Tunisian police 'shambolic' over beach attack: UK judge

"Their response could and should have been more effective," judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said in his conclusions after a series of hearings that began in January.

Tunisian police 'shambolic' over beach attack: UK judge

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Tunisian police response to the 2015 Sousse beach resort massacre was "at best shambolic, at worst cowardly", the judge investigating the deaths of 30 Britons in the attack said Tuesday.

"The response by the police was at best shambolic, at worst cowardly," he said, adding that the hotel guards were not armed and had no walkie-talkies.

But he said there was no "neglect" by the tour operator TUI because the victims were "not in a dependent position" and said there was "nothing that the hotel might have done before the attack".

Gunman Seifeddine Rezgui killed 38 people, including 30 British tourists and three Irish citizens, in a shooting spree in June 2015 at the Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel in Sousse, Tunisia. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.

"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," the judge said.

The British inquest, which is in fact a series of individual inquests into the circumstances of death of each British citizen, is not a trial but the ruling could be used in civil lawsuits.

Some families said they were now planning to sue TUI.

"We will now be preparing to commence civil proceedings against TUI," said lawyer Kylie Hutchinson, whose firm represents most of the victims' families.

"It is now crucial that the whole travel industry learns from what happened in Sousse to reduce the risk of similar catastrophic incidents in the future."

TUI managing director Nick Longman said outside court that everyone had been left "shocked and devastated" by the attack.

"I would like to again extend our deepest sympathy. We are so very sorry for the pain and loss those affected have suffered."

He said changes had been made so that Foreign Office travel advice was now on almost every page of its website and staff in shops had it to hand to inform customers.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Mart 2017, 10:54
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