Wednesday 17 January 2007

Did The Government Force BBC To Drop Menezes, 7/7 Docu-Dramas?

New revelations may have influenced decision to can recreations

by Steve Watson

The family of Jean Charles de Menezes, the innocent man who was gunned down by British police in the wake of the London bombings, has today accused the BBC of aiding a cover up after plans to film a politically sensitive docu-drama about his murder were unceremoniously dropped. The filiming of a docu-drama about the 7/7 London bombers has also been suddenly abandoned.

The London Guardian reports that the BBC shelved both projects because, despite unearthing "difficult or dark" new evidence, it claims it has given the events enough coverage on news and current affairs programming.

But de Menezes cousin Alex Pereira said:

"They are trying to make people forget what happened. It is all political. If the BBC just wanted to do the right thing, they would show the programme. To show the truth is not illegal, to show how the police treated me is not a crime. But they won't because they want to protect the criminals, the police. All reports say they are innocent in everything they have done. We can't prove there is a cover up but we think it is a cover up .Because it will look bad for the police, they won't do that because the BBC is part of the government."

The move is indeed a strange one given that the BBC had, according to the award-winning producer of the project, previously been touting the drama as "the most important television commission of the year".

So did the government have a hand to play in the decision as Pereira suggests? It is not so far fetched to imagine so, particularly given that the BBC has been on a tight leash ever since the 45 minute warning revelations and the dodgy Iraq dossier business in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq.

The government has certainly gone to great lengths in the past to cover up the murder of de Menezes. It would be no surprise if this was a continuation of that policy.

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