De Menezes family lose legal battle against son's killing

De Menezes was shot seven times in the head by British police officers who believed he was a suicide bomber

De Menezes family lose legal battle against son's killing

People lay flowers on the 10-year-anniversary of the death of 27-year-old Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, shot by British police who thought he was a terrorist in the tense aftermath of deadly 2005 London subway bombings, beside his memorial at Stockwell station in London, Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The family of Jean Charles de Menezes have lost their legal battle to hold the police officers who shot him to account.

They lodged a case with the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute any individuals over the 27-year-old Brazilian's death.

On Wednesday, the court ruled the CPS was right not to charge the Met Police marksmen who shot dead the electrician.

De Menezes was killed on an underground train at Stockwell station in central London after he was mistaken for a suicide bomber on 22 July, 2005 - a day after failed suicide attacks in the capital and weeks after the 7/7 bombings in which 52 people died.

Lawyers for his family argued the decision not to charge anyone over his death is incompatible with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which deals with the right to life.

However, the Strasbourg court's Grand Chamber found UK authorities had not failed in their obligations under the article to conduct an effective investigation into the shooting which was capable of identifying and - if appropriate - punishing those responsible.

"The decision not to prosecute any individual officer was not due to any failings in the investigation or the State’s tolerance of or collusion in unlawful acts," the court said.

"Rather, it was due to the fact that, following a thorough investigation, a prosecutor had considered all the facts of the case and concluded that there was insufficient evidence against any individual officer to prosecute."

Two years after the shooting, the Met was fined £175,000 for breaching health and safety laws.

In December 2008, an inquest jury rejected a string of claims made by police officers about the events leading up to Mr de Menezes's death and returned an open verdict.

His cousin, Patricia da Silva, who lodged the case with the ECHR the same year, has said the family are "deeply disappointed" at the judgement.

She said: "We had hoped that the ruling would give a glimmer of hope, not only to us, but to all other families who have been denied the right to justice after deaths at the hands of the police.

"We find it unbelievable that our innocent cousin could be shot seven times in head by the Metropolitan police when he had done nothing wrong and yet the police have not had to account for their actions.

"We will never give up our fight for justice for our beloved Jean Charles."