29/11/2005

Metropolitan Police Chief welcomes Menezes’ inquiry

Metropolitan Police Chief Sir Ian Blair has welcomed the announcement of an inquiry into his conduct, following the shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes.

Sir Ian told the CBI conference in London on Tuesday that the investigation was part of the police force’s accountability.

Speaking at the conference, the Metropolitan Police Chief said: “I see that [the inquiry] as a proper part of my service’s accountability and openness to scrutiny.

“One of our great issues is that July was not a train crash. It is not part of normal life.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission made the announcement of the inquiry yesterday. It 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 IPCC investigation 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.

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

(KMcA/SP)

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