Sunday, March 27, 2011

Beaten by Gaddafi’s nephew and intimidated by his thugs... so why was I treated like a criminal by British justice?

By Elizabeth Sanderson
Last updated at 3:38 PM on 27th March 2011
The swaggering son of Gaddafi’s henchman hit Karen Etchebery so savagely he broke seven bones in her face – yet after a campaign of threats and Foreign Office pressure, his trial collapsed.
Here she speaks bravely about the disturbing events that saw him free to return to Libya – and led her to a cell in handcuffs
Beaten: Karen Etchebery survived a vicious attack by Mohammed al-Sanussi, Colonel Gaddafi's nephew, in London
Beaten: Karen Etchebery survived a vicious attack by Mohammed al-Sanussi, Colonel Gaddafi's nephew, in London
A woman at the centre of the trial involving serious allegations of violent assault by Colonel Gaddafi’s nephew has given disturbing new evidence about how senior members of the Libyan regime were able to flout the law with impunity under Tony Blair’s Government.
Mohammed al-Sanussi was charged, in 2006, with an attack on two Brazilian escort girls, Karen Etchebery and Patricia Bech, at his London home. This paper revealed last month that the ensuing trial collapsed amid pressure from the Foreign Office, which wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions pointing out that Britain’s financial interests could be damaged if the case was pursued. Al-Sanussi’s father, Abdullah al-Sanussi, is Gaddafi’s brother-in-law and head of Libya’s intelligence services
At the time BP was negotiating a £15 billion contract to secure oil and gas rights in the country.
The judge ordered the jury to return ‘not guilty’ verdicts after Ms Etchebery withdrew her evidence. Now the 25-year-old has come forward to describe the reasons for her decision.
She tells, for the first time, of the appalling savagery of al-Sanussi’s attack and explains how she was forced to withdraw her allegations after months of sustained intimidation at the hands of Gaddafi’s henchmen.
When she turned to the British police for help, she claims they did little to support her, leaving her with no choice but to drop all charges, for fear that the Libyans would harm her or her family.
She says: ‘The attack was bad but what happened next was worse. I was terrified. I told the police the Libyans were terrorising me but they didn’t help. I didn’t feel safe.
‘I would have loved to put Mohammed in jail for what he did but would I be alive right now, would my family? If the case hadn’t collapsed, I believe something would have happened to me, for sure.’
Ms Etchebery and Ms Bech first met al-Sanussi, then a student, in April 2006 at the Lanesborough Hotel at Hyde Park Corner.
The two girls – childhood friends from the relatively poor city of Maringa in southern Brazil – had arrived in London four years earlier, when Ms Etchebery was just 17.
Mohamed Al Sanussi, 26, the son of Abdullah Al Sanussi, who is the brother in law of Colonel Gaddafi
Write caption here
The youngest of four, she is the daughter of a mechanic and a housewife. She began getting into trouble as a teenager, so her mother suggested she move to live with her elder brother in London.
‘Patricia is five years older than me,’ Ms Etchebery says: ‘We came here together, we’d known each other as children. We were working as cleaners when one night Patricia went out and came back with £800. She said she’d been out as an escort and I should try it.
‘First we worked for a woman called Bella. She wasn’t an agency but she had lots of Arabic clients. We didn’t have sex, just drinks, dinner.
‘Then we were on the books of the Bentley’s agency but we also had our own clients. We worked as a team and we worked well together. Once, at a party at The Dorchester, we left with £5,000 each and there was no sex. We would go to the hotels in Park Lane. We got lots of attention because we were two girls together. There were lots of Arabs, Indians, Greeks.’
'I would have loved to put Mohammed in jail for what he did but would I be alive right now, would my family?'
So Ms Etchebery was no innocent by the time they met al-Sanussi, whom she knew only as the son of a wealthy Libyan. She says: ‘He had a sexual relationship with Patricia, not with me, although he would pay us both £1,000 a night to go to his home, a five-storey townhouse behind Harrods. We would play music and dance for him.
‘Most of the time even Patricia didn’t sleep with him, he was always drunk. He didn’t really talk to us, sometimes he wouldn’t even say hello. He would say a few words in English but mostly talk in Arabic to his friends. I think he just wanted us there as decoration.’
