Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The notable absence of Hasib Hussain

Until last week Richard Jones was arguably the most famous witness to the presence of a man who wasn't Hasib Hussain on the No.30 bus in Tavistock Square. However, the past fortnight of the Inquests has elicited several more sightings which are worthy of further analysis.

As J7 mentioned in our submissions to the inquest, two people; Aneta Dybek-Echtermeyer (previously referred to by the media, and consequently J7, as 'Anita Dybek') and Lisa French both claimed to have seen Hussain in London on July 7th 2005, when giving evidence at the first '7/7 helpers trial', on the No.91 and No.30 buses respectively.

In the opening week of the Tavistock Square evidence at the 7/7 Inquests, Aneta Dybek-Echtermeyer was questioned by Hugo Keith QC regarding the man she saw on the No.91 bus:

A. Yes, in particular I remember this Asian-looking, tall guy with the big backpack, which was then found as this bomber.
Q. Can I ask you, please, what was it about him, if anything, that made you notice him? Presumably the bus was quite crowded.
A. Yes, exactly. We boarded the bus and he stands at the entrance of the first pole with his big backpack, and he didn't let people in, really, and then he started moving
sides, nervously, with his backpack and this bad manner really made me look at him.
Q. Was it obvious to you that, because he was moving around with his big rucksack, that other people around him were being inconvenienced and were also aware of him?
A. Yes. Well, I don't think he was aware of that. People were already passed on the bus and, you know, someone punching them all the time with the backpack, that was really bad manner. Everyone was in a hurry to work or whatever, and we're already inconvenienced because we couldn't take a Tube and so on. Everyone was nervous.
Q. Can you recall anything about the clothes that he was wearing?
A. Well, he was wearing jeans and I think it was a blue, light T-shirt, definitely light in colour, and then he had a jumper with a zip and a hood, a dark colour, dark blue.
Q. So he had a shirt, a T-shirt and, over the top of that, there was a jacket of some kind with a zip and a hood?
A. Yes.
Q. Do you recall whether he was wearing glasses of any kind?
A. Yes, he did have the glasses, like small -- like, looking a bit like techno kind of style, reflecting glasses as well, black reflecting glasses.
Q. You've referred to the rucksack as being quite big.
A. It was big and heavy -- sorry?
Q. Please continue, yes.
A. Yes, it looked very heavy and very properly packed, like full. I think around 60 litres, and, like, he -- and it had to be heavy, because he had a strap on, so that -- to carry the whole thing. Also, he, himself, looked very exhausted and he had sweating going on his chin, and that was also horrible to look at.
Q. In your statement that you gave to the police very kindly after 7 July, you actually recorded how you could see sweat dripping down his face.
A. Yes.
Q. Was there anything about him that made you think that he was nervous or agitated or was it just, as it seemed to you, the physical exertion of carrying this rucksack?
A. I think -- well, the first thing was that he was coming out of the -- some afterparty or something, because of the sweating and his dry lips and this -- it was white flakes on the lips. Then, because of the rucksack, I thought, "Well, he wouldn't go to the party with the proper backpack", you know. He looked very exhausted to me, like nervous and exhausted.

Another passenger on the No.91 bus, Paul Rekret, also remembers seeing a man fitting the description of Hussain and gave a very similar account:

