7/7 bomber's widow loses legal aid bid

The widow of one of the 7/7 suicide bombers today lost her High Court bid to overturn a decision refusing her legal aid for representation at the upcoming inquest into the deaths of 52 people in the attacks in London in 2005.

Two judges in London dismissed the challenge by Hasina Patel, whose husband was plot mastermind Mohammed Sidique Khan, over the refusal to provide her with funding.

It had been argued on her behalf at a hearing earlier this week that the decision to deny her legal aid was "unfair, irrational and unlawful".

But today Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Silber said the decision by the Lord Chancellor "cannot be described as unreasonable or irrational".



Lord Justice Thomas said the court was told that Ms Patel's position "was that she was interested to understand why her late husband and the other bombers acted as they did" and that what she was seeking "was an opportunity to ask questions of witnesses at the inquest which bore on their knowledge and experience of her husband and others".

The judge said: "Far from providing any information that might assist the wider public interest, she has flatly and unequivocally declined the opportunity to do so.

"Although requested by this court to show how she could help establish why her late husband and the others whom she knew acted to murder fellow citizens, she has provided not an iota of evidence to us which could show how in some way she could bring a wider benefit let alone a significant benefit to the inquests or to the understanding of the victims of the bombing."

He said there was "no basis on which the Lord Chancellor could properly have come to any decision other than the one he had reached".





It emerged in April that ministers had rejected two applications for legal aid by relatives of the bombers after ruling they did not meet the criteria for public funding for their lawyers.



The Government already agreed that legal aid will be offered to the families of the four 7/7 bombers' innocent victims of the attacks.



It was argued on behalf of Ms Patel - who has since remarried - that it had been "inconsistent" not to also grant her funding.



Lord Justice Thomas said the case for the Lord Chancellor was that he was "entitled and indeed obliged" to make the decision he did.



Dismissing her case, the judge said there was "no reason that we can discern why the interests of the claimant, on the basis of the information before us, cannot be fully and properly dealt with by her giving a statement of the background of her late husband and others to the legal team acting for the coroner".



He added: "Indeed as a resident of the United Kingdom it must have been her duty to have supplied all that information by now."



Lord Justice Thomas said: "She has, in short, despite the indulgence shown by the court, refused to provide the information on which the Lord Chancellor could begin to discern any basis on which separate questioning by her legal representatives could assist in establishing why her late husband and his associates set about murdering fellow citizens."



It was obviously a matter of "significant wider public interest to understand why someone such as the claimant's late husband, who was born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, and led his life in the United Kingdom, should have decided to participate in the murder of a large number of innocent people".



Suicide bombers Khan, 30, Hasib Hussain, 18, Shehzad Tanweer, 22, and Jermaine Lindsay, 19, met at Luton station on the morning of July 7 2005.



They took a train to King's Cross in London, then hugged and separated to carry out their deadly missions.



Within three minutes of 8.50am, Tanweer detonated his bomb at Aldgate, Khan set his device off at Edgware Road and Lindsay blew himself up between King's Cross and Russell Square.



Hussain detonated his device on board the number 30 bus at Tavistock Square at 9.47am.



As well as killing themselves and 52 others, the bombers injured more than 700 people.



Families of the victims of the 7/7 bombings later expressed "relief" at the decision.



Clifford Tibber of Anthony Gold solicitors said: "This decision is a huge relief for the families.



"The thought of Ms Patel receiving public funding and the threat of her applying to take part in the inquests has added a new level of unnecessary stress.



"We could never understand what she thought she could add by her presence at the inquests.



"The families can now focus on the inquests starting in October."

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker