Brother of Manchester Arena bomber to face trial

The younger brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi is to face trial in the autumn accused of multiple counts of murder, a court heard.

Hashem Abedi, 22, will go on trial at the Old Bailey on November 5 charged with 22 counts of murder – one for each of the attack’s victims.

He is also accused of one count of attempted murder encompassing all the other victims and one count of conspiring with his brother to cause explosions.

Hashem Abedi in court
Hashem Abedi in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court at an earlier hearing (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

Abedi is accused of making successful and unsuccessful attempts to buy bomb-making chemicals.

It is also said he assisted in buying a Nissan Micra to store device components and that he made detonator tubes for use in the explosive.

The charges relate to the attack at the Ariana Grande concert on May 22 2017, which killed 22 people and injured 260, when Abedi’s older brother Salman detonated his suicide vest as music fans left the show.

Abedi faced Oxford Crown Court by video-link from HMP Belmarsh for a preliminary hearing before Mr Justice Sweeney.

The court heard that the judge has granted a prosecution application under section 22 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008, which means Abedi will be interviewed by police even though he has already been charged.

Mark Dawson appeared for the prosecution while Richard Wright QC represented the defendant.

Mr Justice Sweeney said Mr Justice Jeremy Baker would preside over the trial and a plea and trial preparation hearing will take place on a date to be fixed in early October.

Abedi did not enter pleas to any of the charges he faced and was remanded into custody until the next hearing.

The defendant, who was raised in Manchester, travelled to Libya before his 22-year-old brother carried out the attack. He was arrested in Tripoli and was extradited to the UK earlier this month.

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