Court hearing to be held in Manchester today ahead of arena bombing inquests in 2020
A court hearing will be held in Manchester ahead of inquests into the deaths of 22 people murdered in the terror bombing at the city’s arena in 2017.
The fourth pre-inquest review, taking place on Friday, September 6, will be attended by some of the families of those killed by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 that year.
Five people from the North East were among those who died in the attack.
They were; Chloe Rutherford, 17, and boyfriend Liam Curry, 19, from South Shields; Hartlepool born Jane Tweddle, 51; and Philip Tron, 32, and his partner’s daughter Courtney Boyle, 19, from Gateshead.
The hearing, which will partly be held in private, will discuss whether sensitive national security information can be heard in public when the inquests are held in 2020.
The full inquests are scheduled to begin in April next year and will examine the build-up and the attack itself, security arrangements at the arena, the emergency response and the victims and their cause of death.
The role of police and security services will also be examined, as will whether or not the attack could have been prevented.
Lawyers for the Government, police and others will discuss the question of Public Interest Immunity during Friday’s pre-inquest hearing.
There have been calls for “transparency” from lawyers representing the families of those who died in the attacks – even though some evidence could cause “embarrassment” to the security services, police and others.
Part of the hearing will be held in private, with public and press excluded during "closed" sessions.
The first part of the hearing will be open to members of the media and the public who can attend at Manchester Town Hall.
The second part of the hearing will be closed and will be held at another undisclosed location.
The coroner and lawyers representing GMP and the Government will be live-streamed from the other location to the Town Hall for the open session.
The bomber's younger brother, Hashem Abedi, in Libya at the time, was extradited from Tripoli in July and will go on trial at the Old Bailey in November.
He denies 22 counts of murder.