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by Jenni Davidson
30 April 2021
Sheku Bayoh inquiry is progressing with ‘focus and determination’

Justice for Sheku Bayoh - Image credit: PA

Sheku Bayoh inquiry is progressing with ‘focus and determination’

The inquiry into the death of Sheku Bayoh is progressing with “focus and determination”, its chair has said.

In a video update, Lord Bracadale said he was “acutely aware” that almost six years has passed since the death of Sheku Bayoh and that a lengthy period of time has elapsed “without his family receiving answers to fundamental questions”.

Bracdale was giving an update five months after the launch of the inquiry into Bayoh’s death in Kirkcaldy in May 2015 after being restrained by police.

The inquiry opened on 30 November 2020, having been announced earlier by justice secretary Humza Yousaf.

Bracadale outlined the work that had been carried out so far, including evidence gathering, designating the people and organisations who would be “core participants” in the inquiry and beginning work on a framework document that will act as a “roadmap” for the inquiry’s investigation.

This framework will cover the different areas the inquiry, including a timeline of events, the cause of death, post-incident management, liaison with the family, and race and equalities.

Bracadale also confirmed that the public hearings for the inquiry will take place at Capital House, just off Lothian Road in central Edinburgh, which will also house the inquiry’s offices, but he said it was “not possible at this stage to say when the hearings will take place”.

“While it is inevitable that the hearing stage will garner most attention, as I have explained, it is vital that thorough investigation and preparation takes place ahead of any hearings,” he said.

In the video message Lord Bracadale said: “I am acutely aware that almost six years have passed since the death of Sheku Bayoh and, consequently, a lengthy period of time has elapsed without his family receiving answers to fundamental questions.

“I want to assure them, and all who have interest in the Inquiry, that we are moving forward with focus and determination and I hope that that is reflected in what I am about to tell you.”

He added: “I consider that this phase of the inquiry is vitally important. It lays the foundation for later stages, including public hearings.”

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