Police ‘perilously close’ to charging bomber’s brother
POLICE chiefs are confident the brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi will be extradited to the UK.
Detectives are ‘perilously close’ to securing a charge against Hashem Abedi, who is being held by authorities in Libya.
A warrant for his arrest was presented to the country’s government yesterday and GMP said they are ‘grateful’ for the response they received. The document lists charges as ‘the murder of 22 people, the attempted murder of others who were injured, and conspiracy to cause an explosion’.
During a briefing to journalists last night, GMP’s Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson also gave an update on the investigation into the May 22 atrocity. He revealed:
There are more than 100 officers working solely on the investigation.
More than 11,000 exhibits have now been seized, with 16 terabytes of data currently being examined.
More than 1,300 statements have been taken, with more than 5,000 people referenced in the inquiry.
Detectives are working their way through 16,000 hours of CCTV and eight-million lines of telephone communications data.
There is still no evidence to suggest a wider network was involved in the attack.
The ACC said the investigation continues to run at a very fast pace, but he was unable to give any indication on how long discussions with the Libyan government would take.
He said: “I can now say that following a review of the evidence by the CPS, we have applied for and been granted a warrant for the arrest of Hashem Abedi. The arrest warrant relates to the murder of 22 people, the attempted murder of others who were injured and conspiracy to cause an explosion.
“Hashem Abedi is currently detained in Libya and the CPS has now requested that Libyan authorities consider his extradition back to the United Kingdom.”
The ACC described the size of the investigation as ‘very substantial’, saying that to date GMP and counter-terrorism police had arrested 23 people and searched 30 addresses. Following GMP’s announcement, Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “I have consistently said it is imperative that any trial related to the Manchester Arena attack takes place in the UK. That is why I am encouraged by this news today.”
Hashem Abedi, brother of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi