13th March 2020

The trial of Manchester Arena bomber’s brother Hashem Abedi is drawing to a close at the Old Bailey, London. At the end of the Prosecution case, which opened on 3 February 2020 and continued until 10 March 2020, the Prosecution read out a number of “agreed facts”. These ‘facts’ include a wide range of information, such as the ownership of telephone numbers.

Agreed facts are matters which are not disputed between the Prosecution and the Defence. They can be present in any criminal trial and represent matters which it is agreed between legal teams do not require a witness to give evidence of, but the jury may need to know about. This can be for a number of reasons and no suggestion is made here in relation to the importance or strength of any particular fact or evidence.

The fact that a mobile telephone number belongs to a particular person would require, to be allowable evidence in a trial, the person who asserts the information to come to court and confirm that is the relevant persons telephone number, and how they know that to be the truth. However if the Defence agrees that the mobile telephone number belongs to the relevant individual the matter can be reduced to a fact, added to a list of facts and read out to the jury. This avoids the need for a witness to come to court and give evidence on the issue.

Mr Abedi is charged with 22 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and conspiring with Salman Abedi to cause an explosion that would endanger life. He is alleged to have participated in the planning and execution of the bombing of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017.

Blog by Sophie Cohen, Criminal Defence Solicitor