Coroner rules tour firm not negligent in Tunisia terror attack, families say they'll sue
- BTN News
- Thursday, 02 March 2017
Relatives of the British victims of the 2015 Tunisia terror attack will seek to sue tour operator Tui, after the coroner at the inquest into the deaths of 30 Britons ruled 'neglect' by Tui was not to blame for the tragedy.
Lawyers representing the victims' families had urged the coroner to rule that neglect played a part in the deaths as well as a finding of “unlawful killing”.
However, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said legal precedents prevented the inquest returning a 'neglect' ruling. “They (the precedents) substantially limit the circumstances in which neglect can feature in inquest conclusions,” he said.
Loraine-Smith did however criticise the Tunisian police response to the tragedy, describing it as “at best shambolic, at worst cowardly”, and said that officers “could and should have been more effective” and were slow to respond to requests for assistance.
The inquest was called to examine the terrorist attack outside the Imperial Marhaba hotel in the resort of Sousse.
Hundreds of tourists were sunbathing there when jihadi Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, killing 38 people, 30 of them British, in an attack that lasted about 30 minutes.
Rezgui was shot dead by Tunisian authorities as he ran from the hotel.
Tui – the travel company that owns Thomson holidays, where all 30 of the Britons booked their trips – came under significant scrutiny after the event over its handling of Foreign Office travel advice for Tunisia as well as the security at the hotel.
The Imperial Marhaba attack came three months after Islamist militants attacked the Bardo National Museum in the Tunisian capital city of Tunis. That attack killed 21 people.
Tunisia is a leading source of Isis fighters. More than 3,000 citizens are believed to have joined Isis and other terror groups in Libya, Iraq and Syria.
Its Isis attackers include Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who used a truck to plough through Bastille Day crowds in Nice last year, killing 86, and fellow Tunisian Anis Amri who drove the truck that killed 12 in the Berlin Christmas market attack.