Brazil's ambassador said Tuesday that he believes there was no cover-up by British officials in the fatal police shooting of a Brazilian man mistaken for a terrorist.
When asked about a cover-up, Ambassador Jose Mauricio Bustani said: "No, at this point, no. ... At the moment, we don't have any reason whatsoever to assume that." Jean Charles de Menezes was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder by police officers on July 22.
Earlier on Tuesday, Britain’s police watchdog agency promised to deliver a report by the end of the year on the subway slaying.
The pledge came after Brazil’s deputy attorney general, Wagner Goncalves, and senior Brazilian Justice Ministry official Marcio Pereira Pinto Garcia, arrived in London Monday to determine how and why officers killed the 27-year-old electrician.
Commenting on the time it would take to deliver the report, Richard Latham, an attorney representing the Independent Police Complaints Commission, or IPCC, said: “No one would expect an investigation like this to be hurried.”
Criminal proceedings possible
Criminal or disciplinary proceedings against the officers involved was a possibility, Latham told a brief hearing at a coroner’s inquest. The inquest into the July 22 killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot seven times in the head by police officers, was adjourned until Feb. 23.
Latham said the commission would not publish its report until any criminal or disciplinary proceedings were completed.
“There is no intention on the part of the IPCC of providing what might be described as a running commentary on the progress of the investigation,” Latham said.
“In due course there may — I emphasize the may — be recommendations” that criminal proceedings or disciplinary actions should be initiated, he said.
Harriet Wistrich, a lawyer representing Menezes’ family, said they were pleased that there would be a report this year.
“The priority for the family is to properly understand what happened, who was responsible and, if appropriate, for prosecutions to follow,” Wistrich said.
Undercover police followed Menezes onto an Underground train and shot him seven times in the head and once in the shoulder on July 22, the day after four failed bomb attacks on London’s transit system. Two weeks earlier, four suspected suicide bombers killed 52 commuters in similar attacks.
New reports emerged last week contradicting initial assertions that Menezes had aroused suspicion by wearing a bulky jacket despite the warm weather and running from police.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair says police assume full responsibility for the shooting, and he had rejected calls for his resignation. On Sunday, he won the backing of Tony Blair’s office and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who is in charge while the prime minister vacations in Barbados.