I never said de Menezes was a suspect, says officer

A senior British surveillance officer today denied telling bosses that Jean Charles de Menezes was a suspected suicide bomber.

The special branch detective, named only as Pat, contradicted evidence given by deputy assistant commissioner Cressida Dick as he insisted he never said “they think it’s him” before the Brazilian electrician’s shooting in London.

Ms Dick previously said Pat, who kept a log of incidents, told the police chief leading the operation “he’s very jumpy” as officers closed in on Mr de Menezes.

But Pat, the principal link at New Scotland Yard between surveillance and Ms Dick, said Mr de Menezes remained only “possibly identifiable with” failed bomber Hussain Osman throughout the chase.

Speaking behind a screen at Mr de Menezes’s inquest at the Oval cricket ground, south London, he added: “I was always under the impression that the subject had been unidentified.”

After being asked by David Perry QC, representing Ms Dick, whether he recalled saying “they think it’s him”, Pat replied: “Certainly not because that would have involved positive identification being made which would, therefore, be recorded in the log straight away because that would indicate it was him.”

He previously said: “In my impression, he remained as ’possibly identifiable with’ throughout.

“Obviously I wasn’t aware of everything that Commander Dick may have heard or spoken to, even, and possibly other people may have spoken to the surveillance team as well.”

Yesterday the jury heard how officers involved in the pursuit endured “chaotic” scenes in the police control room on the day he was shot.

Ms Dick has admitted her officers were not prepared for a failed suicide bombing.

But she believed Mr de Menezes posed a “great threat” as officers pursued him on July 22, 2005.

The 27-year-old was killed by specialist firearms officers who mistook him for Osman after boarding a train at Stockwell Tube station in London.

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