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Gun sold to Mark Duggan might have been seized by Metropolitan Police officers 'days before' fatal shooting in Ferry Lane, Tottenham
A handgun at the centre of the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan by armed police could have been seized by officers days earlier, it was claimed today.
A pre-inquest hearing into the death of the 29-year-old was told how the full inquest, due to start next Monday, will hear evidence from two police officers who were undertaking investigations into Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, the man convicted of selling the weapon to Mr Duggan on the day of his death.
The hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice this morning heard allegations that the two officers had intelligence suggesting Hutchinson-Foster was holding the firearm in the days before it was passed to Mr Duggan, but that it may have been left in his possession as part of a tactical operation.
Mr Duggan was shot dead by police marksmen when the minicab he was travelling in was pulled over as part of a planned operation shortly after he was sold the firearm on August 4, 2011.
Emma Collins, representing two firearms officers in the case, told the inquest the jury must consider “whether there was a deliberate plan to leave the gun in the hands of Hutchinson-Foster and whether the gun should have been seized”.
Ashley Underwood QC, counsel to the inquest, told Judge Keith Cutler: “There has been public concern that this gun was taken off the streets and put back into the hands of Hutchinson-Foster.
“We have no evidence of that but if it is going to be suggested then these two officers need to be called as witnesses.”
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has conducted its own review into the incident but has postponed publishing its report on the request of Judge Cutler over fears it may influence potential jurors.
The watchdog was today invited to submit copies to interested parties involved in the inquest for clarification on its findings.
Barristers from both sides also discussed whether an anonymous letter claiming to be sent from a Metropolitan Police informant and containing “sensitive information” might be submitted as evidence.
The letter, up to 50 copies of which were sent around the Broadwater Farm area of Tottenham and to a local MP, alleges the Metropolitan Police (MPS) had an ulterior motive in the shooting of Mr Duggan.
Hugo Keith QC, representing the MPS, described the allegations as “scurrilous and outrageous” and urged that the letter was not placed further in the public domain.
This morning’s pre-inquest review represents the final preliminary discussions between parties before the two-month inquest begins into Mr Duggan’s death.
The shooting sparked riots on the streets of Tottenham which spread across London and to other cities across the UK.
A jury will be sworn in on Monday before the full inquest begins more than two years after Mr Duggan’s death.
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