Socialist Worker

Jean Charles de Menezes trial

Issue No. 2073

The Metropolitan Police commander who ordered the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes knew the Brazilian was not one of the 21 July bombers some time before he was killed, a court heard last week.

Surveillance officers following the 27 year old formally identified him as not being Hussain Osman, who they were hunting over the failed suicide bombing attempts on London’s transport system the day before.

Commander Cressida Dick, who oversaw Operation Theseus, ordered the surveillance Grey Team to stop Jean Charles and question him about the area in which he lived.

Despite being negatively identified “in minutes”, Jean Charles was followed from his home, onto a bus and into Stockwell tube station where he was killed on 22 July 2005.

Commander Dick ordered a “hard stop” to be carried out by firearms officers after anti-terror and surveillance teams failed to stop him, the court heard.

Details of the identification came from a surveillance co-ordinator giving evidence during trial against the Metropolitan Police. A second surveillance officer, identified as “Pat”, told jurors how it had been difficult to communicate over the racket in the control room.

The police logs from the control room were read to the jury by PC Peter Cremin. The Metropolitan Police denies failing to discharge a duty under section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Three minutes after Commander Dick gave the final command, “Do not let surveillance intervene,” Jean Charles de Menezes had been shot.

It is claimed that the Metropolitan Police had a duty to ensure that the public was not put at risk during its investigation and surveillance of the block of flats believed to be connected with a suspected suicide bomber. The trial continues.


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Tue 16 Oct 2007, 18:12 BST
Issue No. 2073
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