Top cop will not face perjury charge over Birmingham riots murder trial

Haroon Jahan, Shahzad Ali and Abdul Musavir

A senior police officer accused of lying during a Birmingham riots murder trial will not face a perjury charge, prosecutors have announced.

Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Tagg was accused by a judge of “inventing a story” about the late disclosure of an offer to give witnesses immunity from prosecution.

Another officer, Detective Inspector Khalid Kiyani, had also faced an investigation over his evidence given during the trial of eight men following the deaths of Haroon Jahan, 20, Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31.

The officers were asked to explain, on oath and in the absence of the jury, why they had not disclosed evidence of the immunity offers.

Trial judge Mr Justice Flaux found a fair trial could still continue and the eight men were later found not guilty of murder.

Michael Gregory, specialist prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, said while correct procedures may not have been followed by the officers, there was not enough evidence to bring charges of perjury.

He said there was, “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction of either officer.

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“While there was evidence that some procedures may not have been followed correctly by the officers in this case, that is not the test for a criminal prosecution.

“To prove that an individual has committed perjury, the prosecution must be able to prove that the suspects made a false statement, knowing that it was not true.”

The three friends were killed in Winson Green on August 10, 2011, after being hit by a car during the height of the riots.

Community activist Desmond Jaddoo said his thoughts were with the families of the bereaved men, after hearing of the CPS decision.

“I’m deeply saddened for the families because it’s another brick wall in their quest for justice and accountability,’’ he said.

“This should have gone to a jury to decide if it was deliberate, stupidity or an oversight.”

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Cann, from West Midlands Police, said: “We fully accept the findings of the CPS who, after examining the evidence from a variety of independent sources have concluded that our officers did not knowingly make any false statements.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is finalising its own investigation. A spokesman said: “We have been informed of the CPS decision. We will now be finalising the IPCC investigation report before submitting it shortly to West Midlands Police for their consideration.”

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