7/7 families to see secret MI5 documents

MI5 faces having to disclose secret documents to the families of those killed in the 7/7 bombings after a coroner ruled she could not hear confidential evidence in closed sessions.

Lady Justice Hallett rejected calls for the bereaved relatives to be excluded from hearings so she could examine intelligence material so sensitive it would threaten national security if made public. The father of one victim welcomed her ruling, saying it would make it harder for MI5 to hide from scrutiny.

The coroner previously ordered that the inquests for the 52 people murdered in the suicide attacks on London on 7 July, 2005 should examine alleged failings by police and MI5.

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The bereaved families want to ask intelligence officials why they did not follow up plot ringleader Mohammed Sidique Khan and his right-hand man, Shehzad Tanweer, after surveillance officers watched them meeting known terror suspects 17 months before the bombings.

Lady Justice Hallett ruled that she had no power to deny the bereaved families their "rights".