Friday, September 30, 2005

Sir Iain Bliar

I don't have anything to add to what I've just seen on Newsnight at the moment. I just want to record it really. We know that Sir Iain wrote a letter concerning the delay of the IPCC investigation into the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Here's what he said about that letter last month.
What I actually said was, we have a unique situation here which, at that stage, I and my officers thought the dead man was a suicide bomber... and we are in the middle of one of the biggest counter terrorist operations; is it wise to bring in another set of investigators into the middle of that with the forensics, ballistics and explosives and so on?

And secondly the IPCC has a duty, which I respect, to inform the family of everything that they find - and this is an investigation which involves secret intelligence, and where do those two things fit together? Permanent secretary would you please advise what we should do now. [my emphasis]
Here's what the letter actually said.
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 [my emphasis]
Note that "should be able to". Sir Iain does not currently have the power to act in this way and this letter confirms that he is aware of that fact. He goes on.
I have therefore given instructions that the shooting that has just occurred at Stockwell is not to be referred to the IPCC and that they will be given no access to the scene at the present time. The investigation will be carried out by the Met's own Directorate of Professional Standards. [my emphasis]
This is an instruction he demonstrably knows he does not have the authority to issue. Furthermore the final paragraph catagorically confirms that the policy adopted is outwith the scope of existing legislation (ie, it's illegal).
For the time being I seek your support for this measure, which may form the basis for amending legislation in the future.
It's all just so very disturbingly wrong. Does the Commissioner have a major involvement in policy making decisions?

And he has seriously misrepresented the entire contents of the letter. It is clearly not a request for guidance but a notification of a decision already taken, and a request for support for that decision.

Sir Ian Blair: Judge, Jury, Executioner.

Btw, today's bitter irony is to be found in the fact that Sir Iain uses the phrase "shoot to kill" in his letter. Not "shoot to protect" then?

No comments: