NEWS

Jean Charles De Menezes Police Should Not Face Prosecution For Stockwell Tube Shooting, ECHR Rules

De Menezes was shot dead by police marksmen in July 2005.

30/03/2016 14:31 | Updated 30 March 2016

The family of tube shooting victim Jean Charles de Menezes have said they are "very disappointed and sad" that a court on Wednesday ruled that British prosecutors were right not to charge police officers over the killing.

Relatives of the Brazilian took their case to the ECHR last year - almost a decade after the 27-year-old was mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot dead by police marksmen on a London Tube train.

However, Patricia da Silva told ITV her family was not surprised by the decision because the case is "very complicated".

She said that the family has "been in pain for 10 years and has suffered a lot of frustration" but was glad that they were at least able to take the case to the highest court of human rights in Europe.

Lawyers for the family argued that the assessment used by prosecutors in deciding that no individual should be charged over the shooting is incompatible with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which covers the right to life.

Metropolitan Police/PA Wire
A court has ruled that British Prosecutors were right not to charge police officers over the tube shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes

The claim also challenged the definition of self-defence.

The court found that UK authorities "had not failed in their obligations" under Article 2.

It further concluded: "The decision not to prosecute any individual officer was not due to any failing in the investigation of the state's intolerance of or collusion in unlawful acts; rather, it was due to the fact that, following a thorough investigation a prosecutor had considered all the facts of the case and concluded there there was insufficient evidence against any individual officer to prosecute."

A statement by da Silva to ITV read: "We had hoped that the ruling would give a glimmer of hope, not only to us, but to all other families who have been denied the right to justice after deaths at the hands of the police.

"We find it unbelievable that our innocent cousin could be shot seven times in the head by the Metropolitan police when he had done nothing wrong and yet the police have not had to account for their actions.

"As we have always maintained, we feel that decisions about guilt and innocence should be made by juries, not by faceless bureaucrats and we are deeply saddened that we have been denied that opportunity yet again."

De Menezes was shot dead by Metropolitan Police firearms officers at Stockwell Underground station in south London on 22 July 2005.

The following year the CPS announced that no individual should be charged.

In 2007 the Met was fined £175,000 after being convicted of breaching health and safety laws.

An inquest jury later rejected the police account of the shooting and returned an open verdict. The coroner had already ruled out a verdict of unlawful killing.

In 2009, the family of the electrician agreed an undisclosed settlement with Scotland Yard.

A hearing was held in the case was held in the ECHR's Grand Chamber in June, more than seven years after the original application was lodged. The judgment will be delivered on Wednesday afternoon.

 

The full decision can be read here.

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS