Birmingham bombing families await decision on reopening investigation

Birmingham bombing families await decision on reopening investigation
Photo Credit: Kate Mayger

Today is the start of a three-day public hearing in which the coroner in Birmingham will hear arguments as to whether the 1974 pub bombings case should be reopened

Twenty-one people were killed and 182 injured when the suspected IRA bombs exploded in two city centre pubs on November 21 1974.

Six men, the Birmingham Six, wrongly convicted of the murders were imprisoned for 16 years before their release in 1991 after their convictions were overturned by the Court of Appeal.

The original inquest was closed without hearing evidence in 1975 in response to the guilty verdicts.

After the release of the six wrongfully imprisoned men, West Midlands Police began investigating the case again but after three years decided there was not enough evidence to lead to a prosecution.

The Justice4the21 campaign, which represents the victims’ families, has pressed the Birmingham and Solihull coroner, Louise Hunt, to resume hearing the original inquest.

She will today, tomorrow and Friday hear arguments from lawyers representing the families and the West Midlands Police.

A decision on reopening the inquest will be made on 24 February and should it be reopened, the inquest may be able to call witnesses.

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