The next hearing of the inquest into the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes by officers of the Metropolitan Police Service on 22 July 2005 is scheduled for 7 September 2006 at Southwark Coronerís Court, London. Her Majestyís Coroner, John Sampson, will be likely to consider the future conduct of the inquest into Jean Charles de Menezesí death.
Amnesty International understands that the Crown Prosecution Service of England and Wales (CPS) has reportedly written to the Coroner and invited him to adjourn the inquest proceedings. The organization is extremely concerned that the CPS is seeking to block the immediate resumption and completion of the inquest.
Amnesty International understands that the CPS will argue that the inquest should be postponed until the completion of the ongoing criminal proceedings against the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis for an offence under the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 of failing to provide for the health, safety and welfare of Jean Charles de Menezes. As such, the ongoing criminal proceedings are not against Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, in his personal capacity, but will be a prosecution of the Office of Commissioner, as the deemed employer of the Metropolitan Police officers involved in the death of Jean Charles de Menezes.
Amnesty International has recently written to the Director of Public Prosecutions expressing concern about the CPSís reported intention to seek the postponement of the inquest, as well as asking for a detailed explanation of its reasons for doing so.
The organization would oppose any such postponement on the grounds outlined below.