Witnesses still sought over killing

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The Independent Online
THE POLICE are no nearer to catching the murderer of Stephen Lawrence, 18, the black teenager taunted with racist abuse and stabbed to death in south-east London more than a year ago, writes Jason Bennetto.

Mr Lawrence was attacked by a gang of six at a bus stop in Eltham where he was waiting with a friend in April 1993. Despite interviewing up to 3,000 people and pursuing 1,000 lines of inquiry, Scotland Yard said yesterday that it is relying on new witnesses to come forward.

Two youths, aged 16 and 17, were charged with the killing but were later released after the Crown Prosecution Service said there was a lack of evidence. Mr Lawrence's parents are considering bringing a private prosecution against the teenagers.

The Metropolitan Police is holding an internal inquiry into the Lawrence investigation after allegations that a police officer unconnected with the case influenced the CPS decision not to proceed with the charges.