Public inquiry into racist killing in young offenders institution announced

The government has announced a public inquiry into the death of
an Asian teenager who was killed by his racist cellmate in Feltham
Young Offenders Institution, writes David

Zahid Mubarek, who was 19, was killed by Robert Stewart in 2000.
Stewart was later convicted of murder and sentenced to life in

Home secretary David Blunkett announced the inquiry in response to
a law lords ruling that there should be a public inquiry. Blunkett
had refused earlier requests for a public inquiry from Mubarek’s

The inquiry will be non-statutory, which means witnesses cannot be
compelled to attend, but civil servants would be expected to give
evidence. The Home Office said there was no provision under current
legislation to set up a statutory inquiry into a case like this one
because it has to be of ‘vital public importance’. The public
inquiry will be chaired by Mr Justice Keith.

A Commission for Racial Equality report found 20 separate
management failures at the Feltham YOI in west London.

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