7/7 inquest to hear evidence from 240 witness

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The Independent Online

The mountain of evidence due to be considered at the July 7 inquests continues

Coroner Lady Justice Hallett will hear evidence from 240 witness due to attend the Royal Courts of Justice, in central London.

Hundreds more personal testimonies will be admitted to the inquest in the form of written statements.

At the centre of the five-month inquiry is the largest investigation database created by the Metropolitan Police.

The computer-based Home Office Large Major Enquiry System, known as Holmes, contains more than 40,000 exhibits.

It includes witness statements, forensic reports, post-mortem accounts, mobile phone analysis and confessions by the bombers.

The inquest heard a schedule simply listing all of the evidence runs to more than 2,000 pages.

Police seized more than 20,000 CCTV tapes and over 1,600 hard drives during their inquiry.

The evidence includes items as diverse as till receipts, train logs and handwritten notes created by the bombers.

Hugo Keith QC, for the inquest, said: "The evidence is still coming in and every day we receive significant quantities of new material.

"The evidence we have in court may shed a different light on what we know and differ substantially from views I have expressed."

More than 7,000 exhibits were subjected to forensic analysis, including tests for DNA, fingerprinting and the presence of explosive materials and other chemicals.

Police recovered 200 suspicious items, including bomb-making equipment, in only the first sweep of the bomb factory at 80 Alexandra Grove.

The labels from 34 milk pans were discovered, indicating they had been used in boiling down the volatile hydrogen peroxide but were destroyed in the process.

Some 200 homes, vehicles and other sites were searched.

The inquest will also hear evidence from a computer-generated analysis of all injuries caused by each of the four blasts, known as "body mapping".

This is based on post-mortem examinations of the injuries suffered by every victim, coupled with information about where they were found in relation to the bomb.

Mr Keith said this may suggest whether some of those killed could have been saved if paramedics and other emergency service personnel were able to gain access more quickly.