The girls saw al-Sanussi once or twice a month. On the night of the attack, November 17, 2006, Ms Etchebery felt ill and had wanted to stay at home. She says: ‘I didn’t want to go. I wasn’t very well but Patricia kept calling me, again and again, saying I needed to pick her up and go to Mohammed’s. In the end I agreed. We got there about 11pm and there was another guy there who he said was his cousin.
‘We had some drinks; Patricia was with Mohammed and I went downstairs to the kitchen with the cousin. He started touching me and I told him no, I didn’t want that. Another night I might have but I felt really sick and said, “Take the money back if that’s what it’s for.” I went upstairs and told Patricia I wanted to leave. She said she would leave too.
Patricia Bech, 25, an escort girl involved in dropped assault case against Mohamed Al Sanussi, a nephew of Colonel Gaddafi.
Karen Etchebury, 21, an escort girl involved in dropped assault charges case against Mohamed al-Sanussi
Write caption here
‘Mohammed stood in the doorway and said, “You’re not leaving unless you give me the money back.” We gave him the money, no problem. Then Patricia went to the door and he picked her up and threw her. I saw her head hitting the floor, it bounced three times like a football.
‘I went to help her. As I bent down to lift up her head, I turned and I just remember hearing the words, “And you.” The next thing I knew I woke up on the other side of the room with blood everywhere. I don’t know how long I was out for, I just remember waking up and using my hands against the wall to try and get up. Eventually, I said to Patricia, “Let’s go,” but she couldn’t move. She was on the floor on all fours. I picked her up with one hand and held my hand over my face with the other. There was so much blood coming from my mouth I couldn’t breathe.
'The police told me later they finally found him at home at 10pm. When they went inside he was having a party. My blood was still all over the walls'
‘I dragged us to the door but as we tried to leave he wanted to hit me some more. It was only his cousin holding him back that stopped him.’
Ms Etchebery managed to call their driver, a fellow Brazilian who often took them to jobs, and he drove them to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. She says: ‘We got there about 2am. I had seven bones broken in my face and nearly lost the sight in my left eye. The roof of my mouth was split in half.
‘I spent two months in hospital on morphine. It took that long for my face to heal enough to have surgery. My cheek was hanging off the bones, I couldn’t eat. I didn’t have any mirrors as for months I was too scared to look at myself.’
Ms Bech, 30, did not want to press charges. Nor would she contact the police on Ms Etchebery’s behalf. ‘In the end, I got another friend to call them,’ says Ms Etchebery.
‘They wouldn’t take my whole statement because I was on such heavy medication, but they asked if I wanted to press charges. I said, “Yes, of course, I want to see him in jail.”
‘When they went to his house he wasn’t there. The police told me later they finally found him at home at 10pm. When they went inside he was having a party. My blood was still all over the walls.’
Connected: Al-Sanussi's father is the brother-in-law of Colonel Gaddafi, above, and one of his most trusted lieutenants
Connected: Al-Sanussi's father is the brother-in-law of Colonel Gaddafi, above, and one of his most trusted lieutenants
Al-Sanussi was arrested and charged with unlawful wounding, inflicting grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Ms Bech tried to persuade her friend to drop the charges because she didn’t want to make a fuss, but she refused. However, it was only when Ms Etchebery left the hospital ward that she discovered the lengths her attacker and his associates would go to in order to stop the trial.
She says: ‘If I went anywhere, people would take pictures, they’d brush past me in the street and say, “Go home”. If I crossed the road a Range Rover would come towards me and pretend to try and run me over. Different people would call and say, “It would be very easy to finish you off. Another accident could happen to you very easily.”
‘There were lots of different men. They always gave their names although I’m sure they weren’t their real ones. One time they got a girl called Maria, who could speak Portuguese, to talk to me.
‘Patricia took me out one night to try and mend our friendship which had broken down. Someone called the next day and said, “I could have poisoned your drink last night.”
‘They knew things even I didn’t know. They went to my auntie’s house in Brazil. Even I didn’t know her address. They went to my cousin’s as well. They went to the spa where my brother works in London. It was so stressful, I started taking antidepressants.
‘One time a man said, “You know you’re dealing with terrorist people.” It made sense, there was something not normal there. They were too powerful.’
By then, the police had explained who al-Sanussi’s father was. One of Gaddafi’s most trusted lieutenants, he is believed to have orchestrated the killing of protesters in Benghazi last month. And in June 1998, a French court sentenced him in his absence to life in prison for his role in the 1989 bombing of a passenger plane over Niger. All 156 passengers and 15 crew members died.
Ruthless: Abdul al-Sanussi is believed to have been behind attacks on protesters in Benghazi last month
Ruthless: Abdul al-Sanussi is believed to have been behind attacks on protesters in Benghazi last month
Whether al-Sanussi’s family links had any bearing on the police’s reluctance to help Ms Etchebery, it is impossible to tell. Either way, they failed to stop the intimidation.
She says: ‘I told the police they were following me. I told them all the time, especially the policewoman who looked after my case. I said I was terrified, I was being terrorised. She just said, “Yes, we know, Karen, we’re doing our best. We’re trying to help as much as we can.” But they weren’t helping me at all. They were less and less helpful as time went on.’
Despite the threats, the trial began at Blackfriars Crown Court on July 16, 2007. The case was scheduled to run for three weeks but after ten days Karen withdrew her evidence.
She says: ‘They dealt with Patricia’s evidence first. That took about a week and then they moved on to me. I told them everything that had happened but then, on about the third day, I got a call and someone said, “I’m outside your mother’s house. Do you want to collapse the case?” I called the policewoman handling my case and said, “Please help me. They’re in front of my mother’s house.” She said, “Tell your family to call the local police. I cannot do anything from here.”
‘I said, “OK, thank you very much. I want to collapse the case, I’m not going to be there tomorrow morning.” The intimidation was too much and they weren’t helping me. The policewoman went mad and said I could go to jail. I said I still wasn’t going and she told me to be at Belgravia police station the next day.’
'For people like him, hurting a girl is like killing a fly'
Ms Etchebery arrived at the station the following morning but admits: ‘By that stage I was taking pills to sleep. I took four before I went to the station so by the time I got there, I was gone. I said I wasn’t going to court, I was shouting.
‘Four policemen came towards me and I said, “I’m not going.” They pushed me to the floor, put handcuffs on me and pulled my head back. It was as if I was the criminal. Then they drove me to court. I waited in the car for about an hour and then they said I was to go to jail for wasting their time. The case was finished. They never charged me but they took me to Belgravia and I spent about 14 hours in the cell.’
Following the collapse of the trial, the lead prosecution barrister, Selva Ramasamy, drafted a report in which he said: ‘I understand that the Libyan Embassy has been monitoring the case... I had a number of discussions with defence counsel in which it was made clear that the Libyans had threatened to take a number of extreme steps in relation to BP’s negotiation in Libya and possible severing of diplomatic relations.’
It is also believed Gaddafi raised the matter of al-Sanussi’s trial with Tony Blair when he visited Tripoli in June 2007 – his final foreign trip as Prime Minister. Ms Etchebery says: ‘I cannot be sure Tony Blair was involved but I can be sure the British police were not helpful. I did not feel protected by them.’
And because she did not feel protected, the Libyans eventually got what they wanted when the trial collapsed. Ms Etchebery says: ‘The thing I can’t forget is the way Mohammed looked at me in court. He was sure he would win the case. He was almost laughing.
‘For people like him, hurting a girl is like killing a fly. They think they can do anything they want to anyone they want. They feel they’re unstoppable and in the end, they were weren’t they? That’s what makes me so angry.’
Scotland Yard last night declined to comment.
Cosy: It is believed that Colonel Gaddafi raised the subject of al-Sanussi's trial with former Prime Minister Tony Blair
Cosy: It is believed that Colonel Gaddafi raised the subject of al-Sanussi's trial with former Prime Minister Tony Blair

