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Lawyers: 'Lies' Abound in Case of Brazilian Killed by London Police

Lawyers for the family of a Brazilian man mistaken for a suspected terrorist and killed by London police say the original version of events is peppered with lies, leading to suspicion of a cover up.

Lawyers representing the family of Jean Charles de Menezes have met with an independent commission probing the police killing of the Brazilian electrician, who was shot seven times in the head on a London subway train on July 22.

At the time, London was on high alert because four prime suspects were at large after planting dud bombs on the city's transit system the day before. Only two weeks earlier, a string of terrorist bombings had killed 56 people.

Witnesses to the de Menezes shooting were widely quoted as saying he had been running from police and had been wearing an unseasonably heavy coat that could have hidden a bomb.

Police Commissioner Ian Blair had said Mr. de Menezes had refused to stop when police challenged him.

But British television network ITV says evidence leaked from the independent investigation appears to contradict initial accounts of the shooting.

The chief lawyer for the family, Gareth Peirce, says police credibility has been battered.

"There are lies that have been told and lies that have been allowed to remain uncorrected," she said. "It was said that this man was linked to a bombing incident and suspected bombers. He was not ever linked. It was said he was wearing a bulky jacket. He was not. It was said that he ran and therefore caused suspicion. He did not run."

Ms. Peirce says the case has been badly handled from the start, only adding to the suspicions of a cover up.

"There has been a chaotic mess," she added. "How much of it is incompetence and negligence, including gross negligence, and how much of it may be something more sinister? We do not know."

In a related development, London police confirm that on the day of the de Menezes killing Police Chief Blair asked the Home Office to delay the independent investigation. He argued the ongoing terrorist investigation should take precedence.

The Blair request was accepted, and the investigation began three days later, instead of immediately, as it would have under normal circumstances.