Tunisia terror attack inquest begins

Victims’ families may take legal action against Tui
An inquest into the deaths of 30 Tui clients killed in last year’s terrorist attack in Tunisia has opened in London, its outcome critical if victims’ families decide to take legal action against the operator.
The hearing is expected to last seven weeks. The coroner, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith, will sit without a jury and listen to evidence from witnesses including the operator, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the RIU Imperial Marhaba Hotel in Sousse where the attack took place.
He will hear an account of how each guest died, what security was in place, details of the terrorist’s background and preparations, what happened on the day, forensic evidence and the response from the emergency services.
Travel advice offered by the Foreign Office and what travel companies knew about the risk of an attack will also be scrutinised.
The law firm Irwin Mitchell is representing 20 of the 30 victims’ families plus many others who were injured and who have suffered trauma since the attack by the lone gunman.
In all, 49 people are listed by the court as being affected by the attack. Another eight people from Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Russia and Portugal were killed.
Irwin Mitchell barrister Andrew Ritchie, QC: “These inquests will seek to answer important questions for the families, in particular: how their loved ones came to be exposed to terrorism at the five-star hotel; whether Tui communicated Foreign & Commonwealth Office terrorism warnings to their customers before or after bookings; the security arrangements (if any) in place at the Imperial Hotel and whether the holiday insurance sold by Tui to customers covered terrorism.”
The families want to see a better warning system in place to prevent future deaths and to enable holidaymakers to make “better-informed decisions when purchasing holidays abroad”, he added.
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