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earthquake fails to halt nuke waste burial

FEARS have been raised in Parliament over the suitability of West Cumbria to host new reactors following the earthquake last month.

Labour Peer Lord Judd also questioned whether the events of December 21 would affect the area’s ability to play host to an underground repository for nuclear waste.

Nuclear Peril in the UK....

26 March 2011 07:26:15
Fascinating, so all the pro nuclear posters have disappeared, you know the ones - that accused me of scaremongering when I said it had to be a reactor breach or Iodine 131 and Caesium 137 would NOT have been released.

Now let me give you another prediction, the fuel rods along with their Zircalloy cases in reactor three have melted, and are in a state of meltdown. Re-criticality is not just possible in this state, it is now likely.

Plutonium, which apart from being in a highly radioactive state, is also the most toxic substance known to man, has been involved in combustion and is outside the reactor as particulates in the black smoke. There are 32 x 172kg fuel rods containing Uranium and Plutonium in reactor 3 building. Reactor and storage ponds compromised.

Now, to the pundits who say it could not happen here, where would we be without nuclear fuel.

Firstly we would be a lot safer, secondly we would be leaving a world for our children that would not REQUIRE many of them to spend their lives nursing OUR NUCLEAR WASTE - FOR GENERATIONS!

Regards power shortfall, the UK's and indeed the world’s energy is virtually untapped re- hydro. Britain is mapped with rivers - how many hydro stations do you see? Very few! There are several generating substantial amounts of electricity, but the nation is mainly wasting immense opportunities, especially for localised power.

Why hasn't it been developed? It doesn't produce weapons grade plutonium does it?

Hydro IS the power source for third world countries. The stupid people who have allowed some of them to develop nuclear will leave us all to pay dearly for that. Do you think Iran will be as honourable as Japan when it comes to workers KNOWINGLY risking and losing their lives to contain this disaster?

No, they will be running the other way.

Now regards the safety of the West’s nuclear 'technology', the


Of them, Sellafield has had a catalogue of faults and leakages. Apart from the 1957 accident which was a massive scale that sent radiations clouds over Europe, there have been a catalogue of faults since including a Cat 3 nuclear incident which left 20 tonnes of Uranium and Plutonium, dissolved in nitric acid, UNDETECTED FOR EIGHT MONTHS, in an inaccessible area of the plant!

Sellafield is the storage facility for nuclear deep store waste now, it is built on a known fault line -

For those pro's out there who say it couldn't happen -

The UK and its waters have numerous earthquakes every month, last month there were several over 3.5.


Check this out though -

or how about UK REAL history -

Have a click on the Carlisle quake, a 4.7 magnitude in CUMBRIA, where is Sellafield?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Answer to 1984 is 1776 Video Contest: Final Entries

7/7 London bombing cover up by the Goverment...

7/7 London Bombings..the last day of the hearing and very little if any coverage. Peter Power and the 'simutaneous bombing drill involving 1000 people on our London Streets not mentioned...Whitewash/ cover up and a waste of tax payers money ....

