Manchester attacker’s brother and Parsons Green bomber refuse to cooperate with court hearing over attack on prison guard

Ahmed Hassan tells judge he is an ‘evil man’ as Hashem Abedi refuses to attend hearing

The Manchester attacker’s brother and Parsons Green bomber have refused to cooperate with a court hearing over an alleged attack on a prison officer.

Hashem Abedi, the 24-year-old brother of arena bomber Salman Abedi, did not attend Woolwich Crown Court or join proceedings by a video link.

The hearing was told that he “refused to attend” and had no legal representation.

His co-defendant Ahmed Hassan, who attempted to bomb a London Underground train in 2017, appeared on a video-link from HMP Frankland but refused to answer questions.

The 21-year-old, who also had no legal representation, appeared to be reciting something under his breath at points during the hearing.

Judge Michael Evans QC checked the link was working and said: “It is quite clear that Mr Hassan is refusing to engage”.

He asked the defendant if there was anything he wanted to say or ask, and Hassan replied: “I hate you very much, you evil man.”

The court heard that Hassan had also refused to receive documents relating to the case in prison.

Saeed, who was appearing by video link, from HMP Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire, attempted to talk to Hassan during the hearing but did not enter a plea.

His defence barrister, Farrhat Arshad, said he indicated that he would plead not guilty.

The trio are accused of attacking a prison officer at the high-security Belmarsh prison in London, alongside co-defendant Muhammed Saeed.

They have been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Paul Edwards, on 11 May 2020.

Judge Evans said Abedi, Hassan and Saeed would next be summoned to court to enter pleas on 12 July. A trial, expected to last two weeks, has been scheduled for 6 December.

Abedi previously refused to attend the final weeks of his trial for helping his brother Salman prepare for the Manchester Arena bombing.

He was convicted of the murder of the 22 victims for his role and sentenced to life in prison last year.

Hassan was also jailed for life in 2018, after injuring 51 people when his homemade bomb partially exploded on a London Underground train in Parsons Green.

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