Q. What was it about him that made you first notice him amongst all the other many passengers who were on the bus?
A. Well, the bus was quite crowded and the man in question was -- well, first of all, taller than most people, he was almost right beside me, and had a very large or very full sort of quite new backpack, or rucksack, with which, as he was sort of turning and looking about, was bumping an elderly -- a small, elderly woman stood beside me.
Q. How did you know or think that it might have been a new rucksack?
A. It was quite -- I mean, I remember it being quite sort of -- well, relatively new, let's say in the last few years, not a sort of old, tarnished rucksack, but quite new sort of camping gear that you would find in a ...
Q. Quite pristine. When you say it was full or large, was that because of the length of the rucksack in terms of the distance from the top to the bottom or because it was sticking out from the man's back and had been filled fully?
A. Both.
Q. Both?
A. Yes.
Q. Did it appear, because of the rucksack, that other passengers on the bus were aware of him and perhaps inconvenienced by him?
A. Certainly. I mean, the main reason he stayed in my memory, as it were, is because someone actually tapped him on the shoulder, a woman, who I described in my statement as having -- a woman in her 20s, I think, with dark hair, who tapped him on the shoulder and actually politely asked him to be careful because he was hitting this elderly woman as well as, perhaps, other passengers -- I can't recall -- with his rucksack, and he simply didn't react at all.
Q. Was there anything about his demeanour, his appearance that was unusual? I mean, were you surprised that there was no response at all from him? Did he look nervous or agitated in any way?
A. Yes, I mean, at the time, I simply -- I thought he was a lost and anxious tourist, and perhaps a foreigner, but I certainly remember noting that he was behaving very
oddly, otherwise I wouldn't have remembered him.
Q. Indeed. Is there anything more about his description that you can help us with in terms of his complexion or accessories? Was he wearing glasses?
A. I mean, trying to recall it now is difficult, but at the time and, again, looking back at the witness statement, he did have sunglasses. I noted that I couldn't recall whether he was wearing the sunglasses or whether they were on his head. He had a dark complexion. He had gel in his hair and, as well as the sort of backpack thing I describe, he had a similar sort of jacket in a similar style, a kind of camping jacket that one would wear, outdoor kind of Gore-Tex or something like that.
Source: Transcripts 12th January 2011 pm page 2 line 3 on
Along with their corresponding descriptions, both Aneta Dybek-Echtermeyer and Paul Rekret note the nervous disposition of the man they saw on the No.91 bus - which although possibly significant under other circumstances, pales a little when noting Aneta Dybek-Echtermeyer's observation above, "Everyone was in a hurry to work or whatever, and we're already inconvenienced because we couldn't take a Tube and so on. Everyone was nervous".

It has never been stated, nor shown, that any CCTV of Hasib Hussain exists on the No.91 bus, which would of course, have been useful to see. However, on the basis of these accounts, it isn't without the bounds of reason to conclude that Hasib Hussain may well have boarded that bus, in spite of Aneta Dybek-Echtermeyer's adding of an extra garment to Hussain's top half that is not evident on any CCTV footage of him that morning.

His presence in London that morning seems in little doubt; there is plenty of CCTV footage of him around the King's Cross area. What is far less certain is whether he boarded the No.30, -the bus he is, of course, accused of bombing. There is, as we know, no CCTV of the bus and any CCTV of the bus stand at Euston has not been made public. Further, the testimony of several No.30 bus passengers is not a fraction as clear cut as it first may appear when examined more closely.

The evidence of Lisa French is particularly interesting, since - as J7 noted in our Submission to the Inquest - Ms. French appeared to have made a giant leap from a previous sighting simply of a man with a rucksack who passed her as she boarded the No.30 bus to a positive identification of Hasib Hussain when she gave evidence in 2008. Ms. French appears less certain of the man's identity when testifying to the Inquests. Moreover, she describes a man displaying none of the "bad manner" noted by Aneta Dybek-Echtermeyer of the No.91 bus passenger:
Q. Whilst you were speaking to the driver, do you recall somebody pushing past you behind you to get on to the bus?
A. As I was boarding the bus and just about to get on the doors, I was aware that not only were there people boarding the bus sort of from the bus stop but there were also a few people walking up the road of the station sort of from where we would exit the station towards the bus, and I think they were the people who then boarded the bus after me but entered the bus before me because I was stood talking to the driver. And the first couple of people sort of -- I had my laptop case in my right hand sort of towards the space where people would pass, and a couple of them knocked my bag or knocked my shoulder. But then the person with the big -- the man with the big backpack, he actually took his backpack off his shoulder and held it like I was holding my laptop to squeeze past, and that's the reason I really noticed him because I can remember thinking, "Oh, there's one polite person left boarding this bus today".

