UK: Accused jihad mass murderer gets legal aid, families of victims don’t

Hashem Abedi will be represented by state lawyers when he goes to trial accused of 22 counts of murder 

Wednesday 07 August - The brother of the Manchester Arena terrorist has been given legal aid – but his victims haven’t. Hashem Abedi, 22, will be represented by state lawyers when he goes to trial accused of 22 counts of murder.

But the families of the children and their parents murdered as they left the Ariana Grande concert in May 2017 have been denied taxpayer money to help their cases. The shocking revelation was made at a pre-inquest hearing into the death of their loved ones.

In court in Manchester on Friday the victims’ lawyer Paul Greaney QC told coroner Sir John Saunders: ‘Bereaved families are experiencing difficulties in obtaining funding from the Legal Aid Agency.’

It echoes the problems experienced by families of the London Bridge terror attack’s victims, who were also denied state legal funding.

Other hate figures who have been allowed legal aid include Lee Rigby’s killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, extremist preacher Anjem Choudary and jihadi bride Shamima Begum.

Families of the victims of Salman Abedi’s suicide bomb have allegedly been told not to speak publicly about their ordeal ahead of the inquest.

Hashem has already been represented by Zafar Ali QC and Richard Wright QC at two separate court appearances.

His solicitors are Yasmin and Shaid, who are based in Leeds and have previously run up bills defending terrorists of more than £3 million.

The Ministry of Justice argues all defendants have the right to legal aid if they cannot afford lawyers in a criminal trial.

But the government department says bereaved families at inquest’s do not have the same rights and therefore do not automatically qualify.

Author's comment: This is an injustice that should be speedily rectified, given that terrorist attacks of this nature are only going to get more frequent as the Government is determined to ignore the real reasons behind the increasing threat of the global Jihad.

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