‘Immunity’ for officers in Azelle Rodney shooting

originally published by: BBC News
published: 4th November 2010

Scotland Yard officers involved in the shooting of a man in north London may get immunity from prosecution at a public inquiry into the killing. Azelle Rodney, 24, of Hounslow, was in a car when an officer opened fire in Edgware in April 2005. Sir Christopher Holland, a retired High Court judge, agreed to ask the Attorney General to protect the officers as it was needed to get their full accounts.

Mr Rodney’s mother said it could set a precedent for other such cases. Susan Alexander said the assurance of a “get out of jail free card” could set a precedent.

At the Royal Courts of Justice Sir Christopher Holland said if the police marksmen were granted immunity from prosecution those involved, including the officer who opened fire, would give full accounts of their actions.

Mrs Alexander said: “I am still not happy. I just need to get to the truth and find out what happened and I was expecting a timeline of when we might get the full public hearing.”

Ashley Underwood QC, counsel for the inquiry, said immunity would “encourage candour” as some witnesses may “point blank refuse” to testify.

He said: “If one is between the devil and the deep blue sea, in my judgment the best option is to opt for the most candid possible evidence for the inquiry so in that instance the truth will emerge.”

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