Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Friday, 13 February 2009

Family anger over Menezes review

Jean Charles de Menezes
Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead on a Tube train at Stockwell

No police officers will be prosecuted over the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, Crown prosecutors Service say.

It follows a review of new evidence which came to light at his inquest.

Mr de Menezes, 27, was shot dead by police at Stockwell Tube station in south London after he was mistaken for one of the failed 21 July 2005 bombers.

A spokeswoman for the Justice 4 Jean campaign said she was "absolutely furious" but the family is dropping its legal challenges to the inquest.

In December, an inquest jury returned an open verdict - rejecting the police view that he was killed lawfully.

Stephen O'Doherty, the lawyer who led the CPS review, said: "I have now concluded that there is insufficient evidence that any offence was committed by any individual officers in relation to the tragic death of Mr de Menezes."


The officers, known as Charlie 2 and Charlie 12, told the inquest they had shouted a warning at Mr de Menezes and he had continued moving towards them.

But passengers at the inquest had said this was not the case, and the jury did not accept the officers' accounts.

Mr O'Doherty said: "Although there were some inconsistencies in what the officers said at the inquest, there were also inconsistencies in what passengers had said.

"I concluded that in the confusion of what occurred on the day, a jury could not be sure that any officer had deliberately given a false account of events."

It's unbelievable that the CPS had taken this decision without talking to the family or their representatives
Yasmin Khan
Justice 4 Jean

Mr O'Doherty said there was no fresh evidence presented to the inquest to make him reconsider an earlier decision not to prosecute senior officers for negligence.

He has written to Mr de Menezes' family to explain the decision, he added.

Yasmin Khan of the Justice 4 Jean campaign described the CPS decision as "morally reprehensible and legally wrong".

She said: "It's unbelievable that the CPS had taken this decision without talking to the family or their representatives."

The de Menezes family said they would now turn their energy to lobbying parliament on the laws surrounding police accountability.

'Never forget'

Mr de Menezes' cousin, Vivian Figuierdo, said: "We are all in shock and simply cannot understand how the deliberate killing of an innocent man and an attempt by the Metropolitan police to cover it up does not result in a criminal offence.

"We condemn the CPS decision and reject the logic of their argument. The inquest put the truth out there for all the public to see, but the authorities want us to forget the truth to stop us getting justice. But we will never forget."

The family's lawyer, Harriet Wistrich, said the legal action would not continue because of the significant cost to the taxpayer. She said if they were successful it would lead to a fresh inquest which they believed would have little benefit.

But she said they have made fresh representations to the CPS about the possibility of bringing a prosecution against officers and were seeking a meeting with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The family will also be asking the Independent Police Complaints Commission to reconsider disciplinary action against the officers involved, she said.

An application has already been lodged with the European Court of Human Rights about the issue of prosecutions in cases where someone is killed at the hands of the state.

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