Jultra Truth. Freedom. Oh and the end of New Labour and Tony Blair, Ian Blair, ID cards, terror laws and the NWO and their lies

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Ian Blair round up

Here's a good one from WSWS:

The release of an exchange of letters between Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair and the Home Office has shed further light on the cover-up of the events leading up to the July 22 police killing of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes in London.

The 27-year-old electrician was shot dead by police, who fired eight bullets at close range in an underground rail carriage at Stockwell station. The murder occurred one day after the bombing attempts at a number of London tube stations on July 21.

No one has yet taken responsibility for wrongly identifying de Menezes as a terrorist during the period from when he left his house to the moment that he was killed. Neither has anyone taken responsibly for the brutal execution of an innocent man whose misfortune was to live in a block of flats that were under surveillance.

The letters were released just days after police officers admitted that they knew within hours of the killing that de Menezes was not a terrorist and that he was not connected in any way with the attempted London bombings the previous day. Nonetheless, senior police officers, including Sir Ian Blair, publicly maintained for nearly 24 hours that the shooting was “directly linked” to the ongoing London bombs inquiry.

Blair has claimed that he was not told of the innocence of de Menezes until 10:30 a.m. the day after the shooting. A scenario in which senior police commanders at Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service responsible for policing Greater London, knew within hours that an innocent man had been shot dead but that the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police did not hardly appears credible.

On September 30, the Home Office released the letters under the Freedom of Information Act. They confirm the suspicions of the de Menezes family that the Metropolitan Police were aware from the very beginning of their son’s innocence and immediately mounted a cover-up.

The first letter from Blair was written just hours after the shooting and reveals that Blair sought to prevent an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) into the killing. Since 1985, police shootings had been referred on a discretionary basis to the Independent Police Complaints Authority. In 2002 this became mandatory.

In his July 22 letter, Blair wrote that the “anti-terrorist” operation being carried out by the Metropolitan police meant that they were in a “unique” situation that negated the need for the IPCC to hold any independent investigation. He wrote that an investigation “will be carried out by the Met’s own Directorate of Professional Standards.” On this basis, the IPCC would have “no access” to the scene of the shooting. He added, “This investigation will be rigorous, but subordinate to the needs of the counter-terrorism operation.”

Blair argued that “prosecuting authorities” should “take cognisance of the pressures under which the service operates in terrorist scenarios,” and that certain legal structures holding the police accountable and requiring it to pass on information to an appointed police regulatory body should be abrogated.

Blair continued, “In a fast-moving, multi-site terrorist situation, in which suicide bombers are clearly a very strong possibility, a chief officer of police should be able to suspend [the part of the] Police Reform Act 2002 which requires us to supply all information that the Independent Police Complaints Commission may require.”

The commissioner called for a change in legislation that would essentially end the UK police force’s accountability before the law. Blair wrote, “Clearly, this is a developing situation but for the time being I seek your support for this measure, which may form the basis for amending legislation in the future.”

While Blair was not able to prevent the IPCC from beginning its investigation, his initial opposition meant that the body was not allowed to visit Stockwell tube station—the scene of the killing—for three days. Such obstruction had a serious and detrimental impact upon the probe. Last month, IPCC lawyers announced that the police breached their statutory duty by not inviting the body to begin investigating immediately. They added that the delay of several days meant vital evidence could have been lost.

The IPCC is not due to report its findings until December and will not comment on its ongoing investigation. However, leaked documents made public on August 17 have contradicted official police announcements following the death of de Menezes. The documents include critical witness statements making clear that de Menezes did not leap over a tube station barrier and that he was not wearing a padded jacket that could have concealed a bomb.

It is not expected that the IPCC will recommend criminal proceedings against the individual officers who killed de Menezes, let alone against figures such as Sir Ian Blair, members of the security services or upper echelons of the state and government who authorised the shoot-to-kill policy. On the contrary, IPCC Chairman Nick Hardwick has said he hoped the investigation would strengthen police support for the body.

Since the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes, his family has demanded a full independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his death.

