Sunday, October 02, 2011

Senior British cops withhold evidence to get other cops acquitted of racism

Scotland Yard's anti-corruption unit is being investigated over claims that three of its officers withheld vital evidence in the trial of six other policemen charged over a racist attack on a group of youths. Officers are being investigated over claims three officers withheld vital evidence

Details of the investigation emerged at a secret hearing in London last week when a judge was told that the trio, who all work for the Met’s department that investigates police corruption, had blocked the release of the CCTV footage – and that this had helped lead to the six being acquitted.

In the unprecedented case brought by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the three, from the Directorate of Professional Standards, could face criminal charges.

The case stems from a trial in 2009 when six members of Scotland Yard’s Territorial Support Group were cleared by a jury at Kingston Crown Court. PC Mark Jones faced two charges of racially aggravated common assault while five of his colleagues were accused of covering it up.

PC Jones was one of six officers who spotted a group of youths allegedly mouthing obscenities at them in Central London. Three teenagers were allegedly taken into the officers’ van and subjected to taunts and violence.

PC Amechi Onwugbonu, the van driver, who is black, gave evidence against PC Jones. But the CCTV footage shown to the jury was inconsistent with PC Onwugbonu’s evidence and the six were acquitted, later bringing race discrimination claims against the Met.

At a hearing on Monday linked to those claims, it is understood that the judge was told of the IPCC investigation. Proceedings were adjourned.

A spokeswoman for the IPCC said: ‘A file has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for its consideration.’

Original report here

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