The coroner in charge of the 7/7 inquests criticised emergency services bosses today for using too much jargon.
Lady Justice Hallett said some terms were so cumbersome and complex that one 999 worker might not know what a counterpart did when arriving at an emergency scene.
On the hearing's final day and bringing five months of evidence to a close - with a verdict expected at a later date - Lady Justice Hallett let fly at Gary Reason, assistant commissioner of London Fire Brigade.
She spoke out as mention was made of "a conference demountable unit from a management centre" - which is a portable incident room.
She said: "As far as I can tell, management jargon is taking over organisations and perfectly sensible, straightforward titles are being changed.
"This isn't just somebody being pedantic about the use of English, which it appears to be... when it comes to managing incidents, people don't understand what the other person is."
The coroner said the problem had been an ongoing theme in hearing evidence.
She said: "I don't know whether a crew manager is somebody who is responsible for supplies or is used to fighting fires. I have no idea."
She added that clarity was key when crews were trying to ensure safety at a disaster scene, saying: "What worries me is all you senior people of these organisations are allowing yourselves to be taken over by management jargon and, as I say, it's not just directed at you... I just think that you people at the top need to say we have to communicate with people in plain English."
Her comments caused laughter in the courtroom after months of listening to the coroner stop witnesses to explain acronyms and specialist terms.
She finished off: "So if you could do anything when you meet up with your fellow senior officers in whatever organisations to encourage the use of plain English, I, for one, would be enormously grateful and I think it would make everybody just that little bit more effective."
It is the seventy-third day of evidence today into the deaths of 52 innocent victims killed on July 7 2005 by fundamentalist Mohammed Sidique Khan and three accomplices on London's transport network.
Though the inquest's evidence finishes today, there will be a wait before verdicts.
Two days have been set aside for legal argument on March 10 and 11.
This will give concerned parties a chance to say something about the evidence and the scope for verdicts.
The coroner will then retire.
Lady Justice Hallett has not indicated how long it will be before she comes back to court with verdicts though it is expected to be before April 20 when the court rises for Easter.
Today Mr Reason, the penultimate witness, focused largely on the fire brigade's actions at King's Cross.
The inquest had already heard there was a delay of nearly 30 minutes in getting firefighters into the station and that they delayed, thinking there could be a chemical or biological attack below, despite travellers emerging showing no signs.
Hugo Keith QC, counsel to the inquest, criticised the lack of trust between emergency services who spent time separately checking there was no biological or chemical attack.
He asked if the tannoy system could have been used to announce it was safe to go below ground.
Mr Reason said: "If the command structure is working correctly as it is designed to do then the associated resources will get a briefing about those hazards," and "firefighters and other agencies will be deployed accordingly."
Mr Keith said the point was that on 7/7 many of the "incident commanders" could not find one another to discuss the issue.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

7/7 London Bombings...witnesses..all except the American Benson sisters who were kept away from reporters.??????

Many of the survivors were left with missing limbs after the explosions, particularly lost legs. As investigators established early on, the explosions took place at ground level. Some witness reports suggest that bombs were underneath the carriages. Witnesses describe the carriage floors raising up, the train being derailed and holes in the floor.

7/7 London bombings. Project dedicated to the lives that were lost...

London bombings July 7th 2005....if the family's of those who died put this together, they will tear Blair from limb to limb...

7/7 London Bombings. Peter Powell simultaneous bombing drill...not mentioned in the 2006 report...

7/7 Audio Peter Powell and his exact same day...London bombing rehearsal

7/7 Bombings just in time when Blair needed them most....

7/7 Bombings...MI5 evidence to aid transparancy to the event( cover-up). STILL no mention of Peter Power and the 'simultaneous bombing drill' taking place same day ,same time, same train.. it seems many have forgotten and the whitewash inquest is making sure no one remembers..

7/7 Ambulance crew 'FORGOTTEN' or deliberately held back ?

7/7 Londom Bombing: Ambulances held back...

Christopher Coltart, barrister for seven families of those killed, highlighted the fact that mobile phone networks were compromised and commanders could not be contacted by the control room. Yet a statement issued in November 2005 by the service said radio contact was maintained throughout the disaster.

Mr Coltart said: ‘Taken in isolation, Mr Killens, it’s completely misleading, isn’t it?’ Mr Killens replied: ‘In isolation, without wider context, I would agree with you.’
The inquest continues at the Royal Courts of Justice.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

7/7 London bombings...people died, but it was 'just a coincidence'....

