Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Execution is a Strong Word

Sir Ian Blair

ITV News has managed to obtain documents relating to the investigation into the shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes. As is now standard practice with this government, the truth is slowly starting to emerge from behind the smokescreen erected by the authorities. Actually, smokescreen doesn't really do it. Outright lies would appear to be nearer the mark.

It was said that he was wearing a bulky coat when he was shot.
The documents and photographs confirm that Jean Charles was not carrying any bags, and was wearing a denim jacket, not a bulky winter coat, as had previously been claimed.
It was said that he vaulted the ticket barrier.
He was behaving normally, and did not vault the barriers, even stopping to pick up a free newspaper.
It was said that he ran from the police.
A document describes CCTV footage, which shows Mr de Menezes entered Stockwell station at a "normal walking pace" and descended slowly on an escalator.
It was said that he ignored police instructions.
A member of the surveillance team is quoted in the report. He said: "I heard shouting which included the word `police' and turned to face the male in the denim jacket.He immediately stood up and advanced towards me and the CO19 officers. I grabbed the male in the denim jacket by wrapping both my arms around his torso, pinning his arms to his side. I then pushed him back on to the seat where he had been previously sitting. I then heard a gun shot very close to my left ear and was dragged away onto the floor of the carriage."
No mention of any instructions there. It seems that the sum total of suspicious behaviour displayed by Jean Charles de Menezes was to walk towards armed police officers who don't appear to have issued any clear instructions as to why they were there or what they wanted him to do. I hope all those people who said "well, he acted suspiciously, what do you expect the police to do..." will have the common decency to issue a public apology to the family of the innocent victim. I'm looking at lot's of bloggers here.

I've had a little look back to see if I can find out who initiated the many lies which initially surrounded this incident. So far I've come up blank. I'll keep looking but a suspect all I'll find is attributions to "a police spokesman" and other such anonymous persons. Now, of course, no-one wants to say anything.
Police have declined to comment while the mistaken killing is still being investigated.
The government is apparently adopting the same approach. I truly loathe this government at times.

So, it it going too far to say that this was an execution? I'm afraid it is not. As more evidence becomes available, it's becoming clearer that this was a deliberate attempt to execute a terrorist, regardless of whether there was a clear and present danger to the police and the public. The decision to adopt this approach must have been authorised at the highest level. I believe that a full public enquiry is urgently needed. We need to know exactly what happened, who gave the go-ahead for this policy and for this particular action, and who generated the lies surrounding the incident. And we need to know as a matter of urgency. Public executions do not belong in a society which claims to be civilized.

Robin Grant calls for Sir Ian Bliar to resign. I don't think there's any need to wait for a full public enquiry on this. He's got to go. The poster has been added to the top of this post.
And Justin, at Chicken Yoghurt, proposes a marriage of convenience.

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