Survivors of July 7 attacks feel ‘shunted aside’ from inquests

SURVIVORS of the July 7 bombings yesterday said they feel they have been “shunted aside” after being excluded from inquests into the deaths of the 52 victims

Some of those affected by the 2005 atrocities said they were disappointed not to be granted a special status by the coroner which would allow them to question witnesses. But they pledged to throw their full weight behind Justice Hallett as she tries to get answers for what happened and whether more could have been done to prevent the attacks.

Their solicitor Clifford Tibber said he would not rule out appealing against the coroner’s decision at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Jacqui Putnam, who survived the Edgware Road blast, said many questions still needed answering.

“Our role now will be one of answering questions, which we will do, but our questions are not going to be answered. Once again we have been shunted aside by officialdom and those questions may or may not be answered,” she said.

“They need to be answered because they involve the safety of everyone on public transport.”

Justice Hallett said the inquests of the 52 people killed by suicide bombers would be heard later this year without a jury. She said the inquiry would scrutinise alleged failings by police and the security services as well as the immediate aftermath of the blasts.

She said inquests into the deaths of the four suicide bombers would be held separately, if at all, while questions over public funding for legal representation remained unanswered.

Tim Coulson, who survived the attacks, said the “door is still open” to appeal against the decision, but they would still have some input as witnesses.

He said: “It hurts to be reminded but there are occasions when it is essential to be reminded of security issues in our country.

“Not to upset people, not to make everybody screw everything down so tightly you cannot move, but to bring about a general awareness.

“If one more person is put in the position some of us are in that is one too many, especially if one more person dies. That is unacceptable.”

Janine Mitchell, whose husband Paul survived the King’s Cross explosion, said the inquests would be a chance to finally examine the work of MI5.

She said: “We have been campaigning for a very long time now for an inquiry, we are just ordinary people caught up in an atrocity.”

Mitchell said she accepted there would be some sensitive intelligence information, but added that did not mean people should not be held to account.

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