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Sunday, February 7, 1999 Published at 18:03 GMT


UK

Lawrence suspects 'face new charges'

The suspects maintained silence at last year's inquest

Police are refusing to comment on a newspaper report that says the five suspects in the Stephen Lawrence murder case might face new charges.

The Sunday Telegraph said the new charges might be conspiracy to murder, affray and assault.


[ image: Stephen Lawrence was stabbed at a bus stop]
Stephen Lawrence was stabbed at a bus stop
But a Scotland Yard spokesman would only say that the police had "identified a number of ways forward".

No one has been convicted of murdering Stephen Lawrence, who was stabbed in Eltham, south-east London, in 1993, and three of the suspects were cleared of a murder charge at the Old Bailey in 1996.


Legal Affairs correspondent Joshua Rozenberg: The chances of justice seem remote as ever
It was widely assumed that none of the suspects - Gary Dobson, Luke Knight, brothers Neil and Jamie Acourt, and David Norris - could be prosecuted again in relation to Mr Lawrence's death because of the collapse of previous proceedings.

Racist crimes

Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Grieve, head of Scotland Yard's racial and violent crime taskforce, is leading a team of 15 officers investigating the murder of A-level student Stephen.


[ image: John Grieve has conceded Metropolitan Police has serious flaws]
John Grieve has conceded Metropolitan Police has serious flaws
Mr Grieve, one of Scotland Yard's most senior and respected detectives, is already investigating other high-profile racist crimes, including the murder of black musician Michael Menson.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: "The new investigation by the racial and violent crime taskforce is challenging the assumptions which have previously been made surrounding the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

"A meeting of all the intelligence analysts who have worked on the case was held at New Scotland Yard last week which has identified a number of ways forward.

"DAC John Grieve visited Eltham on Wednesday where he walked around the scene and surrounding streets."

Home Secretary Jack Straw is due to receive the report of Sir William Macpherson of Cluny, who headed the inquiry into the Stephen Lawrence case, on Friday.

It is expected to contain damning criticism of the way in which the Metropolitan Police dealt with the case.





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