Brother of Manchester Arena bomber pleads not guilty to 22 murders

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The brother of the Manchester Arena bomber has pleaded not guilty to 22 counts of murder relating to those who died in the attack.

Hashem Abedi also pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted murder over those who were injured – and not guilty to conspiring to cause explosions with brother Salman, who detonated a suicide vest at the venue.

The defendant, now 22, was raised in Manchester but travelled to Libya before the attack, which happened as music fans left an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May 2017.

Image: Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi

He allegedly made successful and unsuccessful attempts to buy bomb-making chemicals, and it is claimed he helped in buying a Nissan Micra to store device components.

He is also said to have made detonator tubes for use in the explosive used in the attack.

Abedi was extradited to the UK in July and appeared at the Old Bailey for a plea hearing on Tuesday, wearing glasses, a grey sweatshirt and a burgundy T-shirt.

It took six minutes for the charges to be read out and for Abedi to enter not guilty pleas to each one, including one murder count for each victim of the bombing.

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Among them were a number of children, the youngest of whom was eight-year-old Saffie Roussos.

Inquests have been put on hold until the conclusion of any criminal proceedings over the attack.

Tributes in memory of the Manchester victims

Image: Tributes in memory of the Manchester victims

During the hearing, senior judge Mr Justice Baker also put off the trial from 11 November to 13 January.

Once it gets underway at the Old Bailey, it is expected to last for up to eight weeks.

Abedi will be remanded in custody at HMP Belmarsh until then.

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