Coroner's Inquests into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005
First published on the J7: 7/7 Inquests blog
J7 Submission for Resumption of Inquests into the four
Following an order by Lady Justice Hallett requesting representations regarding the resumption of inquests into the deaths of the four, subsequent to the conclusion of the hearings in relation to the inquests of the 52 deceased, J7 issued the following.
Note: Footnotes in the original document have been converted to direct links.
J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign Submission for Resumption
Further to Lady Justice Hallett's order dated 11th March 2011, which reads as follows:
IN THE INNER WEST LONDON (WESTMINSTER) CORONER’S COURT CORONER’S INQUESTS INTO THE LONDON BOMBINGS OF 7 JULY 2005
IT IS ORDERED that:
1. Any person wishing to make representations to the Coroner as to whether or not any or all of the inquests into the deaths of Mohammed Siddique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Jermaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain should be resumed must notify the Solicitor to the Inquests in written submissions by 4.00 p.m. on Friday 18th March 2011.
2. Any such written submissions must identify in full the grounds on which the person on whose behalf they are filed claims to have an interest in the relevant inquest(s) and the grounds upon which it is said the inquests must be resumed.
With regard to the issue of the legality of not resuming the Inquests into the deaths of the four accused, we submit that the legal right to an Inquest where no Inquiry is held overrides all other considerations:
The right to an inquest
An inquest must be held in those circumstances where a Coroner is informed that the body of a person is lying within his or her district and there is reasonable cause to suspect that the individual died:
A violent or unnatural death or
A sudden death of which the cause is unknown or.
In prison or in such circumstances as to require an inquest under any other Act.
The Coroner only has a right to hold an inquest if one of these conditions is satisfied. Conversely, the Coroner cannot decide not to hold an inquest if one of the conditions is satisfied.
The pressing need to resume the inquests into the four accused is further compounded by the magnitude and significance of the circumstances in which it is alleged the deaths occurred.
The Inquests into the 52 cannot stand instead of, nor can they be considered as a substitute for, Inquests into the deaths of the four accused; as stated by Hugo Keith QC on many occasions these proceedings omitted the relevant facts:
6 My Lady, in the light of the fact that theseFurther:
7 inquests are not concerned with Hussain, I have no need
8 to read out the cause of death, but it is obvious.
23 … We're not, of course, concerned with
24 their inquests and so I needn't read out the full detail
We respectfully suggest that a jury be empanelled at the resumed Inquests and that all the circumstances surrounding these deaths be thoroughly examined and explored.
If full arguments are deemed necessary by the Deputy Coroner, then J7 submit the following in favour of resumption of the Inquests into the deaths of Mohammed Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Jermaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain
J7 Interest in the Inquests
J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign is comprised of ordinary members of the public concerned that a fully independent public inquiry, particularly one held outside of the constraints of the Inquiries Act 2005, was refused twice by the government. Over 3,400 people have signed the J7 petition calling on the government to release the evidence they claim to have in support of the story outlined in the meagre 'Report of the official account of the bombings in London on 7th July 2005'.
Our tireless campaigning and research over the last five years, much of which has involved doggedly pursuing responses to Freedom of Information requests, has led to the accumulation of a vast body of knowledge regarding the events of 7th July 2005, contained on our People's Investigation Forum. Our analysis is published on our main web site at: http://julyseventh.co.uk, much of which had been further compiled in order to produce our Submissions to the Inquests. Further, our work was repeatedly, albeit indirectly, referenced throughout the course of proceedings, with the Inquests' own council choosing to mention our 'voluminous' submission as part of his opening statement.
The inquest proceedings transcripts have made reference to J7 as 'a group following the proceedings closely', so our interest in the events of 7 July 2005 and our continued work in this area are well known by all involved and, we submit, part of the grounds on which we should be considered a Properly Interested Party. Our initial submissions certainly provided the basis for some of the lines of enquiry for the inquests of the 52, even if these lines of enquiry were not duly explored.
Concerned at the absence of a jury at the resumed Inquests into the 52 deaths, J7 undertook the role of carefully watching these proceedings and examining the evidence released throughout. J7 wrote to the Deputy Coroner with many of the issues that arose during proceedings and on occasion, questions posed by J7 were put to witnesses. Many of the outstanding questions that arose are documented on the J7: 7/7 Inquests blog.
Despite a mass of evidence adduced before the Inquests into the deaths of 52 people on 7th July 2005, J7 are concerned at the refusal by the Legal Services Commission to grant legal aid for representation at the Inquests to any of the families of the four accused, thus preventing them from making submissions. J7 wrote to the Coroner expressing these concerns in an email dated 25th April 2010:
Our concern is that it has recently been announced that two of the families of the accused men are to be refused legal aid to be represented at the Inquests. Given the immensity of the crimes alleged against them, and the history of miscarriages of justice in the British courts when 'fighting terrorism', as happened in the cases of the Guildford 4, Birmingham 6 etc, we believe that the families of the accused must be given access to justice and representation at the forthcoming Inquest. Without this, British justice remains skewed in favour of the State and will only lead people, especially Muslims, to question whether justice is available to them.
Legal aid at Inquests can be granted in exceptional cases if "there is a wider public interest or it aids the coroner’s investigations". It is most certainly in the wider public interest that legal aid is granted in this case, and we are hopeful that you can, as the coroner, request that the Ministry of Justice review their decision in this matter. We understand that an inquest verdict of suicide requires a criminal standard of proof. Representation of the families would be of great assistance to the inquest's task of determining whether such a verdict is justified.
The arguments for the families of the four to be represented at the Inquests and for resumption are set out in the judicial review dated 27th August 2010 which include the following relevant and important points:
21. On 23 April 2010 the claimant’s solicitor wrote to Mr Martin Smith, Solicitor to the Inquests, to inform him that, “had there been funding”, counsel would have made submissions to the effect that:And at point 24:
(1) the Inquests should be resumed;
(2) the Inquests should be joined; and
(3) his clients should be made Interested Persons in the Inquests of some of the deceased.
"i) Effective participation would enable them to discharge their right to put questions and explore issues as an interested party. Additionally their participation may help other parties to explore issues thereby having the potential to produce real benefits for the other Interested Parties;
ii) The proceedings are on any view ‘significant’;
iii) Well-documented campaign to establish the full extent of the knowledge of the security services;
iv) [The claimant] is in a ‘unique position’ as the wife of the alleged ring-leader and her association with the other perpetrators and others. It is difficult to envisage other individuals who could assist the inquest to the same extent;
v) [The claimant] equally anxious to explore the true extent of the knowledge of the Security Services;
vi) Analysis of the intelligence failings may reveal that the atrocity was entirely preventable and the lives of the victims and perpetrators may have been saved;
vii) Volume of material. Extraordinary and unreasonable to expect [the claimant] to deal with by way of legal help; and
viii) No legitimate distinction between those granted funding and [the claimant]"
The families of the 52 expressed their objections to the Inquests to be joined and with regard to the families of the four accused having representation. Although this was their right, the families of the four men also have rights as bereaved family members; these same rights apply equally to the public – and especially the Muslim community, who bear the brunt of anti-terror legislation – to examine the evidence that would need to be presented to the inquests proceedings. This was denied them by the withholding of legal aid for representation – a very blunt and unsubtle tool by which to suppress the right of the families of the accused to legal representation at the Inquests into the 52.
We submit that the arguments forwarded by the families at the judicial review still hold true and that by granting them PIP status at resumed Inquests into the deaths of their loved ones could trigger legal aid being granted by the Legal Services Commission. After all, many public bodies used public funds for representation at these Inquests, the London Fire Brigade, West Yorkshire Police, Metropolitan Police Service, etc. all of whom are funded from the public purse. The public interest argument for these Inquests to be resumed would also be addressed by granting PIP to the families of the four.
It is the lack of challenge or questions that J7 are concerned with and so we ask to be also considered as PIPs in these proceedings, with this submission and our previous works and researches as the justifications for so qualifying. J7 have contacted the office of the Official Solicitor on the basis that, if there is to be no submission for resumption because legal aid has not been made available to any of the families of the four, and nor has PIP status been granted to them, then the State has a duty to represent the interests of Justice by ensuring these Inquests are resumed, and the evidence adduced and questioned accordingly.
Grounds upon which the Inquests must be resumed
(1) As detailed above, J7 are most concerned that the Catch 22 situation of refusing legal aid to allow submissions for resumption of the Inquests into the 4 deaths is being used to prevent the families from asking questions or, potentially even challenging the evidence adduced. This is both unfair and unjust. Justice in this case not only needs to be seen to be done, it must in fact be done.
(2) To date, there have been no proceedings at which the full 'Operation Theseus' evidence has been examined or challenged. The two trials at which this evidence was first submitted for public scrutiny was unable to question or challenge the evidence, the motivation, or the means and methods of the four men, as the accused had no knowledge of these events. Further, and most significantly given the degree with which the State pursued prosecutions against them, Waheed Ali, Sadeer Saleem, and Mohammed Shakil, they were found not guilty, on both separate occasions that the State endeavoured to prosecute them, of all charges connected to the Operation Theseus investigation. Therefore the evidence did not come under the detailed scrutiny required in a criminal trial, as it would have had the alleged perpetrators lived. (q.v. Guildford 4, Birmingham 6, Maguire 7, Danny McNamee, etc.)
(3) We understand and would like to highlight and reiterate that an inquest verdict of suicide requires a criminal standard of proof with regard to establishing definite intent to commit suicide. The representation of the families will be of great assistance to the Inquest's task of determining whether such a verdict is justified. Without a resumption of the Inquests into the four, this finding cannot be legally made.
(4) We understand that the four cannot be named as the perpetrators of the 52 deaths in any narrative verdict available to the Deputy Coroner in these proceedings.
(5) J7 argue that the evidence for the Theseus investigation was considered outside of the scope of these proceedings, yet evidence adduced during these proceedings has shown cause for concern over the accuracy of this evidence. One instance, for example, occurred on 2nd February 2011, while DS Stuart was under questioning from Ms Gallagher QC:
Q. Detective Sergeant, just to clarify it, if we could go back to [INQ105680-12] at paragraph 64 , when, in the opening to the Theseus trial, as was widely reported, it stated there that this information was recovered from that mobile phone found at Edgware Road, is that simply wrong?(6) The identification of 'Conspiracy Theories' as one of the raison d'etres for the resumption of the Inquests into the 52 was stated by Hugo Keith QC in his opening statement on 14th October 2011:
12 ….. Thus it is
13 to be hoped that these inquests, however unpleasant and
14 distressing, as they will be, will assist in answering
15 the families' questions in allaying some of the rumours
16 and suspicion generated by conspiracy theorists.
17 I'll return a little later to the question of
18 whether there is, in truth, any basis for some of the
19 theories that have been canvassed in the press and on
20 the internet.
Whilst J7 would take issue with the apparent pejorative use of the term 'conspiracy theorists' given the multiplicity of well documented anomalies, inconsistencies and falsehoods contained in the official narrative (as outlined in our detailed submissions to the Inquests) and the questions that have subsequently arisen from Inquest evidence and testimony, and given the fact that it is, as a point of fact, the State itself that most frequently uses and abuses the charge of 'Conspiracy' in its prosecutions, we are aware that, without resumption of the Inquests into the four, the many further questions regarding the evidence that have arisen during the Inquest proceedings will continue to remain unanswered. Some of these questions are detailed below:
(i) The Inquests have already heard that a report into the bombings by the parliamentary intelligence and security committee, the only public body to which the security service reports, contained "many many mistakes and inaccuracies" in its account of the intelligence service's conduct before the attacks.
(ii) There is the significant issue of the requirement to prove intent to commit suicide in cases where suicide is suspected. In cases of suspected suicides inquests will be held, but the victim's intention to commit suicide must be definitely proven; here-in lies the burden of proof. In the absence of any clear proof of intent, the verdict is unlikely to be suicide, but rather 'death by misadventure', 'accidental death', or there will be an 'open' verdict. There are in existence two alleged “martyrdom videos”; one of which appears to show Khan and the release of which called an end to all lines of questioning of the official story that were being pursued by the media, and the second, cunningly released on the first anniversary of the 7/7 attacks, appears to show Tanweer. It is worth noting that throughout the contrived and stilted rhetoric in each video, no mention is made by either Khan or Tanweer regarding any intention to commit suicide. Further, there is no mention in either video of any attacks on London, or London's transport infrastructure. Indeed there are no references to the launching of any attacks at all, suicide or otherwise. There has also been no mention at all of Tanweer, Hussain or Lindsay leaving last wills and testaments, despite this being a requirement in Islam. This leaves all four suspected suicides for which the burden of proof of intent to commit suicide has not yet been addressed in anything other than loosely circumstantial way, much less has that standard of proof been met.
(iii) Testimony given by DI Kindness on 14th October 2010 calls into question, once again, aspects of the government narrative and further errors in Theseus evidence:
MS GALLAGHER: You say that you focused upon Luton station as a result of information received on 11 July. Is that right?This evidence was further contradicted by DCS McKenna on the closing day of evidence when he stated:
A. That's correct, yes.
Q. In that document which I've made reference to, I think you have it before you, my Lady, the Anti-terrorist Branch SO13 record -- do you have that document before you?
A. No, I don't, no.
Q. Is it possible for a copy to be provided?
MR KEITH: You can have my copy. (Handed)
MS GALLAGHER: This is a record of an officer viewing CCTV. It seems to be by a DC Stephen Bain. Was he part of the same team?
A. Yes, he was, yes.
Q. If you just look in the box at the top, it's on the left, five boxes down, "Date viewing commenced: 10 July 2005, 20.00 hours" and "Date viewing ended:11 July 2005, 23.30".
Q. So is it possible that, in fact, that information was received on 10 July rather than 11 July, Inspector?
A. That's absolutely correct. It's an error. It should have been the 10th.
1 You've already outlined, I think, most of the main
2 threads of investigation that led to us Luton railway
3 station and it's -- it was a fortuitous coincidence
4 that, on the day that we had discovered the CCTV from
5 Luton railway station, we, of course, were assisted by
6 the coming forward of some witnesses from Luton, from
7 whom you have heard, who raised with us the suspicious
8 activity they'd seen in relation to the cars that
In fact the only witness to the cars at Luton that gave evidence was Susan Clarke and she only contacted the police on the morning of 12th July according to her testimony. Ms Gallagher had previously adduced that the viewing logs from Luton station were dated 10th and 11th July.
(iv) The missing CCTV evidence from the day gives cause for concern. No explanation was given for the failure of the CCTV at King's Cross underground station, ticket barriers or platforms, nor CCTV shown of Hasib Hussain's apparent re-entry to the mainline station from the Northern Line platform as asserted in evidence and in the government narrative. There is a major discrepancy between the timings of the CCTV shown from WH Smiths and the time on the receipt of a purchase of a battery. There is also missing CCTV from Woodall Service Station of nearly 15 minutes between exiting and rejoining the motorway. Strange and unexplained cuts in the CCTV shown from Luton Station car park.
The removal of the Fiat Brava CCTV was not shown, nor was an explanation given for why Bedfordshire Police requested its removal. No explanation was given for the turning off of CCTV at McDonald's prior to Hasib entering, nor was the time of this incident given. No explanation for the lack of CCTV from the 91 bus was adduced, nor was a reason why this bus halted and emptied its passengers at Euston Station. No CCTV from the trains prior to the explosions was shown, nor was it even claimed to exist, despite a claim by Rachel North regarding a discussion held in May 2006 between survivors and bereaved and the then Home Secretary, John Reid:
The first question was from a man who lost his boyfriend at Russell Square who wanted to know if there were CCTV images of the bombers on the trains, and whether he could see the last minutes of his loved one. The Counter Terrorism representative said that there were, but they had not been released, as the post-bomb CCTV images 'were disturbing'. Dr. Reid promised to investigate whether images of the train before the bomb could be shown privately to the bereaved man. It sounded like the CCTV images were not of good quality.
The public have been shown CCTV evidence from the Operation Vivace (21 July 2005) trial of the men on CCTV from the train carriages which were of good quality, we suggest similar evidence could and should be shown to the Inquests as the presence of those accused of the underground incidents has only been shown as far as King's Cross Thameslink. It should also be able to show the presence of MSK and Tanweer for a considerable length of time on journeys away from King's Cross, and also the entry of three accused onto the carriages from King's Cross.
This lack of evidential continuity between all of the 4 accused and the actual scenes is very concerning. This sentiment was expressed to survivors by 'C', DCI SO15:
One of the many things that police have to prove is the 'evidential continuity' of exhibits, sometimes even from before they become significant as exhibits. This continuity is an issue which is subject of detailed scrutiny in legal proceedings. The whole process is carefully documented, and any break in this documentation immediately devalues the exhibit.
(v) No 'life extinct' pronounced at either Tavistock Square, nor the Piccadilly Line train. The numbers pronounced for life extinct at Aldgate and Edgware Road by Dr Morgan Costello were both one less than would account for the presence of either Mohammed Sidique Khan or Shehzad Tanweer at the respective locations they are alleged to have been at.
(vi) The types of explosives allegedly used differed between Clifford Todd's testimony and the sworn testimony adduced during the Jean Charles de Menezes Inquest. Clifford Todd stated HMTD was found in Alexandra Grove, in the cars, with further traces found at the scenes.
2 A. Well, from just those results, clearly we wouldn't have
3 been able to say that, but the conclusion that it's
4 likely that it was HMTD and hydrogen peroxide and pepper
5 comes from the accumulation of all the other evidence
6 from Alexandra Grove and the various components that
7 were physical items that were actually found from
8 Russell Square and, indeed, the other scenes.
'Codename Neil', the forensics officer at the scene claims TATP was found in both the Micra and Alexandra Grove.
4 them in the car and take them with them. Once again,and:
15 there was evidence of TATP explosive at the bomb-making
16 factory in Leeds.
23 cable, they found flash bulbs which will be a typicalDAC McDowall, the gold command for Operation Theseus:
24 igniter for, as it was, TATP explosives.
12.... In the bomb factory in Leeds that wasand:
13 discovered, we found TATP literally sprayed around the
14 premises and on the floor. If I can say that that
15 explosive will detonate if trodden on
19 A. That was a distinct possibility, yes, particularly
20 given, perhaps I should amplify, the amount of explosive
21 left behind, if I can use that expression, by the 7 July
22 bombers was of a very great magnitude. Certainly
23 a bathful and more of the main charge, and as I said
24 yesterday, a very substantial quantity of the
25 excessively volatile TATP on 7 July.
1 SIR MICHAEL WRIGHT: This was all in the Yorkshire bomb
2 factory, this is what you found and presumably
DIC Purser, describes 'brown sludge' as 'not explosives' and only describes this as being only in the bath at Alexandra Grove:
15 Q. Did you go on to tell them that further enquiries had
16 taken you to West Yorkshire, you gave a particular
17 address in Leeds, and you said that that was discovered
18 to be the bomb factory?
19 A. Yes, it was.
20 Q. Did you tell them that examination of that scene was
21 ongoing, but that a brown sludge had been found in the
22 bath? Examination indicated that it was not explosives.
23 Porton Down had indicated that it was not a biological
24 substance but they weren't sure what it was, and had
25 said it might be some kind of insecticide?
J7 can provide many more examples of areas of questioning that a resumed Inquest into the four should examine to ensure that it is possible for a true and accurate account of the events in London on 7th July 2005 to be placed before the public.
For truth and justice
“To the living we owe respect,
but to the dead we owe only the truth.”
Notes for Editors
- J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign was established shortly after the events of 7th July 2005, when it transpired that the unfolding story was giving rise to more questions than answers.
- J7's ongoing research efforts have twice forced the government to amend the official Home Office narrative which, on one occasion, required the then Home Secretary, Dr John Reid, to stand before parliament and announce a major factual inacurracy to the house.
- J7 do not accept that the Inquests into 52 of the 56 deaths should stand in place of Inquests into the four men accused of perpetrating the events of 7/7.
- J7 are dismayed that the families of the accused have been refused the legal aid that would have allowed them to be represented at the current round of Inquests.
- J7 fully expect that the Inquests into the four accused should be opened and conducted publicly once the Inquests into the 52 have been completed.
- J7 are concerned that some witnesses called at the Inquests may have already been presented with the Metropolitan Police site reports from each of the four locations. We have requested that any witnesses called to give testimony at the Inquests are asked to state for the public record whether they have viewed and/or read the Metropolitan Police reports as it is highly unusual that witnesses called to give evidence in any case would be privy to such reports. J7 are deeply concerned about the impact and effects that having access to these reports prior to giving their testimonies will have on their recollections of events and the witness testimonies that will be given to the inquest.
- In November 2005, after repeated refusals by the government to hold an independent public inquiry into 7/7, and given the paucity of evidence presented to support the official narrative of events, J7 established its People's Investigation Forum to coordinate our ongoing research efforts and track the progress of the many Freedom of Information requests we have issued in order to try and uncover the truth.
- Over 3,200 people have signed our petition calling on the government and police to release the evidence they claim to have. J7 supports all calls for an independent public inquiry, and are the only organisation calling for a public inquiry who specifically stipulate that any inquiry should be held outside of the remit of the Inquiries Act 2005 that subjects all public inquiries to full government control.
- The fruits of J7's research, along with articles by respected writers and academics are published on our main web site at www.julyseventh.co.uk.