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Retired PC and police worker arrested over alleged Stephen Lawrence cover-up

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Spear, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Spear

    Spear JF-Expert Member

    Dec 19, 2009
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    kwa wale wenye kukumbuka ni kama jana alipouliwa huyu kijana .naimnia na hapa Tanzania ipo siku wale wote walifanya mauwaji kwa aina maoja au nyingine sheria zitawahukumu siku moja.(muembe chai na kwengineko)

    Retired PC and police worker arrested over alleged Stephen Lawrence cover-up

    Last updated at 12:04 AM on 19th December 2009

    [​IMG] Murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence

    A former police officer and Scotland Yard worker have been arrested over an alleged cover-up of potentially vital evidence in the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
    The pair were detained over claims that they withheld material gathered in the aftermath of the 1993 race-hate killing.
    The Independent Police Complaints Commission said a 62-year-old retired constable and a 53-year-old serving member of police staff were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in relation to the alleged 'non-disclosure of material'.
    The watchdog is investigating claims that evidence gathered at the time of the murder was not passed on to subsequent investigations.
    The corruption allegations were referred to the IPCC two months ago after an internal Metropolitan Police review.
    And the development comes as hopes rise that some of the original five prime suspects could be tried again.
    Forensic tests are being carried out on a number of 'crime exhibits' and senior officers are said to be confident of bringing new murder charges next year.
    Officers are optimistic that the tests will put them in a position to bring a prosecution under the double jeopardy rules, which allows suspects acquitted of murder charges to be put on trial for a second time.
    Stephen, an A-level student who dreamed of becoming an architect, was stabbed to death by a gang of white youths in Eltham, South East London.
    There have since been three investigations - an internal Scotland Yard review, a re-examination by Kent police and the Macpherson inquiry, which changed the face of policing in Britain after accusing the Metropolitan Police of 'institutional racism'.

    [​IMG] The five youths charged, but never convicted of the murder of Stephen react as they are pelted with eggs after leaving a Public Inquiry into police handling of the case in 1998

    It is unclear whether the material in question was withheld from the original murder investigation.
    The IPCC added it was investigating why it was allegedly not disclosed to either the Kent inquiry or the Macpherson Inquiry. Both suspects have been bailed until next March.
    No one has been convicted of the killing but five men - Neil Acourt, his brother Jamie, David Norris, Gary Dobson and Luke Knight - were arrested soon after the murder.
    Three of the men were acquitted of murder after a private prosecution brought by Stephen's parents, Neville and Doreen Lawrence, at the Old Bailey in 1996.
    Norris and Jamie Acourt never stood trial as the case against them collapsed before reaching court.
    A year later, after the five refused to answer questions at an inquest into Stephen's death, the Daily Mail famously accused them of being Stephen's murderers and challenged them to sue the paper for libel if we were wrong.
    They did not take up the offer and in many people's eyes they remain the prime suspects.

    Enlarge [​IMG] Neil Acourt, one of the five named suspects accused of killing Stephen, leaves after giving evidence at the public inquiry into the racist murder

    A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: 'As part of the ongoing Metropolitan Police review into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, detectives recently discovered material from 1993 which is not believed to have been disclosed to the Kent inquiry in 1997 or the inquiry led by Sir William Macpherson.
    'Therefore the Met decided it was necessary to refer the issue to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for investigation.'
    Baroness Ros Howells, a friend of Doreen Lawrence and patron of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, said she was 'delighted'.
    She said: 'Lots of people said they gave the police evidence which was never produced. We knew something was going on.'
    Lord Herman Ouseley, a former chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, said: 'A lot of people had suspicions about the nature of policing at the time and how people covered for each other. It does not surprise me.

    'What does surprise me is that it has happened now.'
    Two years ago the Daily Mail exclusively revealed that police had made a sensational forensic breakthrough in the case.
    They found new DNA evidence and fibres from Stephen's clothes on those thought to have been worn by the suspects. Fibres from their clothes were on Stephen's bloodied garments.
    The latest developments will be a concern to the five men arrested after Stephen's death: Gary Dobson, now 34; Neil Acourt, 34; Luke Knight, 33; Jamie Acourt, 33, and gangster's son David Norris, 33.
    Any bid to put them on trial again would have to be approved by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC.
    Key dates in the Stephen Lawrence case

    April 22, 1993: Stephen is stabbed to death in an unprovoked racist attack by a gang of white youths as he waited at a bus stop in Eltham, south east London.
    May, 1993: The Lawrence family complains police are not doing enough to catch the killers.
    Enlarge [​IMG] The Daily Mail accuses Gary Dobson, Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt, Luke Knight and David Norris of the murder of Stephen Lawrence

    May-June, 1993: Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt, Gary Dobson, Luke Knight and David Norris arrested in connection with his murder.
    July, 1993: Committal proceedings scheduled for Neil Acourt and Knight but the Crown Prosecution Service shelves the case after a meeting between them and the senior investigating officer
    December, 1993: Coroner halts an inquest after the family's barrister, Michael Mansfield QC, says there is 'dramatic' new evidence.
    April, 1994: The CPS says the new evidence is insufficient to support murder charges.

    September, 1994: The Lawrence family begins a private prosecution against the prime suspects
    April, 1996: Murder trial against Neil Acourt, Luke Knight and Gary Dobson starts but case collapses after identification evidence is ruled inadmissible
    February, 1997: An inquest into Mr Lawrence's death ends and the jury decides he was 'unlawfully killed by five white youths'. The Daily Mail accuses the five of murder on an historic front page

    July, 1997: Judicial inquiry announced by the Home Secretary
    December, 1997: A Police Complaints Authority report on the original investigation of identifies 'significant weaknesses, omissions and lost opportunities'
    February, 1999: The Macpherson report finds the police guilty of mistakes and 'institutional racism'. Changes in policing, law and government policy on race follow.
    May, 2004: CPS announces there is 'insufficient evidence' to prosecute anyone
    April, 2005: The double jeopardy legal principle, preventing suspects being tried twice for the same crime, is scrapped
    July, 2006: A BBC documentary alleges police corruption in the Lawrence case
    October, 2007: The Independent Police Complaints commission finds no evidence of corruption and no evidence of dishonest links
    November, 2007: Police say they are investigating new forensic evidence. New low-copy DNA tests on fibres may allow investigators to link some of the five suspects to the crime scene
    February, 2009: Dr Richard Stone, a panel member on the original Lawrence inquiry, finds significant progress has been made but charges of racism remain
    December, 2009: A retired constable and police worker arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in relation to the alleged non-disclosure of material