LONDON (AP) — The brother of the suicide bomber who set off an explosion at a 2017 Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, killing 22 people and injuring hundreds, was sentenced Thursday to a minimum of 55 years in prison.
Hashem Abedi, 23, had denied helping plan the attack at Manchester Arena but was found guilty of murder, attempted murder, and conspiring to cause explosions. His sentencing had been postponed due to travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
His elder brother Salman Abedi, who set off the bomb, died in the May 22, 2017, bombing at the end of the concert.
Hashem Abedi refused to attend court for the sentencing hearing.
Judge Jeremy Baker said during Abedi’s sentencing hearing that the two brothers were “equally culpable for the deaths and injuries caused by the explosion.”
“Although Salman Abedi was directly responsible, it was clear the defendant took an integral part in the planning,” Baker said.
The judge said that had the younger brother been over age 21 at the time of the explosion, he would have been given a “whole-life term.” Instead, he was sentenced to serve a minimum of 55 years before parole may be considered.
“The defendant should clearly understand the minimum term he should serve is 55 years. He may never be released,” Baker added.
He added that there was a “significant degree of premeditation” and that the motivation for the brothers was “to advance the ideology of Islamism.”