Senior Brazilian Diplomats Begin Probe Into Shooting
News Brief – August 22, 2005
As Brazilian diplomats began their investigation into the killing of an innocent Brazilian by British police, new facts have emerged that cast doubt on the official line.
"We are here to see how the investigation works," Marcio Pereira Pinto Garcia of the Ministry of Justice told reporters when he and Wagner Goncalves of the Federal Prosecutor's Office arrived at London's Heathrow airport yesterday.
On Wednesday the pair will quiz investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission that probes all fatal police shootings.
Leaked documents from the IPCC investigation last week exposed blunders and cast doubt on initial accounts from police and witnesses that de Menezes had been behaving suspiciously and had tried to flee.
The killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, in a London underground train has prompted calls for London police chief Ian Blair to resign. However British Prime Minister Tony Blair, holidaying in Barbados with his family, has endorsed his police chief.
Sunday newspapers said undercover officers who followed de Menezes after he came out of an apartment block as part of the investigation did not believe he posed an immediate threat.
They were therefore shocked when armed police arrived at the train at Stockwell station in south London and shot him, the reports said, citing senior police sources.
This in turn has led to mounting speculation that the men who shot de Menezes were not regular armed police officers but were in fact part of a special forces unit, that had been assigned to the job and who were tasked with killing someone, anyone, thereby fueling public anxiety and apprehension. In order to prepare the way for the passage of more draconian legislation and the next step in the global "War on Terror".
Soldiers from a new “special forces” regiment that had only become operational in April are now believed to have been involved in the gunning down of Charles de Menezes. The Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) is the first special forces unit to be created in the UK since the end of the second world war. Like the SAS, the SRR is based in Hereford, its personnel selected and trained by the SAS.
Geoff Hoon, then defence secretary, announced on April 5 in a written Commons answer that “the pursuit of international terrorists” would be the SRR’s priority.
Virtually unnoticed, a few weeks before de Menezes fatal shooting, the Times Online presented a foretaste of things to come. "Britain's special forces commanders have temporarily switched the main thrust of their attention from Iraq and Afghanistan", wrote Michael Smith, "to hunting down suspected terrorists at home."
"A number of special forces teams are on an hour’s notice", Smith continued, "to move anywhere in the UK to support police operations against the terrorist threat. "
According to the Guardian the fact that a new Special Forces unit was involved in events that ultimately led to the shooting of the Brazilian, has been confirmed by Whitehall sources.
Well it seems like they've now bagged their first kill, trouble is he wasn't a terrorist, just an ordinary guy who got in the way. But maybe that was the intention right from the very start.
Last updated 25/08/2005