Update: De Menezes Inquest

02Dec08


de Menezes unlawful killing verdict controversially ruled out by Judge
all credits: ITN News

The Jean Charles de Menezes inquest jury has been told it cannot consider a verdict of unlawful killing.

The order came as the coroner, former High Court judge Sir Michael Wright, began summing up seven weeks of evidence into how the innocent Brazilian was gunned down on a south London Tube train when mistaken for a suicide bomber on July 22, 2005. He told jurors they will only be allowed to return a verdict of lawful killing or an open verdict. Having considered all the evidence, a verdict of unlawful killing was “not justified”, Sir Michael said.

The electrician was shot at point-blank range on a carriage at Stockwell station a day after Islamic extremists attempted to cause carnage with home-made rucksack bombs in a bid to copy the transport network attacks which killed 52 commuters two weeks earlier.

Sir Michael is expected to use two days taking the jury back through the key evidence heard at the Oval cricket ground, south London. The 11-person jury, which has sat since September 22, will then be sent out to consider its verdicts.

Jurors have heard from 100 witnesses, including the two men who shot dead the 27-year-old, and for the first time, the public was given a full account of the incident from key witnesses on board the Underground carriage where the incident took place.

Key controversies involving surveillance outside Mr de Menezes’s Tulse Hill home, incidents in the control room at New Scotland Yard and the Brazilian’s journey towards Stockwell were also examined at length.

C2 and C12, the two firearms officers who shot him seven times in the head, both choked back tears as they appeared in the unlikely surroundings of Surrey County Cricket Club’s home ground, in south London. As counter-terrorist police scoured the capital for the escaped would-be suicide bombers, Mr de Menezes was mistaken for one of them and shot dead.

The Brazilian’s mother, Maria Otone de Menezes, 63, and brother, Giovani da Silva, 36, flew in from South America to see a month’s worth of evidence. Family members were present as the jury heard from passengers on the train, who claimed they did not hear officers shout “armed police” at Mr de Menezes before opening fire.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, who was spared any blame during the force’s health and safety trial, found her role scrutinised in depth. In a minute-by-minute account of the morning of Mr de Menezes’s death, the jury heard from 65 police officers, mostly firearms and surveillance experts, 50 of whom were granted anonymity.

Evidence was also heard from 17 Tube passengers and Mr de Menezes’s cousins.

Related articles:

Menezes verdict choice limited
2nd December 2008

Menezes: ‘Unlawful Death’ Omitted
2nd December 2008

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