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Officers held over inquest evidence

Two serving and one retired Metropolitan Police officers have been arrested in connection with evidence given at the inquest of a musician who died in police custody, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said.

The two serving officers were arrested on suspicion of perjury and perverting the course of justice and the retired officer on suspicion of perverting the course of justice at the inquest last year into the death of Sean Rigg, the IPCC said.

Rigg died from a cardiac arrest at Brixton police station in August 2008 and the inquest jury found police officers used "unsuitable'' force after arresting the 40-year-old schizophrenic for attacking passers-by and police officers in Balham, south London.

An IPCC spokesman said: "Investigators have arrested two serving and one retired Metropolitan Service Police (MPS) officers in connection with the ongoing investigation into evidence given at the inquest into Sean Rigg's death. All three are being questioned by IPCC investigators at a central London police station.

"IPCC investigators have carried out searches at their home addresses and the serving officers' workplaces.

"Mr Rigg's family have been told about today's developments through their solicitors."

The IPCC said the three arrested were a 50-year-old sergeant who was arrested at work, a 29-year-old Pc arrested at an address in south London and a retired Pc aged 48 who was arrested by appointment at a central London police station.

Physically fit Mr Rigg, described by his family at the inquest as "boisterous, funny and talented", had a 20-year history of mental illness which was diagnosed following a bad acid trip. He was a black belt in karate. He was being held in the back of a police van when he died on August 21.

The inquest jury found that police restrained Mr Rigg for eight minutes in the "prone position" while he was being arrested, a length of time that "more than minimally" contributed to his death. During the inquest officers were also accused of lying to the jury to "cover up" inadequacies in their handling of the situation.m

The three arrested have been released on bail until a date in May, the IPCC said later.


From Belfast Telegraph