Manchester

Manchester Arena attack: Bomber's brother appears in court

Hashem Abedi Image copyright Libyan Interior Ministry
Image caption Hashem Abedi is accused of the murder of the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack

The younger brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi has appeared in court charged with murdering the 22 victims of the attack.

Hashem Abedi was detained in Libya shortly after the May 2017 suicide bombing in which hundreds were injured.

The 22-year-old was extradited on Wednesday and arrested by British officers upon his arrival in the UK.

Mr Abedi, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody after appearing before Westminster magistrates.

He is due to next appear at Oxford Crown Court on 22 July for a bail hearing, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled to take place at the Old Bailey on 30 July.

Mr Abedi, who was born and raised in Manchester, is also charged with one count of attempted murder, encompassing all the other victims, and one count of conspiring with his brother Salman Abedi to cause explosions.

Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Mr Abedi was born and raised in Manchester

Prosecutors allege Hashem Abedi made detonator tubes for the bomb, bought chemicals used to make an explosive substance, and helped his brother to buy a car in which materials were stored that became part of the device.

Zafar Ali QC, defending, said following his client's arrest on 23 May 2017 by a Libyan militia he was held in solitary confinement.

He indicated Mr Abedi would be pleading not guilty to all counts.

Image caption Top (left to right): Lisa Lees, Alison Howe, Georgina Callender, Kelly Brewster, John Atkinson, Jane Tweddle, Marcin Klis - Middle (left to right): Angelika Klis, Courtney Boyle, Saffie Roussos, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, Martyn Hett, Michelle Kiss, Philip Tron, Elaine McIver - Bottom (left to right): Eilidh MacLeod, Wendy Fawell, Chloe Rutherford, Liam Allen-Curry, Sorrell Leczkowski, Megan Hurley, Nell Jones

The names of the 22 people who died in the explosion at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena were read out in court when the charges were put to Mr Abedi.

Ten of those who died were aged under 20, with the youngest victim - Saffie Roussos - only eight years old.

The inquests into the killings have been delayed due to legal proceedings. Family members have been told the full inquest hearings are not likely to begin until April 2020 at the earliest.

The court heard 260 people were seriously injured in the arena attack, including those with life-changing injuries.

At least 600 people reported psychological harm, the court was told.

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