ON the afternoon of July 2005, Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman of the Metropolitan Police gave a briefing to the Crime Reporters' Association about the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell underground station. He said that de Menezes was not one of the four men wanted in connection with the failed suicide bombing attacks on London's transport system the previous day. Thirty minutes later, when Mr Hayman attended a meeting of top Metropolitan Police Officers and senior Whitehall officials, he did not repeat the information he had already given to the journalists. As a result, Sir Ian Blair, the head of the Metropolitan Police, did not learn that de Menezes had been an innocent victim until the following day. In its 134-page report issued yesterday afternoon the Independent Police Complaints Commission says that Mr Hayman, who is Britain's most senior counter-terrorism police officer, deliberately misled Sir Ian Blair and the public and should face disciplinary action. After the report's release, Sir Ian said that he gave Andy Hayman his “full support”. The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, chimed in with an expression of “complete confidence” in the Police. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been investigating this terrible blunder for almost two years but its conclusions are immediately implicitly challenged by the two most senior people concerned. Shall we ever get to the truth about the shocking murder of an innocent man and the incompetence that followed it?


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