Jury retrace Menezes' last steps

Other News Materials 23 September 2008 09:26 (UTC +04:00)

Jurors are due to retrace the final journey of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes who was shot dead by police marksmen three years ago, reported BBC.

They will visit key locations including Stockwell Tube station and his flat in Tulse Hill, south London on the second day of the inquest into his death.

The 27-year-old was killed at the station after boarding a train.

Firearms officers mistakenly identified him to be a bomber the day after the failed 21 July 2005 attacks.

Officials will lead the jury, which consists of six women and five men, away from the Oval cricket ground inquest room to the various locations.

They will travel less than a mile to the station - where Mr de Menezes boarded a Northern Line train waiting at platform two.

It was there that he was shot by two police officers who mistook him for the missing failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman.

Coroner Sir Michael Wright will join the jurors on their journey and is expected to speak to them about the significance of each location.

When they reach the tube station, it is understood that underground services will not stop at the platform while the visit takes place.

However, the jury is only expected to stay for a few minutes before moving on to Mr de Menezes' former home in a low-rise block of flats in Scotia Road.

Surveillance officers investigating Osman had mounted an operation there on July 22 2005 following the terrorist attacks in London the previous day.

Other locations include New Scotland Yard and police stations in Leman Street, east London, and Nightingale Lane, south west London.

On Monday - the first day of the 12-week inquest into Mr de Menezes' death, jurors were told firearms officers made a split second decision to kill him.

Sir Michael said the two officers were "convinced" Mr de Menezes was about to detonate a device on the Tube.

Taking the inquest jury through events leading up to the electrician's death, Sir Michael listed a number of occasions where officers were unclear whether or not they thought they were pursuing a bomber.

He told them of differences between what was being relayed on radio and logged in the Scotland Yard control room - and how officers were interpreting the information.

He also said that as Mr de Menezes entered the Tube at Stockwell, no member of the surveillance team had positively identified him as Osman - the man they were looking for.

Turning to the decision of the two marksmen to shoot, Sir Michael said they had jointly fired nine rounds, seven of which entered the Brazilian's head at point blank range.

The two firearms officers - identified only as Charlie Two and Charlie 12 - will give evidence in public for the first time later in the inquest.

The jury will consider whether or not Mr de Menezes was unlawfully killed.

When addressing them at the start, Sir Michael said the inquest was a fact-finding exercise and "not a forum to determine culpability or compensation, still less to dispense punishment".

Some of Mr de Menezes' relatives have campaigned for police officers involved in the shooting to be prosecuted.

He was killed after teams of undercover officers had trailed him across south London after he left flats which were under surveillance.

The inquest will hear from 75 witnesses, including 48 serving police officers who have been granted anonymity, and Tube passengers.

The first police officer will appear later in the week.

The inquest is being held at the John Major conference room at the Oval Cricket Ground because of the scale of the proceedings and level of public interest.

There have been five inquiries relating to the death and its aftermath, including a criminal trial.

In 2007, an Old Bailey jury found the Metropolitan Police guilty of breaching health and safety laws, after hearing about the events leading up to Mr de Menezes being shot.