Monday, August 22, 2005

Menezes death - Brazilian officials meet UK police

Brazilian officials today arrived in London to meet with Metropolitan Police officials in order to ask questions surrounding the police shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. It is clear who they will meet but Sky News suggest a meeting with Metropolitan Police Chief, Ian Blair, is possible. Some family members are due to hold a vigil outside Downing Street. A public inquiry has been demanded by the family and supporters and a letter is being handed into No. 10 later today. There have also been demands for the resignation of Sir Ian Blair over the death of the Brazilian. Some newspaper reports are suggesting that CCTV footage from Stockwell Station were wiped. The tapes were taken by police following the incident on the 22nd July, but later returned them saying they were blank. Sky News said this afternoon that it was “not only difficult but virtually impossible to obtain clarification” from New Scotland Yard. Transport workers deny that the CCTV system was not working. A senior transport spokesman is reported as saying, “There was nothing wrong with the cameras, the tapes are replaced every night as a matter of course…after the incident the police took the tapes away. When they brought them back to us three or four days later, they said, ‘These are no good to us, they’re blank’…”
A spokesman for Tube Lines, a private firm which carries out maintenance on the London Underground, also said the CCTV was in working order. “We are not aware of any faults on the CCTV cameras at that station on that day. Nothing of that nature has been reported to us.”
Without CCTV footage, any inquiry will have to rely on witness statements.
Controversy also the surrounds an offer of money to the de Menezes family. The Metropolitan police denied they had made an offer of £600,000. Earlier the family had released statements saying they will not be bought off. Matozinho and Maria de Menezes said last week, “We will not be bought off, this is about justice.” Deputy Asst Commissioner John Yates was reported to have visited the family two weeks ago.
Meanwhile Tony Blair on his holiday in Barbados said he supported the Chief Commissioner. The PM has been on holiday at his previously undisclosed holiday location since the beginning of August, leaving John Prescott in charge. No 10 had refused to give details of his holiday plans due to security issues. But this weekend the Prime Minister attended a veterans’ memorial service on the island and a 'news blackout' was lifted, ending speculation.

The police investigations into the London attacks have proceeded slowly since the capture of the 21/7 suspects. No-one has yet been arrested in connection with the 7/7 attacks. And of 39 people arrested in connection with the 21/7 failed attacks, 14 have been charged with various offences.
[19:43 GMT 22/08/2005]

No comments: