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Widow wants aid refusal overturned

The widow of a suicide bomber has urged a court to overturn a decision to refuse her legal aid for representation at the upcoming inquest into the deaths of 52 people in the 7/7 attacks in London.

Hasina Patel, whose husband was plot mastermind Mohammed Sidique Khan, is challenging the refusal to provide her with funding.

Her QC, Ian Wise, told Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Silber, sitting at the High Court in London, that the "important" question for them is whether the May decision was "rational and lawful".

He said: "If such funding were to be granted she would be in a position to make representations to the coroner as to why the inquest into the death of her husband should be resumed and whether it should be joined to the inquests into the deaths of the 52 victims of the bombings."

He emphasised that her judicial review application was not about the judges being asked to adjudicate on the "merits" of any application to resume the inquest into the death of her husband, or whether "any such inquest should be joined to the ongoing inquests due to begin on October 11 this year".

The barrister added that those "are matters for the coroner".

Ministers rejected two applications by relatives, ruling that they did not meet the criteria for public funding for their lawyers. The Government already agreed that legal aid will be offered to the families of the four 7/7 bombers' 52 victims of the attacks in 2005.

Suicide bombers Khan, 30, Hasib Hussain, 18, Shehzad Tanweer, 22, and Jermaine Lindsay, 19, met at Luton station on the morning of July 7 2005. They took a train to King's Cross in London, then hugged and separated to carry out their deadly missions.

Within three minutes of 8.50am, Tanweer detonated his bomb at Aldgate, Khan set his device off at Edgware Road and Lindsay blew himself up between King's Cross and Russell Square. Hussain detonated his device on board the number 30 bus at Tavistock Square at 9.47am.

As well as killing themselves and 52 others, the bombers injured more than700 people.

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