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Jean Charles De Menezes family hacked

Issue No. 2261

The family of Jean Charles De Menezes, the man killed by police on the London Underground in 2005, had their phones hacked by the Murdoch empire. Malicious lies about Jean appeared in the press.

On the day of the slaying his real identity was known by 3pm. By 4.30pm, assistant commissioner Andy Hayman had told journalists that Jean Charles was not one of the 21 July bombers.

But at 5pm, Hayman told a meeting of senior police officers that they should give the opposite impression.

He said, “There is press running that the person shot is not one of the four bombers. We need to present that he is believed to be.”

The media used this “information” to run stories saying that Jean Charles was a so-called illegal immigrant—which, as well as being irrelevant, was a lie.

They also lied that there were wires visible from his jacket and that he had jumped over the ticket barrier.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission report said Hayman “chose to mislead the public by his actions”.

Police officers tampered with and removed evidence. Photographs were altered to make Jean Charles look more like the suspected suicide bomber. Witnesses were intimidated.

In a statement, Jean’s family said, “We are conscious that the newspapers owned by News International provided some of the most virulent and often misleading coverage around Jean’s death and its aftermath.

“We would like the inquiry into this scandal to extend its remit to scrutinise whether police officers involved in the Menezes investigation were leaking information to the press, either for financial benefit or in a vain effort to deflect criticism from the actions of the Metropolitan Police which had led to Jean’s death.”

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Tue 19 Jul 2011, 17:25 BST
Issue No. 2261
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