Inquest planned into British deaths in Algeria attack

28th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

Britain will hold an inquest later this year into the deaths of six Britons and a UK-based Columbian national in the terrorist attack on an Algerian gas plant in January 2013, it was announced Tuesday.

Coroner Penelope Schofield told a hearing that the inquest is set to take place at London's Royal Courts of Justice in September and October.

Carson Bilsland, Kenneth Whiteside, Sebastian John, Stephen Green, Paul Morgan, Garry Barlow and BP executive Carlos Estrada, originally from Columbia but London resident, were among 40 hostages killed in the four-day Islamist attack on the In Amenas plant.

A special forces mission ended the crisis, leaving 29 attackers dead.

Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Jim Stokley told the hearing in Crawley, south England, that statements would need to be collected from witnesses in the United States, France, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.

Witnesses will also be asked to give statements at a memorial service to be held in Houston, Texas, on February 19.

Estrada's relatives say they still do not know the circumstances of his death.

"This inquest is an opportunity to provide the vital answers that Mr Estrada's family, and the families of other victims, desperately need," said Clive Garner, the lawyer representing Estrada's family.

"It is now over a year since Mr Estrada died, and his family still do not know exactly what happened to him and how this tragedy occurred."

A pre-inquest hearing will take place on May 20.


© 2014 AFP

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