Lisa goes on, after prompting from Hugo Keith QC, to describe in more detail the bag carried by the man. Note how Mr. Keith continues to place the bag on the man's back, despite Lisa French repeatedly saying the man was carrying it on one shoulder:

Q. I ask -- and the fault may not be yours at all; it may just be the way in which your statement was taken -- but your statement said you caught a glimpse of the bag on his back?
A. At the top of the stairs he put it back on his shoulder again.
Q. Did you see him do that?
A. I think sort of as I turned the top corner of the stairs and climbed the last two or three stairs, he was at the top -- then on the middle of the bus, up the stairs, just putting it back on one shoulder of his back.
Q. Can you help us with your impression -- and I appreciate it's a very long time ago -- of the rucksack and whether or not it appeared to you to be very bulky, very heavy, very large, did it stick out a lot? Was it long in terms of the distance from the neck to the bottom of the bag?
A. It was quite large, but at the time I thought it was probably a laptop rucksack, and I do have a little bit of a habit of checking out people's laptop bags carrying one myself. So at the time I thought it was just a big laptop rucksack that you could get plenty of other bits and pieces in, really. But it was quite large, sort of square, so I think that's why I thought it was a laptop bag rather than a camping rucksack because it was still quite square for being a rucksack.

Lisa French remembers the man who passed her, preceding her up the stairs to the top deck, then walking towards the "very back row" of the bus. Indeed, analogous accounts have been given by two other No.30 passengers; Gary O'Monaghan also remembers seeing a man he believes to be Hasib Hussain "walking past me on the bus towards the rear of the bus". Mia Scott-Bradshaw (previously referred to by the media, and consequently by J7, as Camille Scott) recalls a man with "darker skin" seated at the rear of the No.30. In short, a man looking similar to Hasib Hussain, in the location that Hasib Hussain was alleged to be. So far, so 'alleged bomber in his alleged location'.

However, one glaring factor which has been inexplicably glossed over by the Inquests is the presence of a passenger on the No.30 bus who was similar to Hussain in skin colour, who was wearing similar clothing, carrying a large bag and was sitting at the rear of the top deck.

The statement of Prevshan Vijendran, a man of Sri Lankan origin who was unwilling to give evidence in person due to continuing trauma, was read on the afternoon of January 17th. Mr. Vijendran included a description of his appearance on the morning of July 7th 2005:
On this particular day, I was wearing a light-blue, short-sleeved shirt, short, blue denim jacket, black trousers, black shoes and black socks. I was carrying a navy blue and black shoulder bag.
Mr. Vijendran places himself at the very rear of the bus, in seat 60, as indeed does the Inquest evidence:
In light of Mr. Vijendran's position on the bus, let us consider in more detail the testimony given by Lisa French, Gary O'Monaghan and Mia Scott-Bradshaw. We have already seen that Lisa French's description of the man who passed her on the No.30 bus is firstly in stark contrast to those given by No. 91 passengers Aneta Dybek-Echtermeyer and Paul Rekret, both in terms of the actions and temperament of the man and also the bag he was carrying.

As well as describing the rucksack thus, "it looked very heavy and very properly packed, like full. I think around 60 litres", Aneta Dybek-Echtermeyer additionally noted a short while later, in response to a question by Gareth Patterson for Lovells LLP, that the rucksack was, in fact, so heavy that the man needed the waist strap fastened to support the weight of it. Paul Rekret, too, observed above that the man was carrying "a very large or very full sort of quite new backpack, or rucksack".

Yet Lisa French characterised the bag she saw as "a laptop bag rather than a camping rucksack because it was still quite square for being a rucksack." and as we also see above, stated that the bag was being carried "on one shoulder". However, this bag is not at any point compared to the "shoulder bag" Prevshan Vijendran, who boarded the No.30 bus at the same stop as Ms. French, says he was carrying.

Taxi Driver Scott Kelman's read statement describes Prevshan as a young man, which further confuses the identification with Hussain who was just 18 at the time:
"Someone asked me to go over to a male who needed help. I went over to a guy who looked Asian or Iraqi. He was about 22 years' old and looked about 5' 10" but he was lying down. He told me his name was Prav

Furthermore, the physical descriptions given by the other No.30 passengers correspond less with the CCTV we have seen of Hasib Hussain and more with the personal testimony of Prevshan Vijendran. Gary O'Monaghan stated:
Additionally, in relation to the bomber, Hasib Hussain, I remember, having been discharged from hospital, I saw TV pictures of Hasib Hussain which now lead me to believe that I saw this man on the bus.......
I would describe him as an Asian male of Indian or Pakistani origin, aged in his 20s, reasonably tall and of an athletic build. He had swept-back, dark hair which appeared to be gelled. I think he was cleanshaven, possibly with designer stubble, although I cannot be sure. I think he was wearing a short, dark, bomber-style jacket and a dark, possibly striped, shirt.
The male looked quite smart as if he cared about his appearance. I think this male was carrying what I recall is a shoulder bag on one of his shoulders, but I cannot recall which shoulder. I would describe the
bag as a normal commuter-sized shoulder bag and I cannot recall the colour.

