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Family of Sussex man murdered in racist attack demand justice.


  

The family of Jay Abatan, a black man who was murdered in a racist attack in January 1999 are still seeking justice as his murderers have not faced trial for his murder.  An internal tribunal earlier this year resulted in minimal disciplinary action against the Detective Superintendent who presided over the case.  The family concerns included the fact that a Sussex police officer gave good character evidence for the defendants in court.  The family were not made aware of the relationships between the defendants and Sussex police before the court case.  Their complaints initiated two inquiries which lead to the replacement of the original investigating team. Media reports on these inquiries highlight serious flaws in the case.

The family are demanding the release of the Avon and Somerset report into the first investigation. The IPCC identified systematic failings in the investigation, and states that this report highlights general failings by the investigating team and senior management. The report has so far, been denied to the family.

Two more officers are facing internal tribunals regarding the case from Tuesday 7th June – Thursday 9th June

Michael Abatan, brother of Jay Abatan, said: “Sussex police’s own tribunals concluded that there were serious organisational failings in the investigation of my brother’s racist murder.  I do not want to see another family go through what we have been through.  We are demanding the release of the two police reports which, when leaked to the press, highlighted serious failings.  These reports are now a matter of national public interest.”

Lee Jasper, Secretary of the National Assembly Against Racism said “ Jay Abatan’s murder investigation was happening as the Lawrence inquiry report was being published, yet the investigation contains many of the same failings which meant the Lawrence family were denied justice.   We need more than a few internal tribunals to bring Jay’s murderers to court – we support the family’s call for the release of the police reports. 

Mark Serwotka, Public & Commercial Services, General Secretary said:  “The recommendations from the Macpherson Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence were supposed to set new standards for operation of the state and its relationship with vulnerable minority groups. Jay’s case represents another vivid illustration of the Police still failing in its duty to treat black people respectfully and fairly.  PCS fully supports the Abatan Campaign.” 

 

June 2005

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