28/11/2005

Met Chief to face inquiry over Menezes shooting

Metropolitan Police Chief Sir Ian Blair is to face an inquiry into his conduct following the shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes.

The announcement follows a formal complaint made by Mr Menezes’ family, implying that Sir Ian ‘misled’ them and the general public over the circumstances of the Brazilian’s death.

Mr Menezes, 27, was shot eight times by anti-terrorist police at Stockwell Tube Station on July 22 – the day after a series of failed terror attacks on the London transport network. He had been mistaken for a suicide bomber.

The Menezes’ family’s complaint alleges that “false public statements” regarding the shooting of Mr Menezes were made by the Metropolitan Police, following his death.

The investigation will be separate from the ongoing investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the circumstances surrounding the shooting, which is due to be completed by the end of the year, in order to avoid any delays or distractions.

The investigation will be led by Mike Grant, an IPCC Senior Investigator, who will be supported by Peter Goode, IPCC Acting Director of Operations.

A second aspect of the Menezes family’s complaint, alleging that the Metropolitan Police delayed informing them of Jean Charles’ death will be incorporated into the main IPCC inquiry, it was also confirmed. However, the IPCC said that the issue would not be completed at the same time as the main inquiry.

The IPCC also said that the family also raised concerns about why the Metropolitan Police did not subsequently correct inaccurate information in the case, but said that they had urged those involved not to comment on the facts of the case and, therefore, this would not be investigated.

Nick Hardwick, Chair of the IPCC, said: “Neither we nor Jean Charles’ family want this complaint to distract us from the main task of finding out how and why Jean Charles died. We still expect our investigation into the shooting to be completed by the end of December. The results of our investigation will be made public once the legal processes are completed.

“We will treat this investigation in the same way as any other, although I have asked a panel of three IPCC Commissioners to oversee it. We have not made any assumptions and for the sake of Jean Charles’ family, officers within the MPS and the public at large, will try to establish the truth in an impartial, proportionate and timely way.”

(KMcA/GB)






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