Mia Scott-Bradshaw's testimony:
Q. Just staying looking at the plan, we see sitting not quite opposite you on the back seat, but facing up the aisle, there's someone there numbered number 60. Do you see that?
A. Yes.
Q. You refer in your witness statement to an Indian gentleman and I think you describe him as sitting in that position.
A. Yes, I wasn't sure if he was Indian, I just remember he had darker skin.
Q. Can you tell us what you remember about him now?
A. I remember he was dressed in -- I think it was a blue -- a dark-blue, canvas jacket and he was looking out the window like myself. I don't know what else you want to know. I don't know what else to say.
Q. Let me ask you this: you say a blue, canvas jacket, do you mean a blazer-type jacket or do you mean a coat-type jacket?
A. A coat-type jacket, yes.
Q. You say in your witness statement that he had matching blue trousers.
A. Yes, I think it was a canvas material, I think.
Q. Can you remember whether he was carrying a bag of any sort?
A. I think he had -- I think he did have a bag, I think he had a rucksack, I think. I'm sorry, I can't ...
Q. Do you remember -- tell us as soon as you can't help us any further, Ms Scott, but can you remember, if you do have a memory of a rucksack, whether it was a small --
a sort of handheld-type rucksack or a very large, camping rucksack?
A. No, it was a -- in my mind, I've got a small one, small.
Q. If this person had had one of those large, camping rucksacks, sort of almost as high as one's waist when placed on the ground, is that the sort of thing that you would have remembered, given how close he was sitting to you?
A. Yes.
Q. You're quite sure he didn't have a rucksack of that nature?
A. No, he didn't have anything that big, no.

Aneta Dybek-Echtermeyer described 'Hussain's' rucksack as a 'dark blue/grey colour'

Someone less eager to believe that any male of Asian appearance carrying a bag at the rear of the top deck of the No.30 bus was probably Hasib Hussain in order to fit in with an existing narrative, may well express astonishment at these descriptions being used as a method by which to demonstrate the presence of Hasib Hussain. Mia Scott-Bradshaw even places the man she saw in the very seat in which Prevshan Vijendran was sitting - two rows back from the aisle seat 53 in which Hasib Hussain has been placed in the graphic above - and further questioning by Gareth Patterson establishes that the man in question was nothing like the height and size of Hasib Hussain, and that in addition, she remembers seeing neither Hasib Hussain nor anybody else in seat 53. Yet, incredibly, it is not at any point put to her, or concluded as one might reasonably expect, that Mr. Vijendran was far more likely than not to have been the man she remembers seeing.

Did Lisa French, Gary O'Monaghan and Mia Scott-Bradshaw see Hasib Hussain or Prevshan Vijendran? Did Prevshan Vijendran, who would have been ideally placed to do so, either pass Hasib Hussain in seat 53 as he made his way to the very back of the bus or see Hasib Hussain walking down the centre aisle directly towards him and take seat 53? Does he remember passing Lisa French as she spoke to the bus driver?

The only other involved person, Scott Kelman, the driver of the passing taxi, who had personal contact with Mr. Vijendran, and could recognise him, also declined to appear at the Inquests in person. Given that Mr. Vijendran's statement will not be scrutinised by the Inquest counsel, it is doubtful that we shall ever know for sure.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Corporate Spookdom, 'plausible deniability' at the 7/7 Inquests

"The very grave danger is really as follows, entirely contrary to the interests of justice, that, as soon as any real probing questions are asked of this witness about what happened when -- which is not actually apparent and spelt out on the documents -- he or she will simply say that the witness does not know."

Patrick O'Connor, QC - 7/7 Inquests 21/01/2011
An order for anonymity was granted to 'Witness G' by Lady Justice Hallet on 21st January 2011. He or she (although probably a 'she' judging by Hugo Keith's opening statement when he made reference to a 'she' page 1: 17 ) will not be named and will be screened from the press and public.

