brother of the bomber sentenced to life in prison

British Justice was sentenced on Thursday to life in prison, at least 55 years old, brother of the author of the suicide bombing in Manchester. He had helped the suicide bomber prepare for the explosion that killed 22 people in 2017 at the end of a concert.

Three years after the suicide bombing in Manchester, the British court handed down its verdict on Thursday, August 20: Hashem Abedi was sentenced to life with at least 55 years in prison for helping his brother, the suicide bomber, prepare for the explosion.

The accused was brought to the court from Belmarsh High Security Prison and refused to go to the room where the verdict took place and where the victims’ relatives came. He was not legally represented after firing the team of lawyers who gave his defense.

In March, 23-year-old Hashem Abedi was sentenced by the Old Bailey Criminal Court for the murders of 22 people killed in the attack claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) and carried out outside the place where the American pop star Ariana Grande had just performed.

The young Briton of Libyan origin was also found guilty of attempted murder and conspiracy to endanger the lives of others.

The accused was not sentenced to actual life imprisonment because he was under 21 at the time of the attack. However, it “would have been a fair punishment” was appreciated by Judge Jeremy Baker when he handed down his sentence.

According to him, the accused is “as guilty” as his brother of the “anxiety crimes” committed. “This is not a successful event but a product of careful and thorough planning,” he explained, describing Hashem Abedi as a “smart young man.” He assessed as “a very aggravating factor” the fact that a young public was “specifically targeted” by the attack.

In a statement released after the verdict was announced, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the attack “a scary and cowardly act aimed at children and families.” He assured that the victims “would never be forgotten, just like the spirit of the people of Manchester who have gathered to send a clear message to the whole world that terrorists will never win.”

Hashem Abedi’s brother, Salman, detonated his bomb on May 22, 2017 in Manchester (northern England) at the exit of a concert hall that seats up to 21,000 people. Twenty-two people were killed, including teenagers and a child.

Victims’ trial

At the time of the attack, Hashem Abedi was thousands of kilometers from Manchester, Libya, his homeland, where he had left a month before the attack. He was finally arrested on July 17, 2019 on his arrival in London, after being extradited by Libya.

In addition to the 22 killed, “237 physically injured”, including 28 very seriously, had underlined prosecutor Duncan Penny during his trial and “a total of 670 people were psychologically traumatized”. The family members of the victims or the survivors participated in the two days of the hearings before the verdict, in the room or via video conference.

With tears in their eyes, some described their ordeal. “You took something more valuable than gold from me, a beautiful boy,” the accused mother told 19-year-old Liam Curry, holding a picture of her son. “You took her future, my future, my family.”

Clair Booth, who survived, unlike her sister Kelly Brewster, 32, said she could not “go anywhere alone, even to a store.”

Fig Murray, whose son Martyn Hett, 29, was killed, said he could not go to bed after 10:31 a.m., the time of the explosion: “I still can not accept the fact that I was fast asleep while my son lay dead on the ground. , and I’m ashamed of it. “

“Losing one of my children killed me – I’m dead,” said Samantha Leczkowski, who despite her injuries had tried in vain to save her 14-year-old daughter. “I must have seen Sorrell die in my arms,” ​​she said in a statement read to the hearing.

With AFP and Reuters