Shot Brazilian's family attack ex-British policeman's honour

29th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Relatives of the Brazilian electrician shot dead by British police when he was mistaken for a suicide bomber said Friday they were disgusted that the police chief at the time received a top honour.

Former Metropolitan Police chief Sir Ian Blair, who was forced to resign after criticism of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in July 2005, has been made a peer in the House of Lords, Britain's upper house of parliament.

De Menezes, 27, was shot seven times in the head by police officers in a London underground train station the day after a failed attempt to copy the July 7 attacks in which four suicide bombers killed 52 people.

Police mistook him for failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman.

Vivian Figueiredo, De Menezes' London-based cousin, said: "We are disgusted at this decision.

"As commissioner, we believe Ian Blair was ultimately accountable for the death of Jean, for the lies told and the cover-up.

"He even tried to stop the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) investigating our cousin's death. This is a final slap in the face for our family."

A spokeswoman for the Justice4Jean campaign claimed Blair had "attempted to cover up one of the darkest moments in the recent history of the Metropolitan Police" and making him a peer had "diminished the whole peerage system".

© 2010 AFP

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