"Although the plotters plainly designed their plot in a way that would add the fuel of worldwide publicity to their aims, these inquests have at their heart, however, the single fact that there was a conspiracy to murder. Each of these 52 inquests is concerned with an act of murder. We have found no evidence to the contrary. It is also clear from the evidence that is available that the four men who detonated the bombs were Mohammed Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Jermaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain. To reflect the reality of the position and to avoid legal sophistry, I intend to call them "the bombers". [page 13, lines 9-20]
"But again, I must emphasise it is not a proper function of an inquest to attribute blame or apportion guilt, or a proper function of mine to express opinions on impermissible areas. [page 15, lines 2-7]
"Some of the questions may never fully be answered and some may of course also fall outside the scope of these inquests, but what we can say is that a great deal of time, energy and resources has been devoted to finding out what happened to each deceased. Thus it is to be hoped that these inquests, however unpleasant and distressing, as they will be, will assist in answering the families' questions in allaying some of the rumours and suspicion generated by conspiracy theorists." [page 22, lines 8-16]-- Hugo Keith, Counsel to the 7 July Inquests
Followers of J7's work -- which, if this week's activities at the inquests are anything to go by, undoubtedly include the counsel to the inquests -- will know that we recently published our submissions to the inquests. Our apparently "voluminous" submissions, as Hugo Keith described them on Day 1 of the inquests proper, outline many of the outstanding discrepancies, anomalies and inconsistencies of the still unproven 7/7 "narrative". The evidence on which this narrative of 7/7 is said to be based has, prior to the inquests, received absolutely no judicial scrutiny in over five years, although it has repeatedly been taken at face value, including in courts of law, and the contents of the "narrative" being taken at face value has been extended by the counsel to the inquests to the actual inquests themselves.
It is perhaps opportune to note at this stage quite what the definition of a "narrative" is:
1. a story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious.
2. a book, literary work, etc., containing such a story.
3. the art, technique, or process of narrating: Somerset Maugham was a master of narrative.
So, a "narrative" of any sort may, or may not, by its very definition, be true, and is equally as likely to be fictitious. In this particular regard, if no other, the official Home Office report covering the events 7 July 2005 is very clear indeed and openly refers to itself as a "narrative", rather than what many presume or perceive it to be, a factual account of events. As such, the burden of proof lies with the narrative's hitherto anonymous story-tellers to make the case, not with anyone else to prove it to be false, as is commonly argued by the "conspiracy theorists" who champion the conspiracy theory touted by the Home Office.
While the inquests may count, technically, as judicial scrutiny, it is judicial scrutiny that is occurring without the benefit of a jury. This apparent judicial scrutiny is in turn being orchestrated and funded by the State, overtly to appease the concerns of bereaved families who feel they have not yet had the truth regarding the deaths of their loved ones. From the outset, it must be understood that the State cannot in any way find itself to be culpable for anything that would reflect badly upon it, and history is littered with countless examples of the State absolving itself of responsibility, illegality, or immorality in all degrees.
Further, if these concerns aren't by themselves sufficient to sound alarm bells, the Counsel to the Inquests has quite a history of forcefully defending the interests of Queen and State in many instances where these entities have been deemed to be under attack. High profile examples of Keith's work include defending The Queen, no less, at the inquest into the death of Diana; the DPP in the case of a judicial review brought by a member of the family of the mercilessly savaged Jean Charles de Menezes and, more recently, the "merciless savagery" of the Metropolitan Police in relation to the inquest into the murder of the barrister Mark Saunders.
Evidently, Mr Keith has no qualms defending "merciless savagery" when it suits the interests of the highest levels of the State, so one might be prompted to wonder quite why a counsel so wedded to the staunch legal defence of the realm against all-comers might be required for what, superficially at least, is an open inquest into the deaths that occurred on 7 July 2005.
Keith also specialises in extradition and his notable extradition cases include "Abu Hamza, the Natwest 3, David Mills and Silvio Berlusconi in Italian mutual legal assistance proceedings and the Secretary of State in the cases of Ian Norris [PDF] and Gary McKinnon."
The Inquest Process
An intrinsic and vital part of any inquest process is to not prejudge any aspects of the factors leading up to and involved in the cause(s) of death. It would appear, given the contents and areas for further examination listed in the Provisional Index of Factual Issues, that the causes of death have already been pre-judged to be linked in some way to explosions occurring on three underground trains and a bus and, further, that these explosions have been prejudged to have been made to occur by the four accused, Khan, Tanweer, Hussain, and Lindsay. Indeed, over 60 percent of the contents of the Provisional Index of Factual Issues relates to the area of 'Preventability'; that seemingly being the potentiality for the preventability of an attack by four young, British, Muslim men, these specifically being Khan, Tanweer, Hussain and Lindsay. Therefore, the bulk of the Inquest's Provisional Index of Factual Issues is based around a substantial deviation from the core purpose of the inquest process, seemingly in favour of using the brutal and horrific deaths of 56 people, and the inquest to which they are entitled, as a cynical stick with which to beat the police and security services. While there may well have been significant involvement and failings on the parts of the various organisations, and while some of these areas may well be touched upon as evidence is presented and connections are made during the inquest process, having such activities comprising the bulk of provisional inquest investigation before the inquest has even started seems somewhat counter-intuitive to the notion of not having prejudged any aspects relating to the manner in which the deceased came about their deaths.
With these concerns about the narrative and the structural arrangements of the inquest process recognised and stated, in addition to the overwhelming lack of evidence that has been released and the great many concerns outlined by J7 in the five years since 7/7, it appears that the judicious aspect of judicial scrutiny that passes even the media by, falls to the general public.
Thanks to the Internet the 'ordinary' people of the general public no longer need to rely entirely on sneaking the odd letter past lowly editors into low-circulation newspapers, or the efforts of what were once known, and are now sadly lamented, as investigative journalists. Ordinary people have at their fingertips their own means of production and dissemination of information, along with the ability to produce analysis and content at least on a par with, if not far in excess of, that which the media and all its corporate interests foist upon us. This is what J7 have been doing for over five years now, and we have been doing so with sufficient vigour, transparency and credibility that the Counsel to the Inquests feels the need to make repeated, if indirect, references to the research we have conducted and the information we have published.
* "Merciless savagery" is one of Keith's descriptions of the events of 7/7 that springs immediately to the fore, and one which received a great deal of coverage after the first day's proceedings. Without doubt all acts of premeditated murder are acts of "merciless savagery" and this applies equally to the victims of 7/7 as it does to any other murdered human beings. However, when the words are uttered by someone who has repeatedly and steadfastly defended for personal profit the actions and the interests of a Monarchy and State that is itself responsible, in just the last decade alone, for in excess of a million acts of "merciless savagery", orders of magnitude greater in number than those that occurred on 7/7, it could reasonably be argued that Keith's words are bereft of meaning.