Friday 30 October 2009

Senior Met Officer To Head Investigations at Police Complaints Watchdog

What do we know about the Metropolitan Police Commander Moir Stewart?

He was the former Staff Officer to Commissioner Sir Ian Blair who received ‘constructive advice’ from his managers on the recommendation of the Independent Police Complaints Commission for failing to pass on information to his boss on 22 July 2005 - information that confirming the Met had shot and killed an innocent Brazilian.

According to the IPCC’s Stockwell 2 investigation (PDF), this resulted in Blair falsely telling a press conference that the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes was directly linked to the operation to catch potential suicide bombers. But like other officers involved in the Menezes case, this was no obstacle to promotion.

Stewart went on to coordinate the Met’s response to the health and safety prosecution in 2007. This involved instructing the force's barristers to smear Jean by claiming he had been killed because he acted in an "aggressive and threatening manner" when challenged by police, suggesting he was an illegal immigrant and dishonestly manipulating a photograph showing Jean Charles de Menezes next to a suicide bomber.

Now Stewart, who subsequently rose to head the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, has a new job starting in January – unbelieveably, a senior officer who has been criticised by the IPCC and condemned by the family of Jean Charles de Menezes is soon to become the IPCC's Director of Investigations!

Seldom can there have been a more inappropriate appointment. It's another nail in the coffin of the already discredited ‘independent’ police complaints body.

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