Manchester Arena bomber's brother 'flees UK' after being summoned to give evidence at inquiry

Manchester Arena bomber's brother 'flees UK' after being summoned to give evidence at inquiry

The elder brother of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber has fled the UK after being called to give evidence to the public inquiry into the attack.

One of Salman Abedi’s childhood friends was also arrested while trying to leave the country on Monday.

Ismail Abedi had been given a court order requiring his attendance at the public inquiry on Thursday, after he and his parents previously refused to give evidence.

Ismail Abedi

Ahmed Taghdi, a friend of Salman’s, had been told to appear on the same day and was due to be questioned for three hours according to an official timetable.

Both witnesses were hoped to give evidence on how Abedi was radicalised in the lead-up to the bombing, which killed 22 victims on 22 May 2017.

Paul Greaney QC, counsel to the public inquiry, said on Tuesday that Ismail Abedi had refused to cooperate and so had been ordered to attend on Thursday.

“However, we understand that he is not currently in the country and there is no indication as to when he will return,” he added.

“Ismail Abedi clearly has important evidence to give to the inquiry and we urge him today to give evidence to the inquiry legal team either directly or through his own legal representatives.

“As he surely must understand, if he does not do so the public may infer he has something to hide.”

Mr Taghdi was also ordered to give evidence, and was told on that Friday if he did not attend the inquiry this week he would be arrested.

Mr Greaney said that he attempted to leave the country on Monday and, as a result, was arrested.

The hearing was told that he was able to provide evidence of a return ticket to the UK on 20 October, before his attendance at the inquiry the following day.

Both Ismail Abedi and Mr Taghdi were arrested after the bombing and questioned by police, but were not charged with any offences and deny any involvement in or knowledge of the plot.Latest Post