Published on Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Some of the 38 holidaymakers who died in the beach terror attack near Sousse could have been saved if local security had acted sooner.
The first day of the inquests into the deaths of 30 British people, who lost their lives alongside three Irish and five others, heard security officers could have stopped the attack earlier, but wasted time.
Gunman Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire killing 38 holidaymakers in total, in June 2015 on the beach outside the Imperial Hotel.
Local security units had 'deliberately…slowed down to delay their arrival,' the inquest, at the Royal Courts of Justice, heard.
Samantha Leek QC, counsel to the inquest, said an unnamed Tunisian interior minister told the judge's investigation that security units 'had the ability to put an end to the attack before the police arrived but wasted a considerable amount of time in getting to the hotel'.
Rezgui was thought to have acted alone on the beach but there had been an accomplice in a van nearby.
The hearing, which is set to last for seven weeks, began with a minute's silence and the names of all victims being read out.
Over the next seven weeks the circumstances of each individual death will be examined.
The court was told evidence related to booking and security at the hotel will be heard in the week of February 6.
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