Families of 7 July victims angered by delays

The family of one of the victims of the 7 July terrorist attacks on London had to wait for almost two weeks before being told that their loved one had been killed in the bombings, a court heard yesterday.

Lawyers for the relatives of the 52 people murdered by suicide bombers told a hearing to decide the format of inquests into the killings that many families had suffered inexplicable delays in being informed of the death of loved ones and have only recently been told the full details of their final moments.

One unidentified family waited for 11 days before being told by police that their relative had died in one of the four attacks on the London transport network. The parents of another victim, Miriam Hyman, 31, were not told she had been murdered on board a bus in Tavistock Square until four days later, despite the fact that she was found with her bag strapped around her containing several forms of identification.

The hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London also heard a call for the inquests, due to be heard in October, to re-examine the role of MI5 in dealing with information it held about the four bombers prior to the attacks. Patrick O'Connor QC, representing four of the bereaved families, said the Security Service had misled Parliament by claiming the bombers were completely unknown to them.