'Witness G' will be appearing for the Security Service, MI5, as a 'corporate witness' to give evidence around the issue of 'Preventability', the issue that so vexes the bereaved families and survivors. J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign's questions and issues around 'Preventability' are included in this detailed submission placed before the 7/7 Inquests back in July 2010.

Mr Hall, counsel for the Security Services, described 'Witness G' and his/her exceptional requirement for anonymity and screening - that would bar even the families from seeing this witness - in the following terms:
... a senior member of the Security Service with approximately 20 years' service. As a member of the Security Service, he represents an organisation which is uniquely identified with countering the terrorist threat, and he is therefore, as are all members of the Security Service, subject to particular threat personally and, as a senior member, may be an attractive target to a terrorist organisation, if identified.

None of the bereaved families nor the press had objected to anonymity for 'Witness G', what the families did object to was the need to screen him/her from them. Mr Hall conjured up the following bizarre scenarios to make his case for the need for 'Witness G' to be hidden from them:
Can I give you two examples? Firstly, a properly interested person recognises Witness G on a train, for example. They are both travelling on the same train together, and either advertently, or -- and this is a particular risk which, with respect, your Ladyship hasn't considered -- inadvertently, gives away who he is. Another person who regularly travels on the same train as Witness G and is of either hostile intent or has hostile intentions, overhears.

The second possibility is, if Witness G is deployed in a covert role against security-hardened and hostile targets. Again, a properly interested person, advertently, or inadvertently, gives away either who Witness G is, or that they recognise Witness G, and that allows the target to become aware either that Witness G is a member of the Security Service, or that he is not the person he is covertly deployed as. [ibid p12:4]
The brilliant Patrick O'Connor QC. representing many of the bereaved families, tore Mr Hall's arguments to shreds:
"Now, what we know about Witness G from his or her -- I must say for a long time I was saying "him", but we don't know -- Witness G's statement about his or her experience is as follows, and this is highly relevant to the assessment of risk: that he or she has been a member of the Security Service since 1991. Most significantly, for these purposes, since late 2005 -- so for the last five years -- has been the Chief of Staff for the Director General, giving policy advice, and being involved with the management of important strategic plans of important strategic significance. Now, not an unreasonable inference that Witness G has plainly been in Thames House for the vast majority or his or her time over the last five years and, since late 2000 -- so we are now covering back ten years -- between late 2000 and early 2004, certainly was a manager in the section dealing with international terrorism, though significantly not Islamist terrorism, and international terrorism, by the way, excludes Northern Ireland.

Now, we respectfully submit, therefore, that the possibility, which has been ventilated, of this witness being deployed in a covert role on the Falls Road or in the bandit country of south Armagh is, frankly, unrealistic. This is a witness who has moved beyond direct operational involvement where he may be recognised by targets or those hostile to him, whilst engaged in his or her work. Now, it may be there is more and contrary information in the closed material placed before you, but we submit that, on what we know, it really doesn't reflect very well on the reality of the submissions made in support of this application that possibilities should be conjured up which are as unreal as that.

Now, that's the position of Witness G and, my Lady, two further aspects of his or her personal situation. Again, the possibility that the witness may be recognised whilst commuting has been raised. I do not know if you have any material before you to show that actually Witness G does commute by public transport. This is the failure to engage with the individual facts of the case. Does he or doesn't he? Frankly, if he commutes by bicycle, or if he commutes by car -- we will put aside chauffeur-driven car -- it's not right that these possibilities should be placed before you in theory, when actually they are contradicted by the facts."

It would be fair to assume that the State has much to fear from Patrick O'Connor QC, judging by his very distinguished legal career which includes acting on behalf of the accused in many leading 'miscarriage of justice' appeals:
  • the 'Guildford Four', for Gerry Conlon and his father, Giuseppe
  • the 'Birmingham Six'
  • the 'Carl Bridgewater' case, for Jimmy Robinson
  • the 'M 25' appeal, for Raphael Rowe
  • Andrew Evans, released after 25 years in prison for murder:
  • Robert Maynard in the 'headless torso' case from the 1970s.
In several Privy Council death penalty appeals O'Connor has acted on a pro bono basis: Stanley Abbott, in 1976, authority on duress in murder, and 'Farrington', 1996, and 'Higgs', 1999.