7/7 London bombings Video 'just a coincidence'

7/7 Bombings : Questions to answer...

Security services have questions to answer over 7/7 links

As court papers reveal a link between the July 7 terrorists and the fertiliser bomb plotters, questions are being asked over whether MI5 could have prevented the London attacks
Britain's security services were criticised today for failing to prevent the July 7 attacks on London after it emerged that two of the four suicide bombers had come to the attention of MI5 more than a year earlier.
Newly released court papers, together with a parliamentary committee report last year, revealed how Mohammed Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer - two of the July 7 bombers - first appeared on the security services' radar, reviving debate over the handling of the intelligence.
But for MI5 it was a question of resources. It was working against the backdrop of 30 suspect terrorist networks identified in Britain in 2003. In 2004, this figure had increased to 50.
The fertiliser bomb investigation started in March 2003 and became Britain's biggest ever counter-terrorism operation.
There were tens of thousands of hours of surveillance and the interception of 97 telephone lines. The probe uncovered 55 individuals known to have been associated with the plotters - all people MI5 says it would have liked to have pursued. Of these, 15 were considered "essential" targets on the basis of the evidence against them.
The remaining 40, including those later identified as Khan and Tanweer were "parked up", that is, not treated as urgent cases. MI5 insisted that the two had not been heard discussing terrorist acts in Britain. "Like many, they were talking about jihadi activity in Pakistan and support for the Taliban and about UK foreign policy," said one security official. But MI5 maintained that the intelligence collected on them had not indicated that they posed a terrorist threat.
In July 2004 operations against all 55 of the Crevice plotters' associates were suspended as intelligence warned of a new danger. A joint police /MI5 investigation, codenamed Operation Rhyme, revealed that new plots to cause mass casualties in the UK were being directly funded and controlled by al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
 These involved dedicated and well-trained British terrorists.
This investigation led a series of arrests in August 2004, including that of Dhiren Barot, a Muslim convert sentenced last November for conspiracy to murder in a series of explosions, including a radioactive "dirty bomb."
Security officials suggested that if MI5 had then the new information technology and extra staff they had now, the two July suicide bombers might have been identified earlier. However, they also said that as their resources increased - MI5 staff numbers would have risen from just over 2,000 in 2004 to 3,500 next year - so had the scale of the problem.
Before she stepped down last week, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former head of MI5, said the agency was targeting more than 1,600 individuals actively engaged in promoting attacks here and abroad and that 200 "networks" involved in terrorism were based in Britain.
MI5's message is that there is always a danger that some of these individuals will slip through its net and there is no such thing as complete security.

7/7 Bombings: MI5 accused of gagging justice ...WHITEWASH by the Goverment

Lawyers for the families of those killed in the bombings argue coroner should be allowed to go into detail about murders
7 July bombing
The families of those killed do not want 'a sterile, bare conclusion' to the inquests, their lawyers have said. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian
MI5 has been accused of attempting to gag justice by restricting the verdicts of the inquests into the victims of the 7 July attacks.

The families of those killed in the bombings do not want "a sterile, bare conclusion" to the inquests, their lawyers said, arguing instead that the coroner should be allowed to go into much greater detail about how the 52 victims were murdered.

MI5's legal team argued that by law only "brief, neutral and factual" verdicts can be recorded. But Patrick O'Connor QC, for the relatives, said that the bereaved families would be disappointed and the public "quite astonished if ... we were literally kept to the kind of one, one-and-a-half, two-sentence verdict in the inquisition that is suggested by some.

" He added: "The state of justice is very often depicted blindfolded, but never gagged."

The families are concerned that the coroner could deliver a brief verdict that their loved ones were unlawfully killed but fail to rule on whether the security agencies could have prevented the atrocities or whether the emergency services could have saved more lives.

Traditionally, short-form verdicts like "natural causes" or "unlawful killing" have been recorded at the end of inquests.

