial issues which couldn't be considered in this country."
Human rights campaign Liberty said the Commission was "quite right".
The two boys, both from Merseyside, were 10 when they abducted James from the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle and killed him. They are now 17.