7 July London bombings inquests to begin

7 July London bombings inquests to begin

 The remains of the bus attacked at Tavistock Square
Survivors of the 7 July London bombings will be among those giving evidence

The inquests for the 52 people killed by four suicide bombers in the 7 July 2005 London attacks are due to start. The hearings were delayed because of criminal investigations and questions over what the inquests should cover.
Lady Justice Hallett, the coroner, will preside over five months of hearings without a jury into the attacks on three Underground trains and a bus.
She will look at whether MI5 could have stopped the bombers – but many victims’ families still want a public inquiry.
In addition to the 52 people killed, some 700 other people were injured, many of them severely and permanently, when the four al-Qaeda-backed suicide bombers, all British men, detonated their devices.
The hearings at the Royal Courts of Justice in London are expected to last until at least March next year and will look into the precise details of the 2005 attacks.
Witnesses will include survivors of the attacks on underground trains near Aldgate, Edgware Road and Russell Square Tube stations, and on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square, near King’s Cross.
Members of the emergency services who tried to save lives will also give evidence.
The inquests are expected to open with the hearings being shown footage and pictures of aftermath of the attacks that have never been seen before.

‘Incompetence’
The images are being used to set out accurately what happened – but are expected to have been heavily edited to not show any of the victims.
In a ruling earlier this year, Lady Justice Hallett said she would also look into the backgrounds of the bombers – and what the security services knew about them.
Two years after the attacks, it emerged that MI5 had come across the ringleader and one of the other bombers during their investigations into another extremist cell.
Some families believe the security services and police had enough information to work out that Mohammad Sidique Khan, the ringleader, was a threat. Security officials insist they only had fragments of information and could not have predicted what happened.
There have been two official reports into the bombings by the Intelligence and Security Committee in Parliament, both of which said that MI5 should not be blamed.
But Graham Foulkes, father of 22-year-old David who was killed by the Edgware Road bomb, said he and other families were angry that the security service was still attempting to keep information out of the public domain.
Lady Justice Hallett
Lady Justice Hallett: Appeal Court judge turned coroner

“By every kind of moral standard that you’re brought up with, that’s wrong,” he said.
“You’re told, if you make a mistake, you hold up your hands. My view is that their incompetence allowed Mohammad Sidique Khan to get through.”
Many of the relatives of victims are represented in the inquests and will be able to question witnesses.
Ros Morley, whose husband Colin died following the attack at Edgware Road, said: “Innocent citizens in the UK and worldwide need to know that they are protected now and in the future.
“I hope it is possible to gain something positive out of a deeply tragic event in which 52 innocent people lost their lives.”

7 July: Key facts

Four bombs:

  • Three on underground trains
  • One on bus

Victims:

  • 26 at Russell Square
  • 13 on bus at Tavistock Place
  • 7 at Aldgate
  • 6 at Edgware Road

Suicide bombers:

  • Hasib Hussain
  • Mohammad Sidique Khan
  • Germaine Lindsay
  • Shehzad Tanweer


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