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World Witnesses at London's Grenfell fire inquiry to be protected from prosecution: British AG

04:25  27 february  2020
04:25  27 february  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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LONDON (Reuters) - Witnesses at a public inquiry into the 2017 fire at Grenfell Tower in London which killed 72 people will be immune from prosecution over the evidence they give, Britain' s attorney general said on Wednesday. As a result, people involved in putting combustible cladding on the tower

A public inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower in London which killed 72 people is seeking a guarantee that certain witnesses will not be prosecuted over their evidence, the inquiry said on Thursday.

LONDON (Reuters) - Witnesses at a public inquiry into the 2017 fire at Grenfell Tower in London which killed 72 people will be immune from prosecution over the evidence they give, Britain's attorney general said on Wednesday.

a sign on the side of the road: FILE PHOTO: A man looks at a hoarding covered in messages of condolence at the base of Grenfell tower two years after the fire in London © Reuters/Hannah Mckay FILE PHOTO: A man looks at a hoarding covered in messages of condolence at the base of Grenfell tower two years after the fire in London

As a result, people involved in putting combustible cladding on the tower as part of a redevelopment of the housing block will be able to give oral evidence to the inquiry without incriminating themselves.

"The undertaking I am providing to the Inquiry means it can continue to take evidence from witnesses who otherwise would likely refuse to answer questions," Attorney General Suella Braverman said in a statement.

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Witnesses from firms called to the Grenfell inquiry have won their fight for immunity from prosecution for their evidence, despite a lawyer Campaign group Grenfell United project a message on to the side of a tower block in by the Grenfell Tower ahead of the second anniversary of the fire to

A public inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower in London which killed 72 people is seeking a guarantee that certain witnesses will not be prosecuted over their evidence, the inquiry said on Thursday.

"These questions are important to finding out the truth about the circumstances of the fire. The undertaking will not jeopardize the police investigation or prospects of a future criminal prosecution."

a person holding a sign: FILE PHOTO: Women walk past a hoarding covered in messages of condolence at the base of Grenfell tower one year after the fire, in London © Reuters/Peter Nicholls FILE PHOTO: Women walk past a hoarding covered in messages of condolence at the base of Grenfell tower one year after the fire, in London

The 23-storey tower, owned by the wealthy borough of Kensington and Chelsea, was destroyed in June 2017 in the worst fire in a residential building in Britain since World War Two.

The inquiry, which began in September 2017, has established that a flammable cladding system fitted to Grenfell Tower's external walls during a refurbishment was the main factor in the unstoppable spread of the fire.

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LONDON (Reuters) - A public inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower in London which killed 72 people is seeking a POLICE INVESTIGATION. He said the inquiry ' s mission was to uncover the truth about the causes A prosecution could still be brought, but would have to be supported by other evidence.

LONDON (AP) — The chairman of the inquiry into a London apartment building fire that killed 72 people wrote London ' s Metropolitan Police are conducting a separate probe of the Grenfell fire for potential crimes The firms argue that requests for immunity had occurred in other British inquires , such as the one High-rise towers are supposed to be designed to stop apartment fires spreading

Contractors involved in the refurbishment had been due to start testifying earlier this month but that was postponed after some of them made a request for a guarantee that nothing they told the inquiry could be used to prosecute them.

The government said that while the undertaking meant oral evidence couldn't be used against individuals in criminal proceedings, it didn't prevent the evidence being used against corporations in a future prosecution.

However, Grenfell United, a group which represents the bereaved and survivors of the fire, said that the decision made them "nervous".

"Truth at the inquiry must not come at the expense of justice and prosecutions. For our continued participation, the government must make sure the inquiry process does not undermine prosecutions," the group said in a statement.

"Grenfell was a tragedy but it was not an accident. The people responsible for knowingly encasing our families in a death trap and the people that allowed them to do it must face the full force of the law. We expect criminal prosecutions at the end of this and will not settle for anything less."

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Grant McCool)

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