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Europe

Officers escape charges over De Menezes shooting

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Latest update : 2009-02-14

The anti-terror police officers involved in the shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles De Menezes (photo), who was mistaken for a suicide bomber in London in 2005, will not face charges from the Crown Prosecution Service, a lawyer said.

AFP - British prosecutors will not press charges against anti-terror police officers involved in shooting an innocent Brazilian mistaken for a suicide bomber in 2005, a lawyer said Friday.
   
Jean Charles De Menezes was shot seven times in the head at Stockwell underground station, south London on July 22, 2005, the day after a failed attempt to replicate the July 7 attacks in which four suicide bombers killed 52 people.
   
In December last year, an inquest into the 27-year-old Brazilian electrician's death returned an open or inconclusive verdict which was condemned as a "whitewash" by his family.
   
A review of the case was ordered after that but insufficient evidence to pursue any individual officer over the killing was found, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
   
"Following the inquest ... I conducted a further review of the case in light of the fresh evidence uncovered by the inquest," said Stephen O'Doherty, reviewing lawyer.
   
"I have now concluded that there is insufficient evidence that any offence was committed by any individual officers in relation to the tragic death of Mr de Menezes."
   
On the day of the killing, police had followed the Brazilian onto an underground train at Stockwell station in the mistaken belief that he was failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman, who lived in De Menezes' block of flats.
   
O'Doherty noted that the inquest jury did not accept the evidence of the two firearms officers, known as Charlie 2 and Charlie 12, who actually shot De Menezes.
   
"I considered whether the officers known as C2 and C12 acted in self-defence in shooting Mr de Menezes and also whether they lied to the inquest about what was said and done immediately before the shooting," he said.
   
"I concluded that in the confusion of what occurred on the day, a jury could not be sure that any officer had deliberately given a false account of events.
   
"I also considered the actions of the individual officers in the police management team on that day and considered whether there was sufficient evidence to charge any of them with gross negligence manslaughter."
   
He concluded: "There was no fresh evidence from the inquest which caused me to change my original decision that there was insufficient evidence to do so.
   
"I have today written to the de Menezes family explaining my decision."
 

Date created : 2009-02-13

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