Manchester Arena bombing trial: Hashem Abedi accused of 22 counts of murder – latest updates

There has been preliminary preparation done at the Central Criminal Court Old Bailey during the course of last week but this is the first news report of the trial now that the prosecution have opened. From the Manchester Evening News

The brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi is standing trial at the Old Bailey in London, accused of murdering 22 people who died following an Ariana Grande concert there in May 2017.

Hashem Ramadan Abedi , 22, from Fallowfield, but of Libyan heritage, denies the charges.

He also denies a charge of attempted murder, concerning those who were injured but survived, and another that he conspired with his brother to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.

He entered the not guilty pleas at a hearing in October.

The trial is being shown live at courts in Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow so families of those affected by the bombing can watch the proceedings. His trial, before the judge Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, is scheduled to last up to eight weeks.

Hashem Abedi’s brother Salman killed himself and 22 others when he detonated a bomb in his backpack in the foyer of Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017, following an Ariana Grande concert.

He is accused of murdering Elaine McIver, 43; Saffie Roussos, eight; Sorrell Leczkowski, 14; Eilidh MacLeod, 14; Nell Jones, 14; Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15; Megan Hurley, 15; Georgina Callander, 18; Chloe Rutherford,17; Liam Curry, 19; Courtney Boyle, 19; Philip Tron, 32; John Atkinson, 26; Martyn Hett, 29; Kelly Brewster, 32; Angelika Klis, 39; Marcin Klis, 42; Michelle Kiss, 45; Alison Howe, 45; Lisa Lees, 43; Wendy Fawell, 50; and Jane Tweddle, 51.

The MEN is doing live updates of the trial proceedings. The Telegraph has a precis of this morning’s proceedings here.

The brother of the suicide bomber who blew himself up at the Manchester Arena killing 22 people and injuring hundreds of others was just as responsible for the murders having helped him plan and organise the attack, the Old Bailey has heard. Hashem Abedi, 22, “encouraged and assisted” his older brother Salman,

Duncan Penny QC, prosecuting, said Abedi was “just as guilty of the murder of the 22 people killed as his older brother”.

Mr Penny said it was not suggested the date or venue for the attack had been decided when the brothers had set out on their plan and may have decided on later by Salman Abedi alone. But he added: “What the brothers, however, had set out with was a shared goal, namely to kill, maim and injure as many people as possible by the detonation of a large homemade bomb in a public place.”

As well as those killed, 28 people were very seriously injured, 111 others were hospitalised and 670 have reported psychological trauma.

Mr Penny said during the trial, the jury would hear what role the defendant had allegedly played in the crimes, including the help he provided in the construction of the improvised explosive device (IED). He told jurors that together with his brother, Abedi had obtained precursor chemicals, metal cylinders and metal sheeting all with a view to constructing an IED. Mr Penny said in addition he had also bought screws and nails which were intended to be used as “anti-personnel shrapnel”.

It is also alleged that Abedi obtained an address in a distant part of north Manchester where the bomb was built and stored. Jurors were told he had also bought a Nissan Micra which was used as a “de facto storage facility” for the bomb once it had been built.

He told jurors that together with his brother, Abedi had obtained precursor chemicals, metal cylinders and metal sheeting all with a view to constructing an IED.

Mr Penny said in addition he had also bought screws and nails which were intended to be used as “anti-personnel shrapnel”.

It is also alleged that Abedi obtained an address in a distant part of north Manchester where the bomb was built and stored.

Jurors were told he had also bought a Nissan Micra which was used as a “de facto storage facility” for the bomb once it had been built.

The Crown’s case is that this body of evidence suggests that the defendant in this case, the surviving brother, is just as responsible for the crimes which resulted in so much death, serious injury and damage following the detonation of the bomb on the 22 May 2017 by his dead brother.

“This explosion was the culmination of months of planning, experimentation and preparation by the two of them . . . The defendant through his conduct encouraged and assisted his brother Salman to carry out the attack.

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