UK

Westminster terror: 'Nobody on trial' at attacker's inquest, says coroner

Khalid Masood Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Khalid Masood was shot and killed by armed police after launching his attack on Westminster

Jurors were warned that "nobody is on trial" as they were sworn in for an inquest into the death of the Westminster Bridge attacker.

Khalid Masood, 52, drove into pedestrians on the bridge on 22 March last year, killing four people.

He then stabbed and killed PC Keith Palmer at the gates to Parliament, before being shot by armed officers.

The coroner told the jury they were there to conclude when, where and how the attacker died, and his identity.

"You are not allowed to express an opinion on other matters," added Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft QC.

The proceedings follow the inquest into the deaths of the victims - PC Palmer, 48, American tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, mother-of-two Aysha Frade, 44, and Romanian designer Andreea Cristea, 31.

On Wednesday, the coroner ruled all five victims of the terror attack were "unlawfully killed".

Mr Lucraft said the hearing would focus on the events in the courtyard leading up to the attacker's death.

He added: "Nobody is on trial here - an inquest does not decide matters of criminal liability.

"There is no question of attributing blame.

"Please keep an open mind. Do not jump to conclusions."

Inquest evidence

The court heard that close protection officers had shouted a warning to Masood before they shot him in New Palace Yard - 82 seconds after he first launched the attack on the bridge.

Witnesses at the inquest will include the officers - who will give evidence anonymously - and people involved in his medical care.

Mr Lucraft said Masood's family were represented, but their lawyers were unlikely to come to court.

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