All witnesses to the Inquest take an oath. The oath is to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but…
12 July In the early morning, the police search premises in the West Yorkshire area, including the homes of Khan, Tanweer and Hussain and 18 Alexandra Grove.
Report received that 4 people by two vehicles were seen putting on rucksacks at Luton Station car park. One of the vehicles was now missing but one remained in the car park.
By lunchtime, police working on the theory that there is a King’s Cross link to the 3 train bombs, all being broadly equidistant from there at the time of the explosions, identify a CCTV image of 4 men with rucksacks at King’s Cross. They recognise Tanweer first from a DVLA photograph.
The police identify CCTV images of the same 4 at Luton Station. The Micra is found at Luton and examined. 9 controlled explosions were carried out on material found in it. The Brava, which had been towed away because it did not have a parking ticket is later traced to Lindsay. There had been a report on the Police National Computer that the Brava may have been used in an aggravated burglary (see paragraph 69) and Lindsay was named as the registered keeper for the car.
During the morning session of Wednesday 13 October 2010, the Inquest heard from Detective Inspector Kindness of Scotland Yard’s Counter-terrorism Command. After being sworn, DI Kindness was questioned by Counsel to the Inquests, Hugo Keith, and stated for the record that the identification of the four accused at King’s Cross Thameslink, and thus the link made to the Luton and Bedford areas, occurred on 11 July 2005:
Q. Can you recall on what day you first spotted a number of men walking through the King’s Cross area, in particular through the Thameslink station carrying rucksacks?
A. It was on 11 July 2005, sir.
Q. So on the Monday?
A. It was, yes.
Q. Can you recall what it was about the appearance of those men on the CCTV that alerted you to the fact that you might have identified the bombers?
A. My officer, who was engaged in the actual CCTV recovery, was ex-military. He saw the four individuals walking through and they were walking two by two and he felt it was significant. They were carrying large rucksacks and he brought my attention to it. I concurred with him that it was a matter of priority for us.
Under further questioning by Mr Keith, DI Kindness explains the manner in which Luton was discovered as the point at which the four accused met and travelled to London:
Q. Did you then concentrate your examination upon CCTV relating to the railway network to the north of London?
A. Indeed, sir, yes, and we were looking at the route of the — the Thameslink route up through Bedford and Luton and looking for fast-time CCTV recovery of those stations to see where the bombers had access to rail network.
Q. Were you able to access CCTV relating to, not just the stations, but the car parks at those stations, the entry points and the foyers?
A. Yes, we were, sir.
Q. What did you discover?
A. We were able to identify that the individuals had arrived at Luton underground station earlier that morning and boarded a train to London.
Q. Can you recall when it was that you discovered that they had boarded the railway network at Luton?
A. I think it was on the 12th, sir.
Q. So the Tuesday?
Q. As a result of that process, how many of the men were you able to identify initially as having used the Luton railway station?
A. We were able to identify all of the men had accessed – the four men had accessed via Luton railway station.
Q. Were you able to identify the cars that they used at the station?
A. Yes, we were.
Q. So you were able to identify that they had arrived in two cars, a Nissan Micra and a red Fiat Brava?
A. That’s correct, sir.
Note that DI Kindness is neither asked for, nor offers, any explanation for why Luton was chosen from at least eight possible stations that the 07.00 Bedford – Brighton Thameslink train would have stopped at on the morning of 7 July. Any investigation looking for potential al Qaeda “suicide bombers” would perhaps concentrate their efforts instead on Luton Parkway station, with its links to Luton Airport, and one stop closer to London than is Luton station. Eight stations would have furnished a lot of CCTV footage to examine within a maximum of 24 hours between the identification of the four men on the 11 July 2005 and the Luton link on the 12 July 2005.
One theory, indeed the one favoured by the Home Office narrative, is that Luton was chosen due to the witness sighting of four men putting on rucksacks at Luton station, as received on the 12 July 2005. This witness, Susan Clarke, gave her evidence to the Inquest during the afternoon session of 13 October 2010. She describes handing a note of the cars she had seen at Luton station on the morning of the 7 July to a British Transport Police officer at St. Pancras station. This note was handed over on Tuesday 12 July 2005. [Transcript, 13 October 2010, afternoon session – page 14, line 14 on]. Officers attended her place of work at 11.45am on 12 July 2005 and Ms Clarke was interviewed for two and a half hours at Holborn police station.
So this would appear to be how the Luton station CCTV came to be favoured and examined over and above seven other possible stations of focus. Or, at least it would be if either the narrative or DI Kindness were actually relating the facts of the matter. Fortunately for the bereaved and the wider public, the carefully plotted course of Mr Keith’s questioning was exposed by further questions interjected by Mr Patterson and Ms Gallagher, the counsels for the bereaved. However, nobody would be aware of this through reading any of the press reports covering the inquest proceedings.
A CCTV viewing log was discovered in evidence that had shortly before been posted on the Lextranet system that the Inquests are utilising to share evidence between the counsel and interested persons. Mr Hill, representing the Metropolitan Police Service, attempted an objection to this line of questioning and Judge Hallett compounded the issue by reiterating the evidence so far:
LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: Strict rules of evidence, you’re obviously right, Mr Hill. Do I take it, to try to cut this short, Mr Kindness, that essentially you were responding to somebody — somebody else has got information and they’ve said, “All right, Detective Inspector Kindness, off you go, we want you to look at Luton and Bedford”, is that really — or did the information come to you personally?
A [DI Ewan Kindness]. The information — Luton and Bedford was seized, my Lady, as a result of the sighting at — as a result of the sighting at King’s Cross Thameslink which had been generated by the CCTV viewing by the CCTV team. So it was natural that we would follow the route up the line. It’s as simple as that.
LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: I think this is a fuss about nothing, Mr Hill, with respect.
Here’s the kicker:
MS GALLAGHER: You say that you focused upon Luton station as a result of information received on 11 July. Is that right?
A. [DI Ewan Kindness] That’s correct, yes.
Q. In that document which I’ve made reference to, I think you have it before you, my Lady, the Anti-terrorist Branch SO13 record — do you have that document before you?
A. No, I don’t, no.
Q. Is it possible for a copy to be provided?
MR KEITH: You can have my copy. (Handed)
MS GALLAGHER: This is a record of an officer viewing CCTV. It seems to be by a DC Stephen Bain. Was he part of the same team?
A. Yes, he was, yes.
Q. If you just look in the box at the top, it’s on the left, five boxes down, “Date viewing commenced: 10 July 2005, 20.00 hours” and “Date viewing ended:11 July 2005, 23.30”.
Q. So is it possible that, in fact, that information was received on 10 July rather than 11 July, Inspector?
A. [DI Ewan Kindness] That’s absolutely correct. It’s an error. It should have been the 10th.
This leaves the one crucial and compelling question: Why were the police reviewing CCTV footage from Luton station and car park on 10 July 2005, when the accused apparently weren’t identified on King’s Cross Thameslink CCTV until a day later, 11 July 2005?
More importantly, why has it been deemed necessary to concoct the story about the discovery of CCTV at Luton on 12 July 2005?
The Inquests now need to scrutinise the actual manner in which the four accused were identified, and re-examine how, when and why the link to Luton station was made and how, when and why the CCTV was recovered, as the evidential log shows, by 10 July 2005.
On the fourth day of the inquests we learn that this one image of the four accused entering the tunnel from King’s Cross Thameslink is the only CCTV image captured of the four men together anywhere near King’s Cross underground station on 7 July 2005. More to follow…