Hashem Abedi and Ahmed Hassan to face prison officer assault trial

The Manchester Arena and Parsons Green bombers will go on trial later this year charged with a prison assault.

Hashem Abedi, 23, and Ahmed Hassan, 21, are accused of assaulting a prison officer together in HMP Belmarsh, south London, in May 2020.

A hearing at Woolwich Crown Court earlier heard that neither defendant was engaging with the case.

Judge Michael Evans QC fixed a trial date of 6 December at the same court.

Hassan appeared by video-link from HMP Frankland, but did not speak when addressed by the judge.

Earlier, Hassan had smiled and greeted the appearance on screen of a third defendant – Muhammed Saeed, 21, from Manchester – who attended by video-link from HMP Whitemoor.

At the conclusion of the hearing, when again asked if he had anything to say, Hassan told the judge: I hate you very much, you evil man.

Abedi did not appear for the hearing.

Hassan and Abedi are not legally represented; Saeed does have legal representation.

The hearing was told that case papers had been served on Abedi, but Hassan had not accepted an attempt to serve the same paperwork on him.

Saeed, who is awaiting sentencing for terror offences, is charged with assaulting the same prison officer during the incident on 11 May last year.

Abedi, jailed last year for murdering the 22 victims of the May 2017 Arena attack, is also charged with assaulting a second prison guard at the same time.

Hassan, from London, was jailed in 2018 for the non-fatal Parsons Green Tube bombing, which took place in September 2017.

The three defendants are next due to appear for a plea and case management hearing on 12 July.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-56984568
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