7/7 inquests: concerns over video footage

Aftermath of 7 July bomb attacks Bombs were detonated on three Tube trains and a bus in central London

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The Metropolitan Police has raised concerns that new footage of the Tube trains bombed in the 7/7 attacks could be used for terrorist propaganda.

New video of the trains is set to be released at the inquests for the 52 victims, a hearing has been told.

Max Hill QC, representing the Metropolitan Police, voiced fears it could be used on extremist websites for "cynical purposes".

The inquests will start on Monday, 11 October.

The material contains CCTV of the four suicide bombers travelling to the capital, and photographs and video of the wrecked Tube carriages and number 30 bus after the devices were detonated.

It also includes extracts from calls to London Underground's control centre.

At the pre-inquest hearing, counsel to the inquests, Hugo Keith QC, said the material had been carefully edited so it did not show the victims or any particularly distressing scenes.

But Max Hill QC said: "There is a sad but true fact of life which is that material, often distressing, showing the moments of immediate impact of events such as those of 7 July is abused by others entirely beyond these proceedings for - for want of a better phrase - propaganda for their own purposes."

The Coroner, Lady Justice Hallett, provisionally ruled the footage would be published on the official website of the 7/7 inquests and made available to the media.

But she agreed to consider any further objections from the Met Police once it has seen all the material.

The inquests, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, will start with a two-day opening statement from Mr Keith.

Lady Justice Hallett - who is sitting without a jury - will then hear details of the bombers' journey to London.

Evidence will then be called relating to the scenes of the four attacks, first Aldgate, followed by Edgware Road, King's Cross and Tavistock Square.

The inquests are expected to last up to five months and will then cover the backgrounds of the bombers and general issues like forensics and the command of the emergency services.

They will conclude by looking at the question of whether security agencies could have been prevented the attacks.

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