Page last updated at 18:55 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 19:55 UK

Policeman denies Menezes evidence

Jean Charles de Menezes
The senior officer denied having identified Mr Menezes as the suspect

A senior detective has contradicted the evidence of his boss at the inquest into the police shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in London in 2005.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick had said the officer identified Mr de Menezes as suicide bomber Hussain Osman, who police were hunting.

But the unnamed officer said the words he used were "possibly identifiable".

Another officer admitted police photos of Osman from 2004 were not referred to - but said more recent ones were.

Mr de Menezes was shot dead at a Tube station on 22 July 2005 by officers hunting those responsible for the previous day's failed bombings in London.

Ms Dick, in evidence earlier in the week, said she was informed "they think it's him" when Mr de Menezes left a building linked to failed bomber Hussain Osman.

However, speaking at the inquest on Friday, the surveillance officer - referred to at the inquest only as Pat - said he had said only that Mr de Menezes was "possibly identifiable with" the suspect.

I was always under the impression that the subject had been unidentified
Pat
Senior surveillance officer

Det Ch Insp Angela Scott, who had been appointed deputy to the senior investigating officer in the manhunt for those behind the 21 July failed attacks on London, also told the inquest that Pat had said Mr de Menezes was one of the suspects.

She had said: "I recall that Pat said something like, 'They're saying that it's him'.

But on Friday, Pat, who was the contact between Scotland Yard and the surveillance team, said: "I was always under the impression that the subject had been unidentified."

He was asked by David Perry QC, representing Ms Dick, if he had said "they think it's him".

Pat said: "Certainly not - because that would have involved positive identification being made which would, therefore, be recorded in the log straight away because that would indicate it was him."

He previously said: "In my impression, he remained as 'possibly identifiable with' throughout.

"Obviously I wasn't aware of everything that Commander Dick may have heard or spoken to, even, and possibly other people may have spoken to the surveillance team as well."

'Developing situation'

Brazilian electrician Mr de Menezes, 27, was killed by specialist firearms officers who mistook him for Osman after he boarded a train at Stockwell Tube station.

He was shot seven times in the head by police marksmen.

Det Ch Insp Pat Mellody, of the Scotland Yard anti-terrorist squad, told the inquest on Friday that police surveillance photos taken in the lake District of Osman, were not examined "because events overtook us".

He said he did not accept being at fault because the "investigation was running to try to contain the situation that we believed was developing".

He told the inquest officers had seen pictures of Osman taken from a gym card and CCTV footage from the previous day when he had attempted to set off a device on a Tube train.

The inquest was adjourned until Monday.


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