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Prosecuting Special Crime

Deaths in custody, allegations against the police, corporate manslaughter, medical manslaughter, serious public corruption, election offences, appeals to the House of Lords and extradition are just some of the types of cases dealt with by specialist Crown Prosecutors in the Special Crime Division.

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Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

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CPS decision following death of Faisal Al-Ani

31/08/2007

The Crown Prosecution Service has today advised the Independent Police Complaints Commission that there is insufficient evidence to charge any police officers with any criminal offences in relation to the circumstances surrounding the death, whilst in police custody, of Faisal Al-Ani.

Mr Al-Ani was arrested in Southend town centre on the evening of 31 July 2005 following a disturbance. CCTV footage indicates that Mr Al-Ani started to resist arrest. In an ensuing struggle Mr Al-Ani was restrained and held face down on the pavement before he was handcuffed.

After Mr Al-Ani was placed in the police car there are no independent witnesses as to what occurred en route to the police station but there is forensic evidence to support the police account that Mr Al-Ani continued to struggle. Two officers said that they struck Mr Al-Ani on separate occasions in self-defence during the journey.

At the police station Mr Al-Ani continued to struggle and another officer struck him in the thigh to gain control. CCTV pictures at the police station show Mr Al-Ani being carried into the custody suite face down but it was quickly realised that he had collapsed and tragically, despite attempts to revive him, he died.

Although an expert described a restraint method used during Mr Al-Ani's arrest as 'inappropriate' and the length of time he was held on the ground as being 'longer than necessary' there is nothing to indicate that this restraint was more than a minimal contribution to his death, and this would preclude a prosecution for manslaughter in any event.

Medical reports indicate that Mr Al-Ani died as the result of a combination of factors, principally an underlying heart problem associated with a struggle and restraint.

Mr Al-Ani's family have been advised of this decision and the reviewing lawyer has offered to meet with them to explain his decision further.

  1. The CPS considered offences of gross negligence manslaughter, unlawful act manslaughter, assault and misconduct in a public office.
  2. Media enquiries to CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8127.