Page last updated at 10:05 GMT, Sunday, 23 December 2007

Brazil unhappy at Menezes ruling

Jean Charles de Menezes
Jean Charles de Menezes had come to live in the UK from Brazil

Brazil's government has expressed its "unhappiness" that no senior police officers involved in Jean Charles de Menezes's shooting will be disciplined.

The Brazilian electrician was shot dead in 2005 by police who mistook him for a terrorist after the London bombings.

The independent police watchdog had cleared 11 of the 15 officers involved, and has now ruled the other four senior officers will face no further action.

They included commanding officer Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick.

A Brazilian government statement said: "The foreign ministry expresses its unhappiness with the decision of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) which absolves four senior officers involved in the death of the Brazilian citizen Jean Charles de Menezes."

Sadly we have come to expect this from the IPCC - they have done nothing to hold the police to account for the killing of an innocent man
Vivian Figuierdo

BBC correspondent Tim Hirsch in Sao Paulo said the statement went on to say that the government would continue to support Mr de Menezes's family, and to offer them every conceivable assistance.

Mr de Menezes, 27, was shot seven times in the head in Stockwell Tube underground station in London, two weeks after the London bombings in July 2005 that killed 52 people.

Mr de Menezes's cousin said the IPCC decision was "a scandal" and should have been delayed until after the inquest.

Vivian Figuierdo said: "It is entirely premature for the IPCC to do this before an inquest where vital evidence about the actions of these officers could come to light.

"Sadly we have come to expect this from the IPCC - they have done nothing to hold the police to account for the killing of an innocent man."

'No personal culpability'

Ms Dick was the commanding officer on 22 July 2005 when Mr de Menezes was killed.

The three other senior officers were identified as Silver, Trojan 84 and Trojan 80.

In November, the Met Police force was found guilty of breaching health and safety laws over the shooting.

But the Old Bailey jury added a rider to its verdict to say that Ms Dick bore "no personal culpability" for what went wrong.

The IPCC considered whether she was responsible for failures in the planning or management of the operation that amounted to a disciplinary offence, but decided she was not.

In a statement, it said: "The IPCC cannot foresee any circumstances in which new evidence might emerge which would cause any disciplinary tribunal to disregard the jury's rider."

The watchdog said that as the responsibilities of Ms Dick and the other three officers were "intertwined", it could not see how a tribunal could attach personal blame to them but not to her.

A Met Police spokesman said the shooting was "a matter of deep regret", but added: "We are pleased by this move forward and for these officers and their families who have faced much uncertainty."



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