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Police 'misled' public on Menezes

By Simon Israel

Updated on 02 August 2007

Britain's top anti-terrorism officer misled the public after the tube shooting of the Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, says a new report.

The Metropolitan police commissioner has insisted that he "did not lie to the public " after his force was severely criticised over the way it handled the death of an innocent man.

The Independent Police complaints commission found Sir Ian Blair was 'almost totally uninformed' about events following the fatal shooting of the Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes in July 2005: even off duty officers at a cricket match knew more.

And the IPCC said Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman, "misled" senior officers by failing to provide them with the full facts. Mr de Menezes's family said they were "unsatisfied" with today's report.

Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman told journalists from the Crime Reporters Association that the police had shot the wrong man - vital information he then didn't pass on to his superiors.

Shooting timeline

This was the day the leadership of Britain's most senior police officer was under its the most intense scrunity - in the face of a damning report which did all but accuse him of being isolated from the realities on the day of the shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes.

Inaccurate maybe but not deliberate is the finding by the Independent Police Complaints Commission's two year inquiry - into who knew what and when on the day the Brazilian electrician was mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot seven times after being followed onto a tube train at Stockwell station.

But the timeline established by the IPCC reveals that so many other officers knew or suspected long before the Commissioner of just how badly things had gone wrong.

22nd July 2005

10:06am Jean Charles de Menezes was shot at six minutes past ten.

10:30am At 10:30 assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman tells Sir Ian Blair the victim is one of 21/7 bombers

11.22am Within an hour a senior investigating officer is told it's a Pakistani male with mobile phone but no bomb

12.30pm And an hour after that the Gold Group strategy meeting of senior officers is informed the mobile phone recovered

14.47pm By ten to three the Brazilian's wallet is discovered on a seat in the carriage.

15.10pm Twenty minutes later Assistant Commissioner Alan Brown is informed cards in wallet identify Jean Charles de Menezes. Sir Ian Blair not told.

15.30pm Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick told by another officer in Sir Ian's staff office "we've shot a Brazilian tourist."

15.39pm Sir Ian Blair tells press conference shooting is linked to the hunt for the 21/7 bombers

That was one example of misinformation the Yard put out and then failed to retract. At the same press conference photographs of the four would suicide bombers were also published

16.30pm AC Andy Hayman briefs crime reporters including Channel Four News, that it's believed the man shot was NOT one of the four 21/7 suspects

17.00pm Yet half an hour later at a management board meeting chaired by his boss. AC Hayman still maintains man shot could be one of 21/7 suspects. And Sir Ian Blair is still in the dark

But the IPCC has singled only one senior officer Andy Hayman for possible disciplinary action - for what's described as deliberately misleading the public or the Commissioner. Mr Hayman when interviewed said couldn't remember what he said that day.

10.15am It was only 24 hours after the shooting had taken place Sir Ian Blair was finally told the dead man had been identified as Jean Charles de Menezes.

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