Silcott claims he was politically exploited

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WINSTON SILCOTT today launches a bitter attack on the judicial system, the police and the media, claiming he was 'politically exploited' after the murder of PC Keith Blakelock 'to relieve pressure off (sic) the police and the higher authorities'.

In a letter to the Independent received a day after details emerged of his pounds 10,000 false imprisonment award, Silcott claims he suffered fresh vilification last week when two officers were cleared of fabricating evidence against him.

'What people of this country don't want to admit is that I am totally innocent of PC Blakelock's death and not guilty of Anthony Smith's murder,' he writes. 'To put it bluntly, a black person can be innocent.'

News of Silcott's award caused outrage yesterday because he is serving a life sentence for the murder of Anthony Smith, a north London gang leader, whom he says he stabbed in self-defence. His solicitor, Adrian Clarke, argued that the award was compensation for five months he served on remand for the killing of PC Blakelock, a crime the Court of Appeal accepted in 1991 that he did not commit.

Last week, Detective Chief Superintendent Graham Melvin and Detective Inspector Maxwell Dingle were cleared of fabricating evidence against Silcott. During their trial, the court was told that Electrostatic Document Analysis (Esda) tests showed discrepancies in notes of an interview with Silcott after PC Blakelock's murder.

'There is nothing wrong with the Esda test,' Silcott writes. 'When the police want to convict people by using the Esda test, then the Esda test is the best . . . (It) has only been rubbished because it blatantly exposes normal police practice.'

He says: 'The real fact behind my invalid incarceration is that I have been politically exploited to relieve the pressure off the police and higher authorities' backs.'

Letters, page 13