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Thread: UK police 'cover-up' slammed
01-30-06, 12:42 PM #1FishTail Guest
UK police 'cover-up' slammed
London - The family of an innocent Brazilian shot by London undercover police who mistook him for a terrorist called on Sunday on the capital's police chief to consider his position after reports that evidence to an inquiry had been faked.
Special Branch officers from London's Metropolitan Police tried to change a surveillance log detailing the movements of electrician Jean-Charles de Menezes to hide the fact that they had wrongly identified him.
De Menezes, 27, was shot several times in the head on a London Underground train at Stockwell station.
He was killed on July 22 last year, the day after an alleged attempt to replicate the July 7 attacks by four suspected suicide bombers which killed 52 innocent Underground and bus commuters.
The alleged cover-up meant the blame for the tragedy would have been pinned on senior Met Police commanders or the armed police who fired the bullets - leaving them open to murder charges.
"(Metropolitan Police Commissioner) Sir Ian Blair does need to seriously consider his own position today," said Asad Rehman, spokesperson for the Brazilian's family.
"It seems that Sir Ian Blair was not aware of any of this information for quite a while following Jean's death, which does raise certain questions about how in touch he was with the operation.
'Not on the ball'
"Both then and today Sir Ian Blair is ultimately responsible for the safety of people in London and this country. It seems he didn't have his eye on the ball."
The revelations about the alleged faking of evidence are apparently contained in the Independent Police Complaints Commission's (IPCC) report into the death, which was delivered to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) 10 days ago.
A Special Branch officer mistakenly reported that De Menezes was Hussein Osman, 27, who is facing charges of conspiracy to murder in connection with the July 21 incident.
However, once they realised their fatal error, the log was altered to read that no positive identification had been made.
A government department source said: "It says the log was actually tampered with in a major way.
"In particular the words 'and' and 'not' were inserted so it read 'and it was not Osman' rather than 'it was Osman'."
The log was allegedly changed at a debriefing meeting 10 hours after the Brazilian was gunned down.
It had been produced by colleagues of the officers listening to the team's radio messages.
During the debriefing, the officers were allowed to check for errors and amend them - but crucially, the alterations were not explained and signed as they apparently should have been.
IPCC said: "This looks like an attempt to try and distance Special Branch from the decision (to shoot De Menezes)."
The IPCC investigates deaths with either direct or indirect police involvement as a matter of course. The CPS handles criminal cases and is expected to take several months to decide whether to bring charges.
If it's true, all I can say is...D'OH!!!
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