Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'Arena Bombing Inquests Should Be Public Inquiry'

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'Arena Bombing Inquests Should Be Public Inquiry'

Article excerpt

THE inquests into the deaths of 22 people in the Manchester Arena attack should be converted into a public inquiry 'as a matter of urgency', a coroner has requested.

Earlier this month, Sir John Saunders granted applications by the Home Office and police for public interest immunity (PII) on the grounds of protecting national security.

He ruled that disclosing some evidence in public would 'assist terrorists' in carrying out similar atrocities and said his provisional view was that an 'adequate investigation' could not be conducted within the frameworks of the inquests.

Setting up a public inquiry would mean that such evidence could be heard in private session without the families of the victims and their lawyers being present.

On Friday, Sir John wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel to confirm he had decided a statutory public inquiry was necessary. He wrote: "I have reached the view that, in light of my ruling on the PII applications made by yourself and the counter-terrorism police that such an investigation cannot now be achieved through the inquests and must be done by establishing a statutory public inquiry. …

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