Po­lice ‘per­ilously close’ to charg­ing bomber’s brother

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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