Jean Charles de Menezes' cousin wants truth over 'smear' stories

Published
image captionJean Charles de Menezes was shot dead on 22 July, 2005, just weeks after the 7/7 bombings

A cousin of a man who was shot by police on the Tube in 2005 has called on a public inquiry to discover whether he was "smeared" by police.

Jean Charles de Menezes was killed at Stockwell Tube station after being mistaken for a terrorist.

The Undercover Policing Inquiry heard how reports after his death centred on is clothing and behaviour.

Phillippa Kaufmann QC, representing cousin Patricia Armani da Silva, said these reports were "false".

She said initial reporting suggested Mr de Menezes ran through a ticket barrier "wearing suspicious clothing" and failed to stop.

Ms Kaufmann said: "This gave the impression that Jean Charles was not an entirely innocent victim, and appeared to mitigate the enormity of the police error.

"It subsequently transpired that all of the early assertions about Jean Charles' behaviour were false."

She said the family still had to correct people about these claims and were "distressed".

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionA memorial to Mr Menezes was unveiled outside Stockwell station in 2010

Later in March 2006, the family's solicitor Harriet Wistrich was called by a detective warning her that a story about a rape allegation made against Mr de Menezes would appear in the Sunday Mirror.

Ms Wistrich believed the officer was implying the story was the result of a police leak, but the detective denied this.

The allegation was investigated and DNA evidence proved Mr de Menezes was innocent.

Ms Kaufmann said: "Miss da Silva cannot prove that the police deliberately put false information about Jean Charles into the public domain on these or other occasions, for example when it was reported that he was an illegal immigrant.

"Nor is she aware of anything to suggest that any of the false information that was published about him came from an undercover source."

But the inquiry heard that claims made by former undercover Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) officer turned whistleblower Peter Francis led Miss Armani da Silva to be suspicious.

Ms Kaufmann went on: "For Miss Armani da Silva there is a chilling parallel between her experiences of misinformation being put into the public domain about Jean Charles, and the account that Peter Francis has publicly given of SDS officers being tasked with infiltrating justice campaigns in order to source information with which to discredit them."

Ms Kaufmann said this "has always been denied" by the Met.

The inquiry continues.

More on this story