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Azelle Rodney: Lifting of police officer’s anonymity stalls in court

Family and supporters of a man shot dead by police were yet again dragged through the courts yesterday, as a hearing to publicly identify the officer was stalled by legal procedures.

The day should have seen information on the 2005 killing of Azelle Rodney come to light, with the anonymity of the police officer charged with his death due to be dropped at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Yet as the defence insisted on keeping the man’s identity unknown, the case was dragged from court to court with no relief for Mr Rodney’s family.

The defendant, referred to as E7, spoke only to confirm his name and was remanded in custody ahead of an Old Bailey hearing yesterday afternoon.

Mr Justice Sweeney at the Old Bailey granted the defendant bail on condition that he attend appointments with psychiatrists, saying there were “no grounds, let alone any substantial grounds” not to grant it.

The case was adjourned until a further hearing at the same court on October 3.

Campaigner against police violence Marcia Rigg, whose brother Sean died in custody in 2008, left the hearing in frustration.

“It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money, going back and forth,” she told the Star.

“I’m flabbergasted that the police officer’s anonymity is still stands today.”

As previously covered by the Star, Mr Rodney was killed during an alleged undercover investigation on drug trafficking and robbery.

Mr Rodney was travelling through Edgeware in north London when the Volkswagen Golf he was in was made to stop and was shot at by the police.

The 24-year-old was sitting on the back seat and killed on the scene.

The former Met officer identified as E7 did show up in court, but his name and further information is to be kept secret until a further hearing.

Head of the Chambers Regulatory Group Ian Stern QC is representing E7 and seems to have a knack for getting the police out of sticky situations.

Mr Stern has previously represented the officers involved in the shootings of Mark Duggan and Jean Charles de Menezes.

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