Liam and Chloe families to wait at least a year for bomb blast inquest

Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry
Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry

Families of the 22 people murdered at the Manchester Arena suicide bombing will have to wait at least another year before inquests into the deaths of their loved ones are held.

Coroner Sir John Saunders said it will be another 12 months before the inquests are held and the “answers” the families want are given.

The High Court judge spoke at a pre-inquest review hearing at Manchester Town Hall.

A minute’s silence was held at the start of the 90-minute hearing, which dealt mainly with administrative matters.

The names of the 22 victims - including Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford from South Shields - were read out as Sir John, the two dozen lawyers representing the families and other parties stood in silence.

Salman Abedi, 22, from Manchester, whose family settled in the UK from Libya, detonated his device at the end of an Ariana Grande pop concert on May 22 last year, as the concert-goers, many of them youngsters, streamed out of the venue.

His attack left 22 dead and hundreds injured.

Progress on holding the inquests has been held up as they cannot be held before the conclusion of any criminal investigation and possible trial of any suspects.

But the hearing was told the investigation is still “live” and the UK is still trying to extradite the bomber’s brother, Hashem Abedi, from custody in Libya where he is being held.

Jeremy Johnson QC, representing Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said detectives were still carrying out a “very full and thorough murder investigation”.

He added: “It is far from concluded and evidence is still being obtained and considered by the police and CPS.”