De Menezes cousin may have been hacked: campaigners
British detectives have told the cousin of a Brazilian man shot dead by police in London after being mistaken for a suicide bomber he may have been targeted by the News of the World, campaigners said Thursday.
Police on Wednesday told the relative of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was killed in 2005, that his number was on the list of a private investigator working for the paper, which closed last week amid the phone-hacking scandal.
As well as telling De Menezes' cousin Alex Pereira that his number was on the list of investigator Glenn Mulcaire, police are checking if other relatives and members of the family's legal team were targeted, campaigners said.
"The Menezes family are deeply pained to find their phones may have been hacked at a time at which they were at their most vulnerable and bereaved," said a spokesman from the Justice4Jean campaign.
"They are bewildered as to why the police did not approach them with this information earlier, and fear the police may be attempting to cover up their own wrongdoing once more relating to this case."
His relatives wrote a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron calling for the scope of a phone-hacking inquiry to be widened to look at alleged police leaks to the media during the probe into the death of 27-year-old De Menezes.
He was shot dead by counter-terrorist police hunting a would-be suicide bomber on July 22, 2005, a day after a failed attack on the capital and two weeks after 52 people were killed in bombings on the London transport system.
"We are conscious that the newspapers owned by News International provided some of the most virulent and often misleading coverage around Jean's death and its aftermath," said the letter.
"Throughout the investigation, misinformation continued to be leaked to the press that attempted to besmirch Jean's character."
The phone-hacking scandal escalated last week amid allegations that private investigators working for the paper hacked into the phones of a murdered teenager, relatives of bombing victims and relatives of dead British soldiers.
© 2011 AFP