DE MENEZES EVIDENCE ‘JUSTIFIES A PROSECUTION FOR MURDER–say lawers

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ALEX PEREIRA (second from right) addressing a de Menezes family press conference in July this year
ALEX PEREIRA (second from right) addressing a de Menezes family press conference in July this year

‘We have to have a judicial review; you can see from the day he was shot, everything was wrong,’ the cousin of murdered Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes told News Line yesterday.

Cousin Alex Pereira was commenting on the decision of the de Menezes family’s lawyers to press for a judicial review of the police shooting of the innocent young Brazilian on July 22nd 2005.

Lawyers Birnberg Peirce have carried out a 10-week review of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decision not to level criminal charges at individual officers involved in the shooting.

The lawyers have written to the CPS insisting the available evidence ‘justifies a prosecution for murder’ and informing them they are seeking a judicial review.

Alex Pereira told News Line: ‘We know for sure that the day they shot Jean Charles, all day the police discussed the fact that they had shot an innocent Brazilian tourist and what to tell the media.

‘In the coroners’ court on 7th September this year, the lawyers did everything they could but the judge made his decision to adjourn.

‘They are trying to block the lawyers.

‘The IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) report into Jean Charles’ death is important.

‘Why are they keeping it from the family? Why can’t they show it to the family if there is nothing wrong?

‘Why are they trying to protect the police criminals?

‘It isn’t fair on them and it isn’t fair on us.

‘I hope the review will be successful and there will be a prosecution. It’s terrible that no one has been charged.

‘And the promotion of (the armed police and surveillance teams commander on the day of the shooting) Cressida Dick is unbelievable.’

In their letter to the CPS, lawyers acting for the family say that prosecutors should have considered murder ‘or at the very least gross negligence manslaughter . . . the choice of the health and safety charge (against the Office of the Metropolitan Police) falls foul of the reasoning.’

The letter also refers to the lack of witnesses among tube passengers to corroborate claims that officers shouted ‘armed police’ before they began firing.

It states: ‘This evidence plainly, on an objective test, provides prima facie evidence that the officers were lying as to the presentation of de Menezes before them such as justified them in shooting and killing him; and as to their actions immediately before they did so.’

It adds that the CPS was wrong to ‘conclude that a jury would not be likely to reject self-defence on the basis that Mr de Menezes was forced back into his seat and restrained before he was shot – which again evidences a usurping of their function’.

Police fired 11 bullets at close range at Jean Charles de Menezes, seven of which hit him in the head.