He has acted for the defence in many high profile political and 'terrorist' criminal trials, including the 'Bradford 12', the Orgreave miners, the Harrods bombing and in 2003, the 'Real IRA' BBC and Ealing bombings: and the first major Islamic terrorism trial, 'Operation Crevice'.

He has defended in many murder trials, and prosecuted a high profile corporate manslaughter case. He acted for the DPP in the prosecution against BNP leaders for 'incitement to racial hatred' arising out of an undercover BBC operation.

For 20 years, he has pursued actions against the police, including:
  • record damages in Rupert Taylor v CMP, 1988
  • the first damages award for police 'torture', Treadaway v CC West Midlands, 1994
  • the 2004, appeal Paul v CC Humberside, on the trial role of judge and jury
  • the 2009 appeal Clifford v CC Herts Police, overturning the findings of fact of the Trial Judge.
The machinations of the Security Services and the Home Secretary Teresa May in delaying the release of documents, attempting to have all the 'Preventability' issues heard behind closed doors, and now putting forward what is essentially a completely useless corporate witness to face, but probably not answer, the questions to which the bereaved families, survivors and the general public want answers, are certainly not lost on Patrick O'Connor QC.

In the closing minutes of Friday's open hearing, after some time-wasting by Hugo Keith (whose own legal career in representing the interests of State, wealth and power is in direct contrast to O'Connor's), O'Connor made this strong argument against 'Witness G' being called as the lone 'corporate' witness for the Security Services:
"My Lady, on the question of adequacy of Witness G, I can literally do, in two or three minutes, what our thoughts are at the moment. There is, of course, no objection to Witness G being called at all. He is a well-positioned witness to talk about systems and resources.

However, he has absolutely no history of -- absolutely no involvement in any of these investigations by way of operational involvement or supervision. Secondly, he has, it seems, a complete absence of any involvement in any kind of Islamic terrorism investigations. Again, operationally or in a supervisory capacity. That is a very striking contrast, if we may say so, with the witnesses put forward by the Metropolitan Police Service -- Mr Prunty and Mr Clark -- who could not be better positioned to talk about the relevant issues, as well as Mr Parkinson from West Yorkshire Police. Slightly different, but similarly, very well qualified. We simply are puzzled by the fact that, for instance, an obvious witness would be the actual supervising manager of the desk officers concerned in 2003 to 2005, of these particular investigations, who had hands-on experience, and can actually answer real questions beyond the documents. That supervising manager will have been responsible for all the responses to the Intelligence and Security Committee. No question. So he or she will already have been deeply and profoundly involved in an accountability exercise which happened twice and lasted over some considerable time." [p77:20]
State lackey Hugo Keith, counsel to the Inquests, had previously made it clear that this wouldn't meet with his paymasters' approval:
"I'm bound to say that we have quite substantial objections to any application to my Lady that the Security Service be directed to put up another witness, for all sorts of obvious reasons." [p76:14]
The 'obvious reasons' alluded to but not defined by Keith remain a mystery. Meanwhile, the reasons given by O'Connor for the need for a witness that actually had oversight or ran the 'intelligence' officers in this case, and who might actually be able to answer the questions posed, are plain and obvious to all who want the truth; to whatever extent the 7/7 Inquests are capable of delivering any truth.

If Lady Justice Hallet truly wants these Inquests to meet the needs of the bereaved families that O'Connor represents, and if she intends to delve beneath the surface veneer of any MI5 and intelligence 'narrative' then we hope she will heed the wise words of Patrick O'Connor:
"... we specifically raised the fear that it would be a chosen witness who actually had no experience of the relevant times and the relevant operation. We feared that because that is something that's happened in other cases involving MI5.

This has to have been a deliberate choice, and I dare say that the relevant witnesses are in Thames House now. They may be in a different role. They may be promoted, but they are there. They have already gone through a number of accountability exercises, and they would be the critical witnesses, we submit. So we express grave reservations about the choice that has been made by the Security Service."

Patrick O'Connor QC - 7/7 Inquests 21/01/2011

Monday, 17 January 2011

Something is happening here & you don't know what it is, do you, Mr Jones?

