'Truly Despicable' | 

Arrest warrant issued for brother of Manchester Arena bomber

Ismail Abedi (28) failed to appear at the Manchester Magistrates Court on Tuesday to give evidence at the public inquiry into the 2017 tragedy
Ismail Abedi.

Ismail Abedi.© PA

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

A judge has issued a warrant for the arrest of the older brother of the Manchester Arena bomber.

Ismail Abedi (28), who now uses the name Ishmale Ben Romdhan, failed to appear at the Manchester Magistrates Court on Tuesday to give evidence at the public inquiry into the 2017 tragedy.

The IT worker left his flat in Manchester last August and is now believed to be with his parents and three youngest siblings in Libya.

District Judge Jack McGarva said he was satisfied that Abedi was aware of the hearing and also noted the proceedings had generated a “great deal of publicity”.

Issuing a warrant without bail, he said: “We will now have to wait for him to be apprehended.”

Ismail Abedi’s brother, Salman Abedi (22), killed 22 people when he detonated bomb after an Ariana Grande concert inside the Manchester Arena in May 2017.

Their other brother Hashem (25) was jailed for helping him manufacture the bomb.

The inquiry wanted to question Ismail over his DNA being found on a hammer in a Nissan Micra car that was used by his two younger brothers to transport and store the explosive prior to the concert.

Bereaved families said Ismail was a “coward” and accused him of “truly despicable contempt”.

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Kim Harrison, who represents 11 of the victims' families, said: “Whilst we welcome the conviction of Ismail Abedi today we remain sorely disappointed that the conviction had to take place in his absence.

"We remain gravely concerned as to how Abedi was able to leave the country before giving evidence to the inquiry in the first place.

"His leaving the country should never have happened and despite the conviction he is unlikely to face any real justice until he is apprehended, if at all.

"The families deserve to know the truth about what happened that night and the contempt Ismail Abedi has shown them is truly despicable."

Ismail Abedi has denied any involvement with the attack.

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