Socialist Worker

Jean Charles de Menezes inquest: Military surveillance officer cross examined

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2124

Evidence at the inquest into the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes by the Metropolitan Police continues.

Last year Socialist Worker revealed that military surveillance teams were involved in the operation that ended in the slaying of Jean Charles (» Exposing Gordon Kerr and Tony Blair’s secret army).

Those officers, who were on secondment from the military to the Met, have been giving evidence as Socialist Worker went to press.

One officer named only as Frank told the court that his undercover role was to identify possible suspects at a south London address.

Frank said he couldn’t film Jean Charles leaving his flat because he was “urinating at the time”.

He denied failing to pay attention and said he did get “a good look at him”.

He told the inquest how he initially believed Jean Charles was not failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman, but then “changed” his mind.

Frank failed to update a police log after the shooting.

Michael Mansfield, barrister for the De Menezes family, asked Frank, “Did you think retrospectively it would have been desirable to later add to the debrief “not carrying anything?” “Yes,” he replied.

The jury was also told that surveillance officers were issued substandard photos to help identify the suspects, when 30 other better quality photos were available.

Last week a senior firearms adviser known only as Trojan 84 denied a suggestion that the marksmen were “intent on shooting a person dead without any further assessment”.

Also Detective Chief Inspector Purser told the inquest, “We put undue pressure potentially on surveillance officers and then potentially on firearms teams.” He choked back tears as he paid tribute to the “bravery” of surveillance and firearms officers.

The inquest continues.

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Article information

Tue 21 Oct 2008, 19:30 BST
Issue No. 2124
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