London Metropolitan Police Chief Sir Ian Blair denied Wednesday Scotland Yard was involved in a cover up operation regarding the July tragic shooting by special agents of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes who they apparently mistook for a suicide bomber.
Scotland Yard’s "initial resistance" to a full investigation into the circumstances of the shooting, allegedly was leaked to the British press from the Independent Police Complaints Commission responsible for the inquest.
Sir Ian rejected the allegations and said they attack the "integrity of the Police" adding "there was no cover up operation at all".
Earlier the IPCC deputy chairman John Wadham was quoted saying that Scotland Yard "initially had resisted us taking on the investigation, but we overcame that. It was an important victory for our independence".
IPCC is investigating the killing, – with eight shots, seven point blank in the head -, of Menezes at Stockwell underground station on July 22, a day after the failed terrorist July 21 attacks on the London underground and a bus.
IPDD met with the Menezes family lawyers Garteh Pierce and Harriet Wistrich who are calling for a public inquiry into the case.
"We expressed our extreme concern that although they have a statutory duty to investigate from the very moment of a fatal death at the hands of the state, they were not there", said Ms. Gareth Pierce following the meeting.
She added that the young man’s family is concerned with the contradictions between the initial statement of the Police and statements from witnesses.
"The family wants to know who is responsible for all the errors regarding the Menezes case", which according to documents leaked to ITV this week, the Brazilian electrician did not run away from the Police or had a winter jacket on under which theoretically he could have been hiding a bomb, as was originally officially stated.
On the contrary Mr. Menezes was wearing a denim jacket, walked into the station, picked up a free newspaper, walked through ticket barriers and only started to run when he saw a train arriving.
However Sir Ian argued that "at that stage I and my officers thought the dead man was a suicide bomber and we were in the middle of the biggest counter terrorist operation".
Mr. Menezes tragic death "has to be seen in the context of what was the largest criminal inquiry in English history", added Sir Ian, who underlined "it is one death out of 57".
Ms. Gareth Pierce described the whole case a "chaotic mess" and demanded to know whether this was due to Police incompetence or negligence.
Later in the day the IPCC said in an official statement that "both the IPCC and the Metropolitan Police Service recognise that the unauthorized disclosure of information cannot be ignored and must be addressed".
Mr. Wadham said the IPCC was looking forward to meeting Menezes family, adding that the inquiry should be completed within three to six months.
This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.
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