Ken Clarke sets up secret inquiry into police killing of Azelle Rodney

Azelle Rodney
Azelle Rodney

originally published by: The Guardian
10th June 2010

A “secret” judicial inquiry is to be held into the death of Azelle Rodney, an unarmed 24-year-old black Londoner who was shot by a Metropolitan police marksman five years ago, the new justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, has announced.

Rodney, a suspect in a major drugs investigation, was shot dead by an undercover team from Scotland Yard’s CO19 armed unit on a suburban road in Edgware, north London, on 30 April 2005 – 11 weeks before the death of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell underground station.

Clarke said the inquiry, to be chaired by Sir Christopher Holland, a retired high court judge, would look at the issues surrounding Rodney’s death that a coroner’s inquest would have determined, had it been possible to hold one.

Rodney’s mother, Susan Alexander, has fought for an inquiry into her son’s death since a coroner halted his inquest saying it was not possible to proceed because large parts of the police witness statements had been blanked out. Rodney had been the subject of covert intercept surveillance – including phone taps – which currently cannot be disclosed in court.

It is expected that parts of the inquiry will be held in secret to enable the retired judge to evaluate the covert surveillance evidence.

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