Sunday 25 September 2016

Court rules UK right not to charge police for shooting innocent man dead

David Barrett

Published 31/03/2016 | 02:30

Jean Charles de Menezes. Photo: Reuters/Handout via Reuters/Files
Jean Charles de Menezes. Photo: Reuters/Handout via Reuters/Files

The family of Jean Charles de Menezes have lost a human rights challenge over the decision not to bring charges against British police marksmen over his death.

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Judges at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled British prosecutors were right not to charge police officers over Brazilian electrician's fatal shooting in 2005.

It comes more than a decade after he was mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot dead by police marksmen on a London Tube train.

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

Britain failed to ensure "accountability and punishment" over the shooting, they argued.

The claim also challenged the definition of self-defence in British law, under which officers only had to show they had an "honest belief" that they were right to use such a high degree of force.

Judges rejected the case in its entirety.

"The court considered that all aspects of the authorities' responsibility for the fatal shooting had been thoroughly investigated."

"The court found that the UK authorities had not failed in their obligations under Article 2 of the Convention to conduct an effective investigation into the shooting of Mr de Menezes which was capable of identifying and - if appropriate - punishing those responsible," said the ruling.

"In particular, the court considered that all aspects of the authorities' responsibility for the fatal shooting had been thoroughly investigated."

Mr de Menezes (27), was shot dead by Metropolitan Police firearms officers at Stockwell Underground station in south London, the day after failed terrorist attacks on the transport network. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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