Richard Jones gave testimony under oath to the 7/7 Inquests on the afternoon of 12th January 2011. As J7 had previously noted, here, it was Mr Jones' many media appearances and accounts which helped propagate the 'suicide bomber' meme with regard to the Number 30 bus in Tavistock Square.

Mr Jones acknowledged during his testimony that he hadn't actually seen the man later identified as Hasib Hussain on this bus, as Hugo Keith was at pains to point out:
A. I mean, at no stage have I ever said that I actually saw the bomber. Right?
Q. No.
A. All I've ever, ever said was that somebody was acting unusually and annoying me on the bus.
Q. But I hope we've established, Mr Jones, that there appears to be no connection with the bomber and nor that that particular gentleman was doing anything other than acting as an ordinary member of the public, a passenger on the bus?
A. Correct.
Q. But your statement, I'm afraid, has been open to conjecture and surmise in the way of these things in the public domain.
A. Yes, I know.

"All I've ever, ever said was that somebody was acting unusually and annoying me on the bus", claims Mr Jones. The fact he said this on so many news channels and in the press when interviewed on the day and afterwards, was a point that Richard Jones and Mr Keith both chose to ignore; an oddity perhaps, given that Jones' various 'eye-witness' accounts were so widely publicised in the days after 7/7. In fact, during his many media appearances Mr Jones never once contradicted the suggestions that he did in fact see 'the suspect'.

Instead, the claim is made by Hugo Keith that Jones' many statements have 'been open to conjecture and surmise in the way of these things in the public domain'. This statement is interesting as the claim can be laid squarely, and solely, with the Government and the Home Office's Official Account of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, (the 'narrative'), a report whose anonymous author(s) state, 'summarises what the police, intelligence and security agencies have so far discovered about the bombers' and of which the then PM Tony Blair claimed: "We will bring together all the evidence that we have and we will publish it so that people, the victims and others, can see exactly what happened".

Of the 7 points made in the official narrative as "the key evidence indicating that these were co-ordinated suicide attacks by these 4 men", point 5 is:
Witness accounts suggest 2 of the men were fiddling in their rucksacks shortly before the explosions.
If the anonymous author(s) compiling the State's narrative actually had sight of the police and intelligence service evidence, rather than just media reports, how could they possibly have come to this conclusion? Is point 5 of only 7 points of key evidence merely 'conjecture and surmise'?

As for Richard Jones' diagram of the passengers on the lower deck of the Number 30 bus which he drew for the police on 9th July 2005, it is clear that he only had eyes for the 'Asian passengers' present. Apart from Male A the two other passengers he appears to have noticed, or at least the only two passengers he seems to have highlighted for the police, are both Asian females. What are we to learn from this about the racial prejudices and proclivities of Reuters' employee Richard Jones?

As J7 asked in our submission to the 7/7 Inquests - has the man who Mr Jones' describes as 'Male A' ever been identified? There appears to be no male of Mediterranean appearance, and fitting the descriptions given by Richard Jones in his interviews, in this diagram of passengers on the Number 30 bus prepared for the 7/7 Inquests:

What else in the State's official narrative - amended twice since its publication - is also based on such shoddy and unsubstantiated evidence as that given by Richard Jones? How much of the remainder of the narrative is actually based on 'conjecture and surmise in the way of these things in the public domain'?

Monday, 10 January 2011

Tavistock Square and No. 30 Bus witnesses come forth

Mr Richard Jones was a passenger on the Number 30 on the morning of July 7th 2005. His accounts of leaving this bus seconds before the explosion occurred, after it was diverted from it's usual route towards Tavistock Square, were widely disseminated via the media. Jones' claims to have seen a man delving into a bag on the lower deck of the bus helped insinuate the first notions that a 'suicide-bomber' may have been responsible for causing the 30 bus explosion.

On Wednesday 12 January, Mr Richard Jones will be called to give testimony under oath to the 7/7 Inquests. As J7 suggested in our submission to the Inquests, will Mr Jones now acknowledge that the man he saw was not Hasib Hussain and will questions be asked of the MPS about their efforts to trace the man Jones repeatedly described?

Further accounts of Richard Jones' descriptions of the man who irritated him on the Number 30 bus can be read on the J7 website here.

Update, 17 January 2011: J7 examine the testimony given by Richard Jones to the Inquests.