After 5 long years, the Inquest has concluded today at Leeds Crown Court.
Mohammed Yaqub, Yassar’s father, said: “We have not been able to challenge what West Yorkshire Police have said about Yassar or the so-called intelligence but we must now set the record straight. The police have portrayed him as someone he was not. There were significant inaccuracies in the summary details of intelligence that we received through the inquest that distorted and exaggerated the threat presented by Yassar. He was not the serious criminal alleged by them. He was kind hearted and loved his family. His smile lit up every room. He was well respected in the community, and never out of employment. Although he should not be, as he is not here to defend himself, it has felt like Yassar has been on trial in this inquest.”
Mohammed Yaqub sat through the entirety of the Inquest and said that: “the evidence in the Inquest has showed that the officer that shot Yassar, who has been called ‘V39’ throughout, did not shout a warning to Yassar when they started the hard stop. Nor did he wear a police hat or anything that would identify him as a police officer.”
In Mohammed Yaqub’s view: “V39 has not told the truth at all. V39 said that Yassar was crouching and his torso was “out of sight” when he was shot. This is a lie as the forensic evidence from the pathologist and ballistics experts’ shows Yassar was sitting upright. So V39 could not have seen a gun in Yassar’s hands. None of the officers, except for Officer V39, even claims to have seen either the gun in Yassar’s hand, or any attempt by him to crouch down.”
In Mr Yaqub’s view: “The gun that was found had no fingerprints, DNA evidence or any forensic trace of Yassar on it at all. There was also evidence that Yassar was on the phone at the time of the shooting including from a person he was speaking to. V39 was rushing and did not give himself an opportunity to see what was really in Yassar’s hand”
He added: “V39 did not inform any of his colleagues in the immediate aftermath of the presence of a gun (or that it was him that fired the shots at Yassar).”.
Mohammed Yaqub stated that: “Yassar would not have challenged the police or produced a weapon when they stopped the car on the M62. He was young and wanted to live, and be a good father to his children and take care of us in our old age. If he had known that he was surrounded by the police, he would have surrendered. We cannot find a single example of someone who is subject to a hard stop ever firing back”.
He said “We are shocked and do not understand the verdict that this was lawful killing. We believe Yassar was unlawfully killed by V39. He was killed for no good reason. My family and I were cruelly robbed of Yassar. The chance to say our last words was missed”.
Mohammed Yaqub stated: “We believe the Coroner’s decision not to allow the jury to consider whether Yassar was unlawfully killed was gravely wrong. The jury is the decision maker; not the Coroner. The Coroner has created injustice by not allowing the jury to decide these things – he has just decided what happened himself.
We are actively considering our options with our legal team about whether to challenge this decision.”
Mr Yaqub added: “Finally, we thank everyone for the enormous support we have received throughout.”
The Family’s solicitors, Imran Khan KC and Daniel Lemberger Cooper, said:
“The family’s lawyers will be considering next steps and advising the family.”
The family is represented by Imran Khan KC and Daniel Lemberger Cooper of Imran Khan and Partners, and Michael Mansfield KC (Nexus Chambers) and Paul Clark (Garden Court Chambers)
For further information please contact Mr Daniel Lemberger Cooper on email@example.com
Background: Yassar Yaqub was fatally shot by an officer of West Yorkshire Police, anonymised as ‘V39’, on 2 January 2017 on the M62 motorway near Bradford. The shooting occurred after unmarked police vehicles containing covert firearms officers forced two cars to perform a ‘hard stop’ on a slip road of the M62 (at junction 24), in the context of ‘Operation Fillview’. The Inquest hearing began in September 2022 at Leeds Crown Court before His Honour Judge Kearle KC and a jury.