Lawyers and campaigners for the family of Jean Charles de Menezes last night handed in a petition to Downing Street calling for a public inquiry into the fatal shooting of the Brazilian electrician by anti-terrorist police.
As Brazilian diplomats arrived in London to talk to the Metropolitan police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the body investigating the shooting, the Jean4Justice family campaign held a vigil in Whitehall in an attempt to keep up pressure on the Met and its commissioner, Sir Ian Blair.
Wagner Goncalves of Brazil’s federal prosecutor’s office, and Marcio Pereira Pinto Garcia, of the ministry of justice, were seeking clarification of the reasons for Mr de Menezes’ death following leaks of the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation last week.
They were meeting John Yates, the Met’s deputy assistant commissioner, last night and are expected to see IPCC officials tomorrow.
Alessandro Pereira, a cousin of Mr de Menezes, draped in a Brazilian flag, read a statement to the press. “Every day we hear more lies,” he said. “We’ve heard too many. All we want is truth and justice”.
Some 200 protesters gathered at Downing Street to call for Sir Ian’s resignation.
Mr Pereira said: “I have just handed a letter to the British prime minister Tony Blair on behalf of the family both here and in Brazil. I am calling on him to make sure that those responsible for the murder of Jean are brought to justice . . . Every day we discover more and more lies. We have heard too many. We simply demand truth and justice.”
The Met had initially suggested Mr de Menezes, who had been wrongly identified as a suspect in the July 21 failed London terror attacks, had acted suspiciously as he entered Stockwell Tube station on July 22. However, papers presented to the IPCC suggested he had done little to arouse suspicion and had not failed to respond to police warnings, as Sir Ian had originally claimed.
Senior politicians have given vocal backing to the embattled commissioner but the victim’s family repeated calls for police to be held accountable.
Maria de Menezes, mother of the 27-year-old electrician, told the BBC: “They took my son’s life. I want the policeman who did that punished. They ended not only my son’s life but mine as well.”
The shoot-to-kill policy, implemented in secret in 2002, has been criticised by the family’s lawyers.
Politicians now believe that a public inquiry may be necessary.
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