Libyan group holding brother of Manchester bomber says it will not hand him over to UK

The Home Office has promised to do “everything in its power” to bring the brother of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi back to the UK to face a murder trial.

Nov 2, 2017

The Home Office has promised to do “everything in its power” to bring the brother of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi back to the UK to face a murder trial. The Government spoke after Greater Manchester Police (GMP) was informed this afternoon by a Libyan militias group holding Hashem Abedi that he will not be handed over to British authorities. GMP had just announced it had been granted a warrant for the arrest of Hashem Abedi, and that it had formally requested his extradition from the country. The document lists charges as “the murder of 22 people, the attempted murder of others who were injured and conspiracy to cause an explosion”. But Deterrence Force (Rada) – a counter-terrorism group allied to the UN-backed government in Tripoli – has reportedly said the request will not be granted. A spokesperson for the group, said: “We will not extradite Hashem Abedi to UK authorities,” adding there was no legal agreement between Britain and his group to allow extradition. Hashem Abedi, who was 20 at the time of the attack on the Arena, was detained in Libya days after the blast, along with his father Ramadan Abedi, who has since been released. The brothers travelled to the country in April. Salman returned on May 18 – four days before the atrocity – yet Hashem remained. Investigators have previously said they believed Salman Abedi had built the bomb himself and CCTV showed him buying nuts from a hardware store that were used as shrapnel as well as the tin that was believed to contain the explosives. GMP Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said the force is grateful for the Libyan authorities considering this request. “You will appreciate that we must not do or say anything that might prejudice a fair trial and that this remains an ongoing investigation,” he said. “We also need to respect the due process being managed by Libyan authorities and as a consequence at this time we are unable to provide any further detail. “This investigation is still running at a very fast pace. We are incredibly grateful for the support of the hundreds of people affected by this horrible attack and our officers are constantly moved by their stories and by their accounts.” Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said it is “imperative” that any trial related to the attack takes place in the UK. He added: “I hope all of the authorities involved will work together and seek to remove any barriers.” A spokesperson for the Home Office said it would do everything in its power to ensure the return of Hashem to the UK, but that it was unable to comment further. A force spokesperson added: “We have engaged with the Libyan authorities and are grateful for them considering the request. “It is not appropriate for us to comment further and we must respect the Libyan due process.”

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