THE family of a man who died following a police stop and search in High Wycombe six years ago are still searching for answers, after it was announced criminal charges would not be made against officers.
On Friday, August 8, the Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence to charge any individual in relation to Habib Ullah’s death or in relation to allegations perverting the course of justice.
However, the IPCC believe the five officers who were involved in the incident have a case to answer and an independent gross misconduct hearing will be held.
Mr Ullah (also known as Paps) suffered a cardiac arrest when he was forced to the ground in a car park in Sharrow Vale, High Wycombe on July 3, 2008 by officers who believed he was hiding class A drugs in his mouth.
During a meeting yesterday, family, and members of campaign group Justice4Paps, said they would not stop fighting for justice.
In a statement read out by campaigner Saqib Deshmukh, the family said: “We are not happy that the CPS have decided not to charge these police officers who are responsible for Habib’s death.
“However, the IPCC say there is a case to answer for around gross misconduct is a relief but there are still many questions still left unanswered.
“How does a healthy man die at the hands of the police within minutes, then at the inquest they admitted, the police officers, that they changed their statements, and withheld key evidence on legal advice, how on earth can CPS disregard these facts?
“But this has made us much stronger, this is not justice for us and we will not give up until justice is served, and that is a promise.”
During a meeting which was attended by other members of the community, a new inquest and investigation was called for by the family.
An inquest into Mr Ullah’s death was abandoned in December 2010 when the coroner was informed police officers had been advised to alter parts of their statements by a solicitor.
This led to the re-opening of the IPCC investigation in order to assess the impact the new evidence had on the original investigation, which was completed in February and sent to the CPS.
Nasrit Mahmood, the sister of Mr Ullah, said: “My brother was not unfit, he didn’t have problems with his heart, so how he died with a cardiac arrest is news to all of us.
“We don’t have any faith in the CPS and never have had, but that doesn’t mean we will stop, we will carry on to fight.
“There has been a heavy impact on the family because it has been going on for over six years now and the children miss their father, our mother misses her first born child.”
IPCC Associate Commissioner Guido Liguori said: "This has been a complex investigation which as we have said has taken an unbearably long time for Mr Ullah’s family.
“I am very sorry for the prolonged distress this has caused, but it has been essential to ensure that our investigation was robust and thorough.
“Five officers and a solicitor were interviewed under caution and we felt there was sufficient evidence to refer to the CPS.
“In light of the CPS decision, we have now sent the report to the family of Mr Ullah and the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority).
“In accordance with procedures under the Police Reform Act 2002 Thames Valley Police were sent a copy of the report in January 2014 and they have determined that five officers should now face gross misconduct hearings.
“We have also sent a copy of the report to the Coroner in advance of the inquest into Mr Ullah’s tragic and untimely death.”
Thames Valley Police have said they will continue to liaise closely with Mr Ullah’s family, the IPCC and community representatives.