Tunisia Sousse inquest: Coroner rules out neglect by hotel staff, calls police response 'shambolic at best'

Tunisia Sousse inquest: Coroner rules out neglect by hotel staff, calls police response 'shambolic at best'

A mourner places flowers on the beach in the wake of the attack

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The coroner leading the inquest into the deaths of 30 British tourists in Tunisia has ruled the police response to the attack to be "shambolic". 

In June 2015, Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire on a beach in Sousse, killing 30 Britons in an attack which Islamic State claimed responsibility for. 

The inquest into their deaths is to conclude today, with judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith heading up the proceedings.

He made it clear neglect by the staff of the holiday firm TUI or the Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel would have no part in his ruling, saying there were a lot of "what ifs" around the attack and the only factor which may have made a difference was if the hotel had employed armed guards.

He said: "Having reviewed the legal advice on gun law in Tunisia, it's clear this wasn't a realistic option.

"The simple but tragic truth in this case is that a gunman armed with a gun and grenades went to that hotel intending to kill as many tourists as he could."

However, he ruled the police response to the attack to be "shambolic, at best."

Judge Loraine-Smith said: "Their response could and should have been effective."

"The response by the police was at best shambolic, at worst cowardly."

The coronor has ruled the victims were "unlawfully killed."