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  1. ITV Report

Lawyers acting for Manchester Arena family urges end to inquest delays

Lawyers for one of the families of the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack have called for an end to delays to the inquests into their deaths.

HM Senior Coroner for Manchester, Nigel Meadows, has indicated to the families that a pre-inquest review scheduled for June 15 will not be effective and will amount to a "short procedural hearing", said legal firm Broudie Jackson Canter.

Mourners leave floral tributes outside Manchester Cathedral after a funeral service. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

During a 15-minute hearing held at Manchester Town Hall last November, Mr Meadows adjourned proceedings and said the full inquest and further pre-hearings could not take place due to the ongoing criminal investigation by police. Last week Greater Manchester Police said it was preparing for a trial of suicide bomber Salman Abedi's brother. Hashem, as the application to extradite him from Libya remains ongoing after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

CCTV image issued by Greater Manchester Police of Salman Abedi on the night he carried out the Manchester Arena terror attack Credit: GMP

Speaking in November, Mr Meadows said the inquest proceedings must by law be suspended pending a criminal trial.

He said under these circumstances it was not possible or practical to proceed with the inquest hearings.

But Elkan Abrahamson, a solicitor with Broudie Jackson Canter, said: "There is something wrong with a process which is supposed to put the families and victims front and centre of the process but ends up marginalising them and making no progress.

There may be sound legal reasons for some delay but there is no sense of urgency here even a year on.

It seems inevitable that a High Court judge will be appointed - this could have been done a year ago. Even the Grenfell Inquiry, for all its faults, has at least begun in less than a year. We will be asking the Chief Coroner to explain the delay and to get things moving.

– Elkan Abrahamson, Broudie Jackson Canter