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Omasese Lumumba

Volume 264: debated on Monday 23 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to establish an independent inquiry into the death in Pentonville prison of Omasese Lumumba. [38175]

[holding answer 20 October 1995]: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the temporary Director General of the Prison Service who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Richard Tilt to Mr. Stephen Byers, dated 23 October 1995:

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent question about the death of Mr. Omasese Lumumba in Pentonville prison.
There are no plans to establish an independent inquiry into Mr Lumumba's death. an internal Prison Service investigation was conducted immediately. Its conclusion was that procedures had been correctly observed. The available evidence did not support the bringing of disciplinary charges against individual members of staff.
The circumstances of Mr Lumumba's death were separately and independently investigated by the Metropolitan Police on behalf of the Coroner in accordance with normal practice. The police report was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service which concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support criminal charges against any officers. The Crown Prosecution Service reached its decision with the benefit of the transcript of the inquest and all the original case papers. The circumstances of Mr Lumumba's death have already been the subject of thorough, independent and impartial scrutiny and there are no grounds to justify the initiation of a further public inquiry.