Manchester Arena terror attack families’ fury at £350,000 legal aid for terror plotter Hashem Abedi to refuse to take part in court case
- Hashem Abedi, 23, spent thousands of pounds of legal aid for the inquiry
- Despite the huge sums, the bomb plotter refused to appear at proceedings
- Charlotte Campbell, 40, whose 15-year-old daughter Olivia was murdered, said: ‘He robbed us of our day in court’
Manchester Arena bomb plotter Hashem Abedi (pictured) spent hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal aid despite tellings his lawyers not to make any representations on his behalf
Families of the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack have expressed their fury at the £350,000 legal aid bill racked up by bomb plotter Hashem Abedi.
Hashem, 23, who helped his brother Salman Abedi plot the sick attack which killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017, spent hundreds of thousands of pounds instructing solicitors and barristers – despite not engaging with the court process.
One firm of solicitors, who he later sacked, charged £135,407. After cutting ties with the lawyers, he spent another £52,259 on a new instruction.
Barristers’ fees then cost £162,056.
Despite the huge sums spent on his defence, he stopped proceedings on numerous occasions, citing stress and tiredness as reasons, and even told his lawyers not make any representations on his behalf.
Victims and their families were outraged at the waste of money and of him ‘robbing’ them of their day in court to face him.
Charlotte Campbell, 40, whose 15-year-old daughter Olivia was murdered, told the Sun on Sunday: ‘He robbed us of our day in court.
‘He took away everything from us and all we wanted was to see his face as he was found guilty.
Police scrambled to Manchester Arena in their droves after the shocking attack three years ago
‘But he wasn’t there. He’s wasted all of that money for no reason.’
Thirty-two-year-old Jade Clough, who was injured in the blast, said it was ‘ridiculous’.
‘He’s been handed this help on a silver platter and he threw it in our faces,’ she added.
Unlike defendants, who automatically get legal aid in crown court cases, the victims’ families had to be means tested and supply large amounts of paper work.
However, after the trial was upgraded to a public inquiry, the Home Office agreed to pay the families’ costs.
The 22 victims of the terror attack during the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in May 2017
Hashem played an integral part in plotting the attack which killed 22 people in May 2017.
He helped build the bomb which his brother detonated at the concert.
Manchester-born Abedi was in Libya when the bomb went off and was arrested there and extradited to the UK.
Prior to the attack, the college drop-out, who worked as a takeaway driver, started asking the owner of the restaurant he was working for if he could take the metal vegetable oil cans away for scrap.
Hashem and Salman started using them to test homemade explosives they were experimenting with at their property on Elsmore Road, Manchester.
Hashem was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 55 years, after being convicted of 22 counts of murder.