The family of Jean Charles de Menezes, the innocent Brazilian shot dead by police at Stockwell Tube station last July, have demanded a public inquiry into his death following allegations that Special Branch officers changed vital evidence in an attempt to cover up fatal blunders in the case.
British secret police caught faking records in Menezes shooting cover-up
An undercover surveillance team altered an official log to hide the fact that they had wrongly identified Mr Menezes as a suspect in the failed July 21 bombings in London, according to a leaked copy of the official report into the shooting.
Mr Menezes, a 27-year-old electrician, was shot seven times in the head. Armed officers mistakenly believed he was a suicide bomber [according to the official version of events] as he boarded a Tube train on 22 July.
Earlier this month a confidential report into the case by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, which will decide whether any of the officers should face criminal charges.
A leaked copy of the report obtained by the News of the Worldsaid the IPCC found that the undercover surveillance team saw Mr Menezes coming out of a house in Tulse Hill and, according to a first draft of a police control room log, identified him as Hussein Osman, a suspect in the July 21 attacks. Commander Cressida Dick, the Scotland Yard officer responsible for the firearms team, then instigated Operation Kratos, the anti-terrorist strategy that permits suspected suicide bombers to be shot.
The IPCC report found that 10 hours after the shooting, by which time it was known the dead man was innocent, the Special Branch team attended a debriefing meeting in which they were allowed to make alterations to the log. A line in it was changed from saying the team said Mr Menezes "was Osman" by the insertion of the word "not" - passing the blame to the Scotland Yard team.
The amendments were supposed to be signed and accompanied by an explanation, but this was not done, in an apparent attempt to pass off the revised log as the original. According to the newspaper, the IPCC report concludes: "This looks like an attempt to try to distance Special Branch from the decision [to shoot Mr Menezes]."
The alleged changes were made 14 hours before Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, was told that the dead man was the victim of a tragic case of mistaken identity. The surveillance team has reportedly denied changing the log and claims that elsewhere it makes clear that doubts had been raised about the identification.
Asad Rehman, who represents the family, said: "From the family's perspective this is just one more in a long line of lies and deception. It makes them more adamant to learn how and why he died. The only way that can be done is by a full public inquiry."
The family has called on the CPS to reach a decision on whether to prosecute by 16 February.
The Independent, "Special Branch 'altered official log' to cover up fatal Menezes blunder", 30 January 2006.
"The Insider" mailing list article, 30 January 2006.
Tags: British, police, cover-up, Jean Charles de Menezes, shot, killed, inquiry, Brazilian, Special Branch, officers, tampered, evidence, altered, log, faked, evidence, falsified, , conspiracy theories.