Inquests into 7/7 deaths announced

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The Independent Online

Inquests into the deaths of 52 people in the July 7 bombings are likely to begin next year, nearly five years after the terror attacks on London in 2005.

Lady Justice Hallett, a Court of Appeal judge, has been appointed to conduct the inquests.

A pre-inquest hearing will be held early next year to take submissions from family members and other interested parties on the scope of the inquests. The inquests were opened immediately after the suicide attacks on three London Underground trains and a bus, but adjourned until the end of criminal cases linked to the bombings.

Victims' families have complained about delays in holding the inquests and raised fears about the possibility of secret hearings. Powers which became law earlier this month allow the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, to order secret judicial inquiries in place of inquests.

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