No Perjury Charges Over West Midlands Police Riots Trial Officers
Two police officers will not face charges of perjury in connection with a murder trial in Birmingham last year, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.
Det Ch Insp Anthony Tagg and former Det Insp Khalid Kiyani are the subject of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
It followed a trial last year of eight men who were cleared of murdering three men during riots in Birmingham in 2011.
During the trial, the judge accused Det Ch Insp Tagg of “inventing” evidence.
In a hearing held in the jury’s absence at Birmingham Crown Court, Mr Justice Flaux said Mr Tagg had lied under oath.
It brought the trial almost to the point of collapse and later prompted strong criticism from community groups.
Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir died after being hit by a car during riots in Winson Green on 10 August 2011.
The court heard the three men were part of a group of about 80 who had gathered to defend local businesses after riots and looting had started in the Handsworth area.
Mr Tagg and Mr Kiyani faced allegations relating to statements made during the trial that immunity from prosecution had been offered to witnesses.
Michael Gregory, specialist prosecutor for the CPS Special Crime Division, said allegations also included whether any such offer of immunity had been sanctioned by the police and when prosecution counsel were informed of the suggestion that such an offer had been made.
The CPS said it had reviewed all evidence gathered during the IPCC investigation, but there was “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction of either officer”.
“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,” Mr Gregory said.
“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.”
Community activist Desmond Jaddoo said he was not surprised, but “highly disappointed, especially for the families involved”. It’s shocking what happened. This should be brought before a jury to decide,” he said.
The IPCC said it was now finalising its report before submitting it to West Midlands Police.
Assistant Chief Constable Gary Cann, from the force, 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.
“I and the rest of the force continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased who continue to grieve for their loved ones.”
Mr Kiyani has since left the force.