 But it is now common in more complicated cases for coroners and juries to opt for a longer "narrative verdict" setting out the circumstances of the death.

O'Connor suggested the 7 July coroner should be able to record a narrative verdict running to dozens of pages. But Neil Garnham QC, for the home secretary and MI5, said such a verdict "would have to be short, in the sense that you could not prepare a detailed factual statement, and it would have to be factual and neutral in the sense that it could not include statements of opinion or judgment."

Lawyers for the bereaved relatives said in written submissions to the inquest: "The families we represent want a meaningful end result – an explanation about what exactly happened to their loved one; what, if anything, went wrong pre-7/7 and on the day; laying to rest unjustified concerns or suspicions; and for any appropriate recommendations to be made by the coroner to ensure that lessons are learned from their loved ones' deaths.

"What they do not want is a sterile, bare conclusion of 'unlawful killing', accompanied by the likely time of death and basic registration details only.

"They want an end result which reflects the evidence over the five months of the hearings, and to the extent possible answers their questions about their loved ones' deaths."

But Neil Garnham QC, for the Home Secretary and MI5, said: "It is, we submit, clear that a narrative verdict is permissible in these inquests.

"But it would have to be short in the sense that you could not prepare a detailed factual statement, and it would have to be factual and neutral in the sense that it could not include statements of opinion or judgment."

The coroner, Lady Justice Hallett, who is sitting without a jury, said she would not make a ruling on her legal powers before hearing the rest of the evidence and further submissions from the lawyers.

The inquest into the attacks, which is sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, began in October and is due to finish next month.

On Monday the coroner will hear evidence from a senior MI5 officer about whether the security agencies could have prevented the attacks.

7/7 Bombings: MI5 cropped image !!

7/7 Inquest London Bombing ' ambulances were held back'

7/7 inquests: ambulances were 'held back'

Only half the ambulances available were sent to help victims of the 7/7 bombings, the inquest into the attacks heard today.

7/7 inquests: ambulance were 'held back'
Photo: PA
London Ambulance Service (LAS) also held back crews stationed near the scenes of the atrocities, meaning the injured had to be treated by paramedics who travelled in from outside the capital, the hearing was told.
There were 201 rostered ambulances available to LAS controllers on July 7 2005, but only 101 were deployed to the sites of the terrorist attacks on three Tube trains and a bus.
Further medical crews from outside London were sent to help the rescue effort and volunteer ambulances also assisted with treating and carrying the wounded to hospital.
The inquest has heard that some paramedics complained they were left to watch the events unfold on TV for more than an hour before being sent to help survivors.
Jason Killens, LAS's deputy director of operations, said some crews were deliberately held back in case there were further attacks.
He said: ''Given the circumstances we were facing, we made a decision not to deploy all available ambulances to the incident scenes and essentially held back in reserve other assets for any future incidents which may occur.

''I believe that was the right decision on the day and if faced with a similar set of circumstances again, it is highly probable that we would hold in reserve assets to respond if further incidents take place.''

Christopher Coltart, barrister for seven families of those killed in the suicide attacks, said LAS's internal debrief process had uncovered problems in deploying available crews to the King's Cross and Aldgate bombings.

''Resources very close to the scenes were not used in circumstances where vehicles were travelling in from well outside London to attend the very same scenes,'' he said.

''This is a theme, is it not, that appears time and again in relation to each of the bomb sites - that available local ambulance crews are not being deployed to the scene of the incident.''
Mr Killens replied: ''It's recognised that there were ambulance crews in the immediate vicinity of the scenes that were not deployed.

''As I say, 999 calls were still going on and it would not be appropriate to deploy every single resource in the immediate vicinity of those incidents to them.

''That said, I do accept that there were delays in activating available resources to the scenes.''
Mr Coltart also highlighted LAS controllers' problems in establishing which crews were free to be sent to the bomb sites.

''You could not get a handle on who was available to be deployed and who was not,'' he suggested.

Mr Killens answered: ''It's right to say that there