Tunisia inquests: Imperial Marhaba ‘had six working CCTV cameras’

Tunisia inquests: Imperