Minister rejects calls for inquiry into shooting of PC Yvonne Fletcher
Calls for an inquiry into the fatal shooting of PC Yvonne Fletcher have been rejected by the Government.
Policing minister Kit Malthouse told MPs the Government is “not currently considering an inquiry” into the the death of the 25-year-old, who was killed on April 17 1984 outside the Libyan embassy.
PC Fletcher was shot while policing a demonstration against former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in St James’s Square in central London.
A total of 22 MPs have signed a parliamentary motion urging an inquiry into why the Government refused to release evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on the grounds of national security.
MPs heard Saleh Ibrahim Mabrouk was arrested in 2015 in connection with PC Fletcher’s death, but he was later released without charge after the CPS said no prosecution was possible due to evidence being withheld.
SNP MP Allan Dorans (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock) used a Commons debate to ask whether the Government would review if the evidence withheld in 2017 can now safely be released.
He said Prime Minister Boris Johnson had offered to look into the matter when the pair met to discuss PC Fletcher’s case in September 2020.
Mr Dorans also asked in the Commons: “Whether Saleh Mabrouk has ever been provided with a letter of comfort or letter of assurance by the British Government which guarantees that he will never be prosecuted in a British criminal court?”
He added: “Will the Government now reconsider the need for a public inquiry into the events surrounding the murder of PC Yvonne Fletcher?”
In November 2021, retired police officer John Murray – who cradled PC Fletcher as she lay dying – won a civil claim for a nominal amount of £1 against Mr Mabrouk as part of his decades-long attempt to find “justice” for his dead friend.
A High Court judge found the former Gaddafi aide, who denied any wrongdoing, was jointly liable for her shooting.
Mr Dorans paid tribute to Mr Murray for his efforts, also telling MPs: “The campaign for justice for Yvonne continues, it will never give up, it’s not going away and it will be continuing the fight by any legal means possible to finally achieve justice for Yvonne.”
Conservative former minister Sir Mike Penning, intervening on Mr Malthouse, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Metropolitan Police can only make a decision if they have the evidence that the Government has which they have not handed over to the CPS.”
He asked the minister whether or not the Government will hand over the information to the CPS.
Mr Malthouse said, following Mr Dorans’s meeting with Mr Johnson, that the Home Office contacted the CPS to ask if they had received any more information in the case.
He said: “They had not and the position remains the same as in 2017 – which is the CPS is not currently considering charges in this case.”
Mr Malthouse also said: “On the question about evidence being withheld, it is the longstanding policy of successive governments not to comment on the existence or otherwise of intelligence material.
“I am therefore unable to confirm nor deny the existence of any material that may or may not relate to this case.
“(Mr Dorans) also asked for confirmation about whether the Government issued a comfort letter to Saleh Mabrouk. We’re not aware of any evidence to suggest that any such letter ever existed or was ever issued.”