Sunday, January 29, 2006

Death by Mistaken Identity 

A British newspaper, citing what purports to be a leaked copy of the IPCC report, claims that the London Metropolitan Police attempted to cover up their own culpability in the shooting death of Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes:
Extraordinary allegations that Special Branch officers deliberately falsified vital evidence to hide mistakes which led to the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes at a south London Underground station were made last night.

According to claims in the News of the World, police altered the contents of a logbook, which detailed the Brazilian electrician's final movements, in a bid to cover up their blunders.

The 27-year-old was shot dead at Stockwell Tube station, in the wake of the London bombings, by police exercising a shoot-to-kill policy.

Specific words were understood to have been changed to cover up the fact that surveillance officers had wrongly identified Mr de Menezes as terror suspect Hussein Osman.

Alterations were hastily made to amend the wording of the official log once the shocking truth emerged that the dead man was not, in fact, the extremist wanted in connection with the failed 21 July Tube bombings.

This was in a bid to pass the blame for the shooting on to the firearms officers who actually shot the electrician and on to senior officers at Scotland Yard who were in charge of the operation . . . .

"It reinforces [the Menezes family's] belief that his killing was not the result of a catalogue of errors but that there was something more malign behind this," said Mr Rehman, who has written to the Attorney General and the Crown Prosecution Service demanding an official inquiry into Mr de Menezes' death. "Yet again, the family has to find out through leaks what might have happened to Jean Charles. We believe a public inquiry is the only solution for the real truth to be established."

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