On August 17, a statement from the family called for the resignation of Sir Ian Blair. Lawyers representing the family condemned what they termed a “blanket of secrecy which has covered the true facts” and the “lies and scenarios” that have surrounded the shooting.

A significant passage from the Blair letter has received little attention in the British press. In it the police commissioner states, “This is clearly a fast-time decision-making process, in which officers cannot risk the kind of containment and negotiation tactics which would normally be the case. Put simply, the only choice an officer may have may be to shoot to kill in order to prevent the detonation of a device.

“In due course, I believe we need a document similar to the military rules of engagement, but time does not permit its creation at the present time.”

Blair said that he had “raised the issue of maximising the legal protection for officers who had to take decisions in relation to people believed to be suicide bombers” with Prime Minister Tony Blair the previous day.

Blair now openly compares domestic policing with the situation facing the army during war, once again underlining the extent to which the ruling elite has abandoned any commitment to elementary democratic rights.

Subordinate Cressida Dick takes heat:(Times)

THE police chief in command of the bungled “shoot-to-kill” operation that led to the death of Jean Charles de Menezes is among ten officers who have been formally warned that they could face disciplinary action.

Police watchdogs have served Commander Cressida Dick, the Oxford-educated “gold commander” on the day of the shooting, and the other officers with notices telling them that they will be questioned, according to police sources.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has told the officers that they are under investigation and plans are now being laid for them to be questioned by investigators early next month.

Miss Dick and the other officers, who are all from junior ranks, are entitled to have lawyers present when they are interviewed during sessions likely to take some days.

The IPCC investigators are thought to have examined the roles of at least 26 undercover officers, marksmen and senior managers involved in the operation that ended with the death of Mr de Menezes, a 27-year-old electrician from Brazil. He was shot dead in a Northern Line train at Stockwell Underground station after being mistakenly identified as a suicide bomber.

On the day of the shooting, July 22, Miss Dick was in overall charge of a surveillance operation in Tooting, southwest London, as police searched for four failed suicide bombers. She took the decision to activate the Operation Kratos rules, which authorise the police to shoot to kill a suspected suicide bomber.

Two months ago, leaked witness statements from officers who took part in the botched operation revealed that Mr de Menezes was restrained by one of Scotland Yard’s surveillance team before being shot eight times as he sat on a Tube train.

Documents and photographs from the IPCC investigation also showed that one of the undercover team meant to be identifying the shot man was relieving himself as Mr de Menezes left his flat on July 22 and could not tell if the police had traced one of the alleged bombers. It is also suggested that Mr de Menezes could have been taken alive.

When Mr de Menezes was challenged by the police on the Northern Line train at Stockwell he did not make any aggressive move. Police claims at the time that the electrician was “behaving erratically” are alleged to be false.

Miss Dick and the other officers have been given what are known as Regulation 9 notices by investigators from the IPCC. The notices do not specify a possible charge, but they could range from a breach of duty to professional failings or negligence.

Miss Dick, 44, is one of the senior officers in the Yard’s specialist crimes directorate and heads a team of more than 300 officers as part of Operation Trident, which targets gun crime among black communities.

Commander John McDowall, the officer in charge of surveillance operations for the Anti-Terrorist Branch SO13, has not been served with a notice. Other officers, including the three marksmen from CO19, the specialist firearms unit, and Special Branch surveillance officers on the ground, have also been warned.

Disciplining Miss Dick would have to be overseen by the Metropolitan Police Authority, rather than Scotland Yard, because of her senior rank.

Before deciding on any disciplinary action the IPCC is expected to send a report to Ken Macdonald, QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, to consider any possible criminal charges.

In normal circumstances the marksman decides whether or not to fire depending on the threat. When the Kratos “shoot-to-kill” policy was agreed by all chief constables two years ago, the police took legal advice.

They were advised that the policy was legal, but Kratos transfers some responsibility to the senior officer who authorises its use and he or she might also be held responsible for any death alongside the marksmen who pull the trigger.


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