Manchester Arena bomber's brother Hashem Abedi to stand trial accused of 22 murders
The younger brother of the Manchester Arena bomber is due to go on trial this week accused of mass murder.
Hashem Abedi, now 22, was allegedly involved in planning the suicide attack on May 22, 2017.
His brother Salman Abedi, 22, detonated an explosive vest as music fans left an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people and injuring 260 more.
Before the attack, the defendant, who was raised in Manchester, left Britain and travelled to Libya.
He was arrested in Tripoli and extradited to the UK in July last year to face 22 charges of murder, one count for each victim.
Five people from the North East were among those who died.
They were; Chloe Rutherford, 17, and boyfriend Liam Curry, 19, from South Shields; Hartlepool born Jane Tweddle, 51; and Philip Tron, 32, and his partner’s daughter Courtney Boyle, 19, from Gateshead.
Hashem Abedi also faces a single count of attempted murder representing all the other victims, and conspiring with his brother to cause explosions.
He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and is due to appear at the Old Bailey for the start of his trial on Monday, January 27.
The case, being heard by Mr Justice Baker, is expected to be opened by prosecutor Duncan Penny QC later in the week.
Loved ones of the victims will be able to hear the evidence in Court Two of London's Central Criminal Court or by special video links.
The case is expected to go on for up to eight weeks, ahead of an inquiry to be held in Manchester.