Monday, 25 Sep 2023

Manchester Arena bomber’s inquest to take place six years after mass killings

An inquest into the death of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi will be held more than six years after the atrocity.

It was confirmed today (Monday, September 11) that retired High Court judge Sir John Saunders, who chaired the long-running public inquiry into the terror attack, will preside over the inquest sitting as a coroner, reports Manchester Evening News.

A spokesperson for Sir John said: “The inquest into the death of Salman Abedi is being held as a documentary inquest, pursuant to section 9C of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

“The purpose of the inquest will be to answer the statutory questions about who died, where, when and how.” 

No further details have been revealed and no date for the hearing has been set.

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The Manchester Evening News also reports it understands families of those who died in the atrocity in May 2017, have been informed of the development.

It’s understood the inquest won’t hear from witnesses in person as it will rely solely on documentary evidence.

The inquest is expected to be a short hearing.

Abedi, who was 22 and lived in Fallowfield, Manchester, murdered 22 people in the bombing after a concert by the US pop singer Ariana Grande.

He detonated a homemade bomb he was carrying in a rucksack in the City Room foyer area outside doors to the Arena and was killed in the blast.

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Sir John wrote to the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, on August 1 to confirm he was satisfied the public inquiry has fulfilled its terms of reference, formerly bringing it to a close after three reports.

Sir John, in his second report, confirmed that in the case of every person who died barring Abedi, they were unlawfully killed.

The first report, Volume One, was issued in June 2021.

It highlighted a string of ‘missed opportunities’ to identify Abedi as a threat.

The second report criticised the emergency services’ response to the bombing. 

Volume Three of his report, which was published in March, said the attack might have been prevented if MI5 had acted on key intelligence received in the months before the bombing.

Abedi’s brother, Hashem Abedi, was jailed for a minimum of 55 years in August 2020 for his involvement in plotting the bombing.

After the bombing Abedi’s father, Ramadan Abedi, protested his innocence and said: “We don’t believe in killing innocents. This is not us.” 

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