British Prime Minister Tony Blair telephoned Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Tuesday to apologize once more for the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, whom London police shot dead after mistaking him for a terrorist.
Official Brazilian sources said Blair explained to President Lula that London “is going through a very difficult time” because of recent terrorist attacks, adding that he had appointed a special commission to investigate De Menezes’ slaying.
According to the Brazilian president’s office, Lula told Blair he understands Britain’s problems, deeply regretted what happened and underscored that steps should be taken to prevent the death of innocent people.
During the ten minutes conversation President Lula told Mr. Blair of the sadness he felt when he spoke with De Menezes’ parents about their son, who was shot eight times, seven in the head, as he lay on the floor of a London subway car.
The electrician was buried this week in Gonzaga, his home town in Minas Gerais among great local grief and support for the family. The Menezes also met with officials from the British government and Metropolitan Police who visited them to express their regrets over the loss of 27 year old Menezes.
The Menezes’ family has demanded compensation from the British government that, according to the London press, could total as much as US$ 1.3 million.
Mercopress – www.mercopress.com