Brother of Manchester arena attackers ask for immunity to take part in public inquiry

The elder brother of the Manchester Arena bombers has asked for immunity from prosecution in return for answering questions at the public inquiry into the terror attack.

Ismail Abedi wants a promise from the attorney general that if he were to give evidence his answers will not “land him in the dock”, his solicitor, Jeremy Hawthorn, told the hearing.

The legal application was made to Sir John Saunders, chair of the inquiry, who is yet to make a ruling on whether he should consider making the application to the attorney general in return for Abedi’s cooperation.

Images from devices recovered at Abedi’s home during a police raid the day after the bombing indicated he was “sympathetic to the ideals of Isis”, the inquiry has heard.

He was arrested, held for 14 days and interviewed by detectives 25 times but not charged with any offence.

Abedi’s move is resisted by lawyers representing the families of the 22 murdered by his younger brothers, Salman, the suicide bomber, and his younger sibling and fellow bomb plotter, Hashem.

Peter Weatherby QC, representing some of the families, said: “If granted this would be an undertaking which would potentially protect a person from prosecution for a variety of offences, terrorism and other offences, including mass murder.”

Currently Abedi, who is married and lives in Manchester, is refusing to cooperate with the inquiry despite repeated requests. The inquiry heard he now goes by the name Ben Romdhan.

The inquiry is soon to consider how his two younger brothers became radicalised and planned their deadly bomb plot.

He denies any knowledge or involvement in the bomb plot.

Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a homemade shrapnel packed bomb at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at the arena on 22 May 2017, killing 22 bystanders and injuring hundreds more.

Hashem Abedi was jailed in 2020 for a minimum of 55 years before parole for his part in the bomb plot.

The inquiry was adjourned.

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