May 24, 2011 / 11:00 AM / 9 years ago

CPS to prosecute policeman over G20 death

British Police Constable Simon Harwood arrives to give evidence at the Tomlinson Inquest in central London April 6, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - A police officer has been charged with manslaughter over the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson at G20 protests in London in 2009, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Tuesday.

PC Simon Harwood will appear before Westminster magistrates on June 20 after the CPS reviewed a decision taken last year not to prosecute anyone in connection with the death.

Tomlinson, 47, collapsed and died on the fringes of the demonstrations in central London after being caught up in a protest outside the Bank of England while on his way home.

Earlier this month, an inquest ruled he had been unlawfully killed.

“The inquest process, which is less confined than a criminal trial, has allowed a degree of clarity to emerge,” said Director of Public Prosecutions Keith Starmer.

“The difficulties that would now confront any prosecution have changed in nature and scale from last year when a decision was taken not to prosecute, although it is clear that real difficulties remain.”

The decision to prosecute was announced at the CPS offices in London, shortly after Tomlinson’s family were informed.

“We welcome today’s decision to bring a charge of manslaughter against the officer. We believe this is the right decision,” Tomlinson’s stepson Paul King said.

“What we have always wanted is to achieve justice for Ian and to show that police officers are not above the law.”

Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Steve Addison

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