Friend of Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi and his brother who helped them buy a car later used to store explosives is refusing to give evidence at public inquiry
- Ahmed Taghdi arrested days after explosion at end of Ariana Grande concert
- He denied knowledge of attack and was subsequently released without charge
- Over a week ago, he was served with a notice to attend and give evidence today
- But inquiry was told through his lawyers that he would not come today or at all
The friend of Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi and his brother who helped them to buy a car later used to store explosives is refusing to give evidence at a public inquiry.
Ahmed Taghdi was arrested days after the explosion at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017, but denied any knowledge of the attack and was subsequently released without charge.
More than a week ago, he was served with a notice to attend and give evidence on Wednesday but the inquiry was told through his lawyers that he would not come today or at all.
Salman Abedi (pictured right), one of those responsible for the terror attack at the Manchester Arena concert in May 2017, and his brother Hashem Abedi (left), who was found guilty of murder over the bombing that killed 22 people
Paul Greaney QC, counsel to the inquiry, said Mr Taghdi had expressed concerns about the nature of the questioning from some legal representatives having followed the proceedings and had also cited health reasons.
Inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders said he intended to enforce the notice, subject to any medical report, and the matter is expected to be resolved in January.
Mr Taghdi was a witness for the prosecution in the trial of Hashem Abedi earlier this year, with his statement read out.
Meanwhile, Sir John indicated his report into the attack will be issued on a rolling basis.
Handout photo issued by Greater Manchester Police of the CCTV image of Salman Abedi arriving at Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017, where he detonated his bomb
Police handout showing a CCTV image of Salman Abedi at Victoria Station, making his way to Manchester Arena, on May 22, 2017
It is hoped the first report into the security arrangements of the arena will be published before May 22 next year.
Further interim reports will follow on the emergency response to the attack and the experience of each of those who died, and also on radicalisation and preventability.
The public inquiry into the bombing which killed 22 people and injured hundreds started in September and was anticipated to conclude next spring.
The hearing was adjourned until January 11.
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