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Brother of Manchester bomber jailed for 55 years

|News, Terrorism

Hashem Abedi, the younger brother of suicide bomber Salman Abedi, will spend at least 55 years in prison for the murder of 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert.

Earlier this year a jury took less than five hours to find him guilty of 22 counts of murder, one of attempted murder in relation to those who survived, and one of conspiracy to cause an explosion.

Today, he was given a life sentence and ordered to serve at least 55 years.

Jenny Hopkins, from the CPS, said: “This was the largest murder case in English legal history.

“The prosecution case was that Hashem Abedi effectively worked hand-in-hand with his brother as the bomber planned and carried out his deadly attack on that night in May 2017.

“Abedi will spend the next five decades behind bars where he can’t harm others.

“My thoughts remain with the families of those who died and the hundreds of survivors”.

In all, 264 people were injured and 710 survivors have reported suffering from psychological trauma. Police have identified more than 1,000 victims.

Under the law the court does not have the power to give a whole life order - with no possibility of early release - to an offender who was under-21 at the time of the offence; Abedi was 20.

Murder carries an automatic life sentence with offenders having to serve a minimum prison term before they can apply to the Parole Board for release.

First extradition from Libya

The CPS worked closely with the police and partners to build a strong case from the outset. We then took steps to successfully extradite him from Libya and placed compelling evidence before the court.

Abedi was extradited to the UK in July 2019. He had left the UK on 15 April 2017, about a month before the attack. Salman Abedi travelled back to Libya with his brother but flew back on 18 May 2017 - four days before he carried out the suicide bombing.

Ahead of the trial which began in February, every bereaved family was given the opportunity to meet a specialist CPS prosecutor to discuss the trial process and receive an explanation of how it would work. This was taken up by a number of the families. The CPS worked with others to ensure there were live video links in court so they could follow the case from secure locations in Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, and Glasgow.

Abedi did not give evidence at his Old Bailey trial and declined to attend court during the two-day sentencing.
To assist the jury the prosecution presented a timeline of events leading up to the attack using animation, images, crime scene photos and mobile phone evidence.

Items that Abedi used to make early prototypes of the bomb were carefully reconstructed using fingerprints and DNA he left at various properties in Manchester.

The jury was able to see how they had been handled by him and that there could be no innocent explanation for his manipulating household items like cooking oil cans.

The brothers bought a car for £230 cash and used it to store their bomb making equipment.

Notes to editors

  • The trial of Hashem Abedi (DOB: 08/04/1997) began on 3 February at the Old Bailey. He was prosecuted by the Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS which prosecutes all terrorism cases in England and Wales. He was found guilty on 17 March
  • He was given life with 55 years minimum for the 22 counts of murder, life with 40 years minimum for attempted murder of others, and life with 35 years minimum for conspiracy to cause an explosion. The minimum sentences are to be served concurrently
  • Section 4 of schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, does not give the courts power to impose a whole life order if the offender was under 21 when the offence occurred. Abedi was 20 in May 2017
  • Jenny Hopkins is head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in the CPS.

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