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Met Police guilty in de Menezes case

Large fine plus costs

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The Metropolitan Police was today found guilty of breaching Health and Safety legislation in the incident which led to the death by shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in July 2005.

The jury said the operation commander Cressida Dick bore "no personal culpability", and the Met's Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said he would not resign.

The judge ordered the police to pay a £175,000 fine and costs of £385,000.

Sir Ian Blair, speaking outside the court after the verdict, apologised again to the family and friends of de Menezes for his death.

Blair said: "The MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] have been found guilty of a breach of health and safety legislation in relation to the death of Mr de Menezes. As far as we know, this is the first time that such legislation has been applied to fast moving police operations where the public are in danger. In large part, it was concern over the implications of applying health and safety legislation to such an operation which led the Metropolitan Police to plead not guilty...

"I want to make clear the people of London should have full confidence in the Met's ability to deal professionally with dangerous and difficult situations.

"By contrast, the difficulties shown in this trial were those of an organisation struggling, on a single day, to get to grips with a simply extraordinary situation - its greatest operational challenge in a generation."

Blair said the case did not show any evidence of systematic failure by the Metropolitan Police Service, and therefore he intends to continue in his job. He said it would be his "personal task" to ensure the Met learns lessons from Mr de Menezes death.

The BBC story is here, and there is a short statement from the Met here.®

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