Fourth Pre-Inquest Review Into Deaths of British Tourists Killed in Tunisia Terrorist Attack

Lawyers Representing Families Of Those Killed In June 2015 Seek Answers

13.09.2016

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A Pre-Inquest Review has heard how several documents relating to the terrorist attack in Sousse, Tunisia last June in which 30 British citizens were killed may contain information too sensitive to be released to the general public.

However, the families affected are pleased that the Coroner has agreed their legal advisors will be allowed to view copies of security documents held by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and TUI UK Ltd.

The 4th Pre-Inquest Review (PIR) took place at the Royal Courts of Justice today (13 September 2016).

The latest hearing focused on the disclosure of sensitive information with the Government suggesting that some documents about the attack may need to be withheld from the public under the Terrorism Act.

Specialist international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are representing the families of 17 people killed during the attack as well as many of those who were left seriously injured.

The expert legal team at Irwin Mitchell, which also represented victims of the In Amenas terrorist attack in Algeria, say that the families affected should have the right to view any sensitive documents even if they are not released to the public.

The families of the deceased are hoping the inquest process will provide answers as to exactly what happened in the attack, the circumstances leading up to it and whether more could have been done to protect their loved ones.

Expert Opinion
“When dealing with information regarding security measures in relation to the threat of terrorist attack there will clearly be sensitive information that it may not be appropriate to release to the general public.

“Nevertheless, we and our clients welcome the decision of the Coroner to allow the families’ legal representatives to be given copies of relevant documentation. We also hope that in due course the families affected by this attack will themselves be able to access these documents so that they can have l a better understanding about what happened to their loved ones.

“It’s over a year since this terrible tragedy and many of the victims’ families are still in shock about what happened and still trying to come to terms with losing their loved ones.

“It is crucial that when the full Inquests take place next January, they shed light on exactly what happened during the attack and the lead up to it. There are serious concerns about was done in the face of what appears to have been an escalating threat of terrorist activity in Tunisia prior to the events in Sousse.

“Obviously nothing can bring back those who lost their lives in such tragic circumstances, but the families we represent are seeking to have their questions answered and for lessons to be learned to reduce the risk of a similar incident occurring in the future.”
Clive Garner, Partner

On 26 June 2015, a gunman, identified as Seifeddine Rezgui Yacoubi attacked tourists at the Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel and the adjoining Beach at the popular resort of Port El Kantaoui. In total 38 people were killed, with many more suffering gunshot wounds and other serious injuries.

The attack in June came less than two years after a suicide bomber died on Sousse beach and three months after a terrorist attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis resulted in the deaths of 20 foreign tourists.

Clive Garner and the same specialist team of lawyers at Irwin Mitchell also represent the families of BP employees who lost their lives in January 2013 at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria, when 39 foreign nationals were held hostage and then killed following an attack by an Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group.

Lawyers from Irwin Mitchell have also represented victims and the families of those killed in other terrorist attacks including 9/11 (New York), 7/7 (London), the IRA bombing of Manchester city centre, and Pan Am flight 103 (Lockerbie).

The Coroner has now confirmed that the Inquests will commence on16 January 2017.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in representing victims of terrorist attacks.