Family attack 'unbelievable' de Menezes decision17/07/2006 - 13:49:39
The family of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot dead by police on the London Underground last summer, said today that the decision not to charge any individual police officers over his death was “unbelievable”.
The prosecution of the Metropolitan Police under health and safety laws “does not make any sense” they said.
The family were giving their reaction to the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision to charge the Met with failing to provide for the health, safety and welfare of Mr de Menezes on the day he was shot seven times in the head by anti-terror officers.
Mr de Menezes' cousin, Alex Pereira, attacked the decision, and said: ``It does not make sense, this decision that they made.
“I find it a shame to take so long for something so important. It is completely unbelievable. I don’t know how someone works very hard and spends a lot of money to come to a decision like this.”
Another of Mr de Menezes’ cousins, Patricia da Silva Armani, said through an interpreter: “We did not expect they were going to hide behind another law that has nothing to do with my cousin’s case. I am very disappointed. I think this is shameful.
“By using these laws to cover up their own mistakes, they are treating my cousin like a dead animal.”
Mr Pereira and Ms da Silva Armani were joined at the press conference by two of the 27-year-old Brazilian’s other cousins, Alessandro Pereira and Vivian Figueiredo, and members of the Justice4Jean campaign group.
The family’s lawyer, Harriet Wistrich, said the decision was “very disappointing” and complained that there was a “lack of explanation” from the CPS about why certain charges could not be brought.
In its long-awaited announcement, the CPS said there was “insufficient evidence” to prosecute any of the individual officers involved in the operation on July 22 last year at Stockwell Tube station in south London.
The “office” of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, will be prosecuted under Sections 3 and 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), the CPS said. It is not a prosecution against him personally.
Stephen O’Doherty, the senior reviewing lawyer, said a number of individuals had made “errors in planning and communication” in the operation that led to the death of the innocent Brazilian.
However, he said the officers who shot him thought that he was a suicide bomber.
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