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Remit of Sheku Bayoh public inquiry announced

Justice for Sheku Bayoh - Image credit: PA

Remit of Sheku Bayoh public inquiry announced

The remit of the independent public inquiry into the death of Sheku Bayoh in police custody has been announced.

The inquiry will look at the circumstances leading up to the death of Bayoh while being restrained by police officers in Kirkcaldy in 2015, as well as the post-incident management and the investigation into his death.

It will also examine whether his “actual or perceived” race played a part in what happened.

In addition, the inquiry, which will be led by Lord Bracadale, will make recommendations to prevent deaths in similar circumstances.

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said: “When I announced in November that a public inquiry was to be held, I said then that it is imperative that the circumstances leading up to Mr Bayoh’s death and the events that followed are examined in full and in public.

“I am pleased that today brings us a further step closer to that.

“I met with key parties, including the family of Mr Bayoh, to discuss the approach to the terms of reference.

“While they do not feature all of the issues raised with me during my discussion, the terms of reference do focus on the incident and are sufficiently broad enough to allow the chair to look at wider issues he may consider relevant to the inquiry.”

Bracadale welcomed the announcement of the terms of reference and said they would enable his inquiry to “conduct a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Bayoh and the wider issues arising”.

“I understand the impact which the COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably had on preparation for the inquiry and look forward to being able to make progress in due course,” he added.

Scottish Greens justice spokesperson John Finnie MSP said: “I welcome the comprehensive terms of reference that have been published.

“From the representations made to me it’s clear the areas of greatest concern surrounding this tragic loss of life relate to whether the actions of the officers involved were affected by Mr Bayoh’s race, the post-incident management process and the investigation itself.

“I believe the terms of reference allow for these issues, and other legitimate concerns to be thoroughly examined and I’ve every confidence that’s what Lord Bracadale will do.”

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