1. ITV Report

Hearing on deaths of two men from Liverpool at Algerian gas plant

Garry Barlow and Paul Morgan Photo:

A hearing into the deaths of six Britons, including two men from Liverpool, and a UK-based Colombian who were killed when terrorists laid siege to an Algerian gas plant will take place today.

Carson Bilsland and Kenneth Whiteside, both from Scotland, Sebastian John, from Norfolk, Stephen Green, from Hampshire, Paul Morgan and Garry Barlow, both from Liverpool, and Carlos Estrada, a BP executive who was originally from Colombia but lived in London, were among 40 hostages who were killed at the In Amenas plant in the north African country during a four-day stand-off which began on January 16 last year.

Some 29 of the hostage-takers died, while three were captured by Algerian troops during a special forces mission to end the bloodshed.

During a pre-inquest hearing in January, Detective Superintendent Jim Stokley, from the Metropolitan Police, said that statements still needed to be taken from witnesses in the United States, France, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.

It is hoped today's hearing at Crawley Town Hall in West Sussex will iron out any administrative, investigative and legal proceedings which still need to take place, a spokesman for the West Sussex Coroner said.

Before the last hearing, lawyers for Mr Estrada's family, who live in Chelsea, west London, said his relatives were still in the dark over the circumstances of his death more than a year on from the atrocity.

Mr Estrada had worked for BP for 18 years and had risen to the post of vice-president of non-operated assets.

He was on his first business trip to the In Amenas plant when he was taken hostage and killed during his time in captivity.

The pre-inquest hearing is the second one to be held in advance of the full inquest which is expected to start at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on September 8.