Brazilian team joins probe into London shooting
By Jeremy Lovell
LONDON (Reuters) – Two senior Brazilian diplomats joined
the investigation on Monday into the shooting to death last
month by British police of a Brazilian man they had mistaken
for a would-be suicide bomber.
The killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, in a London
underground train as police hunted for men who a day earlier
had left bombs that failed to explode on three trains and a bus
has prompted calls for London police chief Ian Blair to resign.
“We are here to see how the investigation works,” Marcio
Pereira Pinto Garcia of the Ministry of Justice told reporters
as he and Wagner Goncalves of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office
arrived at London’s Heathrow airport from Brazil.
They met Metropolitan Police chief Ian Blair and deputy
assistant commissioner John Yates, who again apologized for de
London police said the meeting was “positive and
constructive” but did not focus on details of the case because
of an ongoing investigation by the Independent Police
Complaints Commission (IPCC), which probes all fatal police
The Brazilians will quiz IPCC investigators on Wednesday.
The IPCC complained last week that police initially
resisted the investigation.
The failed attack came exactly two weeks after four suicide
bombers killed 52 commuters on the London transport system.
Blair, who initially praised the actions of his officers,
has rejected the resignation calls and revealed at the weekend
he did not know they had killed an innocent man until 24 hours
after the shooting on July 22.
Leaked documents from the IPCC investigation last week
exposed blunders and cast doubt on initial accounts from police
and witnesses that de Menezes had been behaving suspiciously.
Relatives of de Menezes have called on Blair to quit
because of police mistakes and information they say was
On Monday night they held a vigil and demonstration outside
the Downing Street office of British Prime Minister Tony Blair,
who is on holiday in Barbados.
De Menezes’ cousin handed a petition to Downing Street and
called for a public inquiry into the shooting. He again accused
the police of telling lies regarding the incident.
Sunday newspapers said undercover officers who followed de
Menezes after he came out of an apartment block they were
monitoring did not believe he posed an immediate threat.
They were therefore shocked when armed police arrived at
the train at Stockwell underground station in south London and
shot him, the reports said, citing senior police sources.
But the armed officers maintain they would not have shot
the man if he had not been openly identified to them by one of
the surveillance team.
Lawyers for the de Menezes family have voiced doubts that
senior police officers were not aware of the truth soon after
the shooting despite Blair’s protestations that it took nearly
a day to confirm the mistake.