Shooting victim's family accuse police of cover-up
Published 15/07/2011 | 05:00
THE family of Jean Charles de Menezes, the innocent Brazilian shot dead by police after being mistaken for a terrorist, may have had their mobile phones hacked by the 'News Of the World', police have disclosed.
Scotland Yard has contacted a cousin of Mr de Menezes to confirm that his private number was found on a list compiled by Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator used by the newspaper.
Relatives last night accused police of a "cover-up" and claimed officers may have been deliberately leaking "lies" to smear Mr de Menezes's memory. The family has written to British Prime Minister David Cameron calling for the scope of the planned judicial inquiry into media standards to be widened. They also increased the pressure on Andy Hayman, the former Scotland Yard anti-terrorism chief who writes a column for 'The Times', another News International title.
Mr de Menezes (27) was shot dead on a train at Stockwell London Underground station on July 22, 2005. Counter-terrorism officers mistook him for Hussain Osman, one of four would-be suicide bombers behind a series of failed attacks in the capital the previous day.
Mr de Menezes's family, including Alex Pereira, his cousin, led a long campaign calling for police officers to be prosecuted for the shooting and criticising Scotland Yard for its handling of the case.
A spokesman for the family confirmed police investigating the 'News Of The World' contacted Mr Pereira on Wednesday to confirm his mobile phone number was on a list drawn up by Mr Mulcaire.
Last night the family's lawyers said the disclosure amounted to a "huge intrusion" into their grief, and disclosed other relatives had given their details to police to be checked.
A spokesman for the family's Justice4Jean campaign said: "The Menezes family are deeply pained to find their phones may have been hacked at a time at which they were at their most vulnerable and bereaved. They are bewildered as to why the police did not approach them with this information earlier, and fear the police may be attempting to cover up their own wrongdoing once more relating to this case."
An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, two years after the shooting, criticised Scotland Yard for wrongly giving the impression that Mr de Menezes was one of the bombers when it was already clear he was not.
Vivian Figueiredo, another of Mr de Menezes's cousins, said: "There were some moments in which it appeared that things were being leaked to the media.
"If it is proved, we will see what type of action we will take, we will decide what we will do." (© Daily Telegraph, London)