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Monday, August 22, 2005

Menezes exclusive: Police issue false statement against the de Menezes family

Police bid to "take sting" out of cover-up allegations is based on false timeline This is a weird one. BBC Newsnight tonight reported* a statement from the Metropolitan Police - you know, the ones who don't do spin - saying that they had briefed members of the family of Jean Charles de Menezes on Sunday 24 July. In the briefing, the Met claim they made it clear that the details of his pursuit and killing by officers that had been reported - bulky jacket, failed to stop when challenged, vaulted the ticket barrier etc - were false. The implication, according to reporter Michael Crick, seemed to be that the statement "took the sting" out of allegations of a cover up, and raised the question of why the family hadn't made this public themselves since the alleged briefing. Except that the family DID make such a briefing public. It's just the Met's timeline is wrong. As HIOP reported via The Guardian, Jean Charles' cousin, Vivien Figueiredo relayed the revelations immediately following a briefing with her legal representatives and the Met. Except the briefing took place, not on Sunday 24 July but on Wednesday 27 July. The Met made no statement itself at the time, and perhaps as a result noone but The Guardian reported the details. Meanwhile, on Monday 25 July, the inquest into De Menezes' killing had taken place and the 'bulky jacket' version of events was presented by the Met to the coroner and duly reported the next day. Either the Met DID brief the family on the Sunday - but then why were they still lying about the 'bulky jacket' story to the inquest on Monday? Or the Met - the police force responsible for preventing more bombings in London - has got its facts wrong, and the briefing actually took place on the Wednesday. It also begs further questions. Why did the Met release this statement, and to whom? It's not on their website. Is it designed to embarrass the de Menezes family? Is it deliberately timed to spike tonight's demonstration? Why did the Met get the timeline wrong? Why is the Met so addicted to spin? Meanwhile, nearly a week after ITV News broke the story, the papers have woken up to the fact that the Met's "no CCTV" claim is - guess what? - lies. *Link now fixed, BBC account now on website Technorati tags: