« Home | What's more important than 7 innocents killed in G... » | Sun, Star and Express-watch: Burying bad news. » | So. Farewell then Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi. » | Rendition flashback. » | Sun-watch: Yes, even more Lady Mucca. » | Give them what they want. » | Sun-watch: More "Lady Mucca". » | Mahzer Mahmood: Up to his old tricks; Protest at N... » | What to believe? » | Sun-watch: Family newspaper? Revolting? » 

Sunday, June 11, 2006 

Blair must go.

The News of the Screws has managed to obtain a copy of the first IPCC report into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. Its findings are damning.

The dossier, leaked by Whitehall insiders, reveals that some of Sir Ian's senior officers KNEW de Menezes was innocent and definitely NOT a suicide bomber just hours after he was killed. But they failed to tell their boss until the next day.

The report also reveals how officers:

USED the Prime Minister's name in a bid to stop the IPCC probe,

FAILED to pass on alerts from the undercover team that they were tailing an innocent man,

DELAYED five hours in deploying ‘specialist' firearms cops who could have taken him alive,

DOCTORED a Special Branch log of the surveillance operation leading to the shooting, as revealed by the News of the World in January, and

FOULED up orders to frontline men, ordering that the suspect be "stopped" which was tragically interpreted as "kill him".

I've mirrored the report here, as the Screws has no archive.

Most damaging to "Sir" Ian Blair will be the revelations that he immediately tried to stop the IPCC from investigating the shooting. While there is nothing to suggest that he was already aware that an innocent man had been shot, his decision, including mentioning the prime minister, could have resulted in vital evidence being destroyed or damaged. While he was overruled later in the day, the IPCC was still not allowed access to the scene of the shooting until much later in the day. While Blair will argue that he was simply trying to keep resources free to hunt the seeming remaining failed bombers of the previous day, if he had allowed the IPCC to start their investigation at once, the damaging smears and wrong witness statements that emerged may never have occurred.

The other revelation is that the report confirms that senior officers knew that an innocent man had been shot, apparently by 9:45pm on the Friday night. Their excuse for not informing Blair is according to a Whitehall source, that Blair takes bad news very badly. This clears Blair, who has always maintained he was not informed until the Saturday morning. It also clears Brian Paddick, who has since been moved, for daring to suggest that officers other than Blair had known that de Menezes was innocent. Their decision not to inform Blair on the Friday night allowed the following morning's newspapers to speculate wildly, and in the event, wrongly.

The report also seems to spell the end of Cressida Dick's career. She apparently ordered the CO19 team to "stop" de Menezes, as they arrived after he had entered the Stockwell tube station. Another officer says that she also added "at all costs". If that is true, then it seems that the C019 team were only following orders. As de Menezes had already entered the tube, the officers took that order to mean to kill him. This was despite de Menezes already been held down, that he was never ordered to stop, that at least one officer in the special branch team had said that he was not the suspect Osman, and that he had not been acting suspiciously, however much the police will now crow about de Menezes apparently having recently used cocaine.

No one in the report comes out well. It still leaves many questions. Why did the Special Branch team follow him but not stop him, apparently having already determined that he was not the suspect, to make absolutely certain? Why were their concerns not communicated to the higher-ups? Why was he allowed to get on and off the bus, when the station he normally went to get on the tube was closed? Why were the witness statements such as those that claimed he had been wearing a heavy coat, that he had leaped the barriers, and that he had a belt with wires coming out of it not corrected much sooner? Some of those questions might be answered in the full report, which will hopefully be released in full after this leak. What seems certain is that both Ian Blair and Cressida Dick cannot remain in their jobs. Whether anyone will be prosecuted remains to be seen, and to judge from the part of the report we now have, there seems little would be achieved from prosecuting the officers that shot de Menezes, who were following cocked-up orders from a team that seemed to be panicking. Dick and Blair may not be so lucky.

Share |

I agree. As I argue here, Ian Blair has sustained one too many scandals.

I am not unsure as to whether there would be a legal basis for prosectution. We simply don't know enough yet.

Post a Comment

Links to this post

Create a Link