Friday, June 12, 2015

Family of man shot dead on London Underground by police claim 'no-one has been held to account' in legal challenge

The refusal to prosecute this gross misbehaviour -- killing a man who was doing nothing but sit peacefully on a train -- is all about covering up for the incompetent and dithering Lesbian in charge of the operation -- Cressida Dick. You have the whole armour of righteousness if you are a homosexual in Britain today

No one has been held to account over the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, his family's lawyer said today at the European Court of Human Rights as they challenged the decision not to bring charges over his death.

Relatives of the Brazilian took their case to the Strasbourg court's Grand Chamber almost ten years after he was mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot dead by police marksmen on a London Tube train.

Mr de Menezes, 27, was shot dead at Stockwell tube station in London in July 2005, two weeks after the 7/7 bombings which killed 52 commuters.

Lawyers for the family argue that the assessment used by prosecutors in deciding that no individual should be charged over the 2005 shooting is incompatible with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to life.

They claim the evidential test applied by the Crown Prosecution Service - that there should be sufficient evidence for a 'realistic prospect' of conviction - is too high a threshold.

It means that, in effect, the decision not to bring a prosecution was based on a conclusion that there was less than a 50 per cent chance of conviction, they say.

The case has been lodged by Patricia da Silva, a cousin of Mr de Menezes.

In front of a panel of more than 20 judges, Hugh Southey QC, representing Mr de Menezes's family, said: 'This is a case in which an entirely innocent man was deliberately shot by agents of the state. 'The Government accepts in essence, there were systemic organisation failures but no individuals have been prosecuted. 'No individual has been held to account.'

Clare Montgomery QC, representing the British government, told the court there was 'huge operational pressure' on police at the time of Mr de Menezes's death in the wake of the July 7 bombings.

She said: 'Both senior officers in command had virtually no sleep.

'Fifty two people had been killed on the 7th of July. On 21st July, the day before this event, four bombs had been set in Tube trains and buses and there was a hunt on for the four people who placed them, which was what led to this tragic event.'

When the Crown Prosecution Service is deciding whether or not to bring charges in a particular case, they apply two tests - one of the evidence, and one of the public interest.

First, they consider whether the evidence allows a 'realistic prospect of conviction' - meaning that there is a more than 50 per cent chance that the defendant will be found guilty in court.

This is a less strict threshold than that faced by a jury or magistrates' court, who can only convict a defendant if they are completely sure he or she is guilty.

The CPS then rules whether or not prosecuting the suspect would be in the public interest - but this stage takes place only once the evidence test is passed.

The family of Jean Charles de Menezes argue that the CPS guidelines are unnecessarily stringent and breach the right to life guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

If they win their case, the Government could be forced to change the rules for bringing prosecutions over incidents involving someone's death, meaning that hundreds of cases could be reopened by campaigning relatives.

A year after Mr de Menezes was shot dead the CPS ruled that there was not enough evidence to bring a prosecution against anyone for his death, but the Metropolitan Police was later fined for breaching health and safety rules.

An inquest jury later rejected the police account of the shooting and returned an open verdict. The coroner had already ruled out a verdict of unlawful killing.

In 2009, the family of the electrician agreed an undisclosed settlement with Scotland Yard.

Today's hearing comes more than seven years after the original application was lodged at the European Court of Human Rights. The claim is also challenging the definition of self-defence.

Before the hearing, Ms de Silva said: 'For 10 years our family has been campaigning for justice for Jean because we believe that police officers should have been held to account for his killing. Jean's death is a pain that never goes away for us.

'Nothing can bring him back but we hope that this legal challenge will change the law so that no other family has to face what we did.'

If the family win their case, the CPS will have to reconsider its decision about Mr de Menezes' death, but they will not necessarily have to bring charges because they could rule that there is not enough evidence for a prosecution even using a lower threshold.

However, a defeat for the CPS in this case could force prosecutors to review their decisions in hundreds of similar cases where no charges were brought over an individual's death.

The case was adjourned following the lawyers' arguments, with judgment reserved to a later date

Original report here

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