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Manchester Arena attack: Hashem Abedi will not give evidence in trial

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LONDON – The brother of the Manchester Arena bomber will not give evidence at the Old Bailey trial over his alleged involvement in the attack.

Hashem Abedi, 22, is accused of helping his brother Salman plan the 2017 atrocity.

He denies murder, attempted murder and conspiring to cause explosions.

The prosecution concluded its case on Tuesday and judge Mr Justice Jeremy Baker told jurors they would hear no further evidence.

Hashem was not present in the courtroom, but jurors heard he was in the building.

Stephen Kamlish QC, defending, said his client had been told that jurors may draw inferences from him not giving evidence in his defense.

Twenty-two people were killed when Salman detonated a homemade bomb on 22 May 2017.

Jurors have heard that Hashem was detained in Libya less than 48 hours later and was extradited to the UK two years after that.

He answered “no comment” in police interviews, but handed detectives a prepared statement through his solicitor, in which he denied involvement, the court heard.

His statement, which was read to jurors, added: “I was not involved in the instigation, preparation or commission of it.

“Had I had any idea of it I would have reported it, to my mother initially and then to other family members, to prevent it from happening.

“I was shocked my brother had done this and felt bad for everybody. I could never have envisaged that my brother had it in him to do this to innocent people.”

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