Mon, Jan 16, 2006 - Page 6 News List

Israeli officials fault London police over Brazilian's killing

THE OBSERVER , LONDON

The UK's Scotland Yard has been challenged over the death of Jean Charles de Menezes by senior defense officials in Israel, the country on which Britain modeled its shoot-to-kill policy.

The shooting of 27-year-old Brazilian Menezes last July on a London tube train would have been avoided under Israel's own guidelines for tackling suspected suicide bombers, the officials said.

Although the London Metropolitan Police said their policy was influenced by visits to Israel to see how the police there dealt with the terrorist threat, Israeli officials have attempted to distance themselves from the shooting of Menezes.

Menezes would have been challenged verbally long before he was allowed to enter a transport network under Israel's methods for tackling suspected suicide bombers, according to senior diplomats.

Menezes, an electrician, was shot and killed on a train at Stockwell Underground station in south London on July 22 in a botched operation to catch suicide bombers.

"There has not been a single such incident in Israel ... In fact, as a number of recent terror attacks have demonstrated, the opposite is the case," one Israeli defense source said. "Police have lost their lives because they decided not to shoot a person they suspected. In all cases they sought to question the person."

The killing of Menezes prompted an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Its file on the shooting will be handed over to the Crown Prosecution Service later this month. Charges against officers involved in the shootings remain a possibility following the five-month-investigation.

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