British 'justice' likely to punish Grenfell Tower families further - 7/7 families got "no answers"





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Published on Jul 15, 2017

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7/7 inquest: We still have no real answers, say the victims' relatives
Coroner critical of MI5, but clears them of blame as families of 7/7 bombing victims call for overhaul of security services

Esther Addley and Richard Norton-Taylor
Friday 6 May 2011

Families of the victims of the 7 July attacks have called on the government to overhaul Britain's security services after the inquest coroner yesterday described their handling of a critical piece of intelligence as "dreadful" and suggested another failure could have had "dire consequences".

Returning verdicts of unlawful killing on each of the 52 victims of the attacks, Lady Justice Hallett also expressed concerns about MI5's recordkeeping and about "confusion" in its system of assessing targets at the time of the attacks.

But, crucially, she exonerated the domestic intelligence service of any blame in failing to prevent the 2005 bombings, stressing that the evidence she had heard over 75 days at the high court in London "does not justify the conclusion that any failings on the part of any organisation or individual caused or contributed to any of the deaths".

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The coroner also found that the emergency services' response to the bombings, which has been heavily criticised for being too slow at several of the sites, had not contributed to any of the deaths. "I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that each of [the victims] would have died whenever the emergency services reached them," she said.

She saw no grounds for any future public inquiry, she indicated. "I am not aware of our having left any reasonable stone unturned," she said. "One would hope, therefore, that these proceedings will be an end to the investigation of what happened on 7/7."

Speaking after the verdicts, however, Graham Foulkes, whose son David was killed in the Edgware Road bombing, said the inquest "causes a lot more questions to be asked than it answers". "It really must compel [the Home Secretary] Theresa May to review the whole operation of the security services in the UK, not just MI5."

He called for an independent inquiry into the killings, with a broader remit than the tightly constrained inquest.

At an emotional press conference after the verdicts were returned, Ros Morley, widow of Edgware Road victim Colin Morley, called for an apology from MI5, saying: "In any other organisation, if huge mistakes were made and lives were lost, people feel there's a duty to look into that, to have a degree of humility, which I feel has been lost."

June Taylor, the mother of Carrie Taylor, who died at Aldgate, was overcome by emotion and collapsed at the press conference after declaring that the family "still have no positive answers".


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