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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 22:32 GMT
Family outraged by murder payment
Zahid Mubarek
Zahid Mubarek was beaten with a table leg in his cell
The family of an Asian prisoner murdered by a racist cellmate have described the government's offer of 25,000 in compensation as "paltry".

Zahid Mubarek, 19, died in 2000 after psychopathic killer Robert Stewart bludgeoned him to death at Feltham Young Offenders' Institution, London.

A spokesman for the family, Suresh Grover, said the money offered was "a slap in the family's face".

Earlier this year, an inquiry found the murder could have been prevented.

The public inquiry, led by Mr Justice Keith, named 19 individuals and 186 failings. It concluded that Stewart should have been identified as a risk.

The judge also called on the Home Office to consider whether it should recognise a new concept of "institutional religious intolerance".

'Institutional racism'

At the time, Home Office minister Baroness Scotland wrote to Mr Mubarek's family to apologise for his death.

In 2001, the Home Office offered 20,000 in compensation, but raised it to 25,000 to reflect inflation, Channel 4 News reported.

Robert Stewart
The inquiry said Stewart should have been identified as a risk

Family spokesman Suresh Grover said the settlement offer was "an appalling, miserly, paltry sum".

"This family has fought for justice for six years, they've lost someone in a murder that was entirely preventable."

He added that the sum offered raised questions over the value the Home Office put on Mr Mubarek's life.

"In this case it was the institutional racism of the prison service that allowed this murder to take place.

"I think the family being treated in this manner brings into question whether the Home Office really think that Zahid's life was worth saving."

A Home Office spokesman said: "As discussions are ongoing between the prison service and the family it would be inappropriate to comment further."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Zahid Mubarek's uncle speaks out on his death



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