Leaked official report casts doubt on police claim that slain Brazilian acted suspiciously
LONDON – A leaked report into the death of a Brazilian man mistaken for a bomber and shot to death by undercover police sparked outrage Wednesday as it said the victim was not wearing a heavy jacket and did not jump the ticket gate as had been previously claimed.Also Wednesday, an Italian court approved the extradition to Britain of suspected London bomber Hamdi Issac but said he must remain in Italy for another 35 days so Italian authorities can finish their investigation. Issac’s lawyer said she would appeal the ruling.Electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, was shot seven times in the head by police who tailed him to the station the day after the failed July 21 transit bombings in London.Two weeks earlier, four suicide bombers killed 52 commuters had been on three London subway trains and a bus.In the heightened state of anxiety, witnesses reported that Menezes was dressed in a heavy coat and acting suspiciously, then jumped over the ticket gate before bolting from armed officers toward a train. Police also said that he failed to obey their instructions.But British ITV news, citing a leaked report on an investigation into the death, said Tuesday that Menezes was dressed in a denim jacket and walked casually into Stockwell subway station, stopping to pick up a newspaper before riding the escalator down and running to board his train. The investigation report cited closed circuit TV footage, ITV News said.The television station also said that witness accounts included in the report said Menezes was seated on the train before being shot.The Independent Police Complaints Commission, investigating the shooting, refused to comment on the report. London’s Metropolitan Police said they could not make any comment or clarify earlier statements while the investigation continued.Menezes’ cousin Alex Alvin Pereira called for the police officers involved to be jailed and the family’s lawyer criticized the secrecy surrounding the shooting.Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair has called the death “regrettable,” but said it appeared “the man was challenged and refused to obey police instructions.”Police said Menezes had attracted police attention because he left a building that was under surveillance in connection with the July 21 attacks and that his clothing and behavior at the station had added to their suspicions.Officers tailing him concluded that he matched the description of one of the four July 21 attackers, according to the leaked documents. However, a surveillance officer had failed to record Menezes leaving the property in Tulse Hill because he had gone to the toilet and so was unable to switch on the video recording device, ITV said.It wasn’t clear from the ITV News report how officers challenged Menezes or how he responded to them. The police have refused to give details of what happened when Menezes allegedly disobeyed officers.In Italy, the three-judge panel granted a request by Italian prosecutors to delay the transfer of Issac, who is suspected in the July 21 failed bombings on London’s transit system.Issac’s lawyer, Antonietta Sonnessa, has 10 days to present the appeal to the Court of Cassation, Italy’s highest court. That court then has to make its ruling within 15 days.Paolo Iorio, a lawyer representing the British government in the case, said he was “absolutely satisfied” with the decision and the 35-day wait would not hold up investigations in Britain.Issac, a British citizen also known as Osman Hussain, has told investigators that the explosives in his bag were made of flour and a liquid hair product and were not meant to kill, according to Sonnessa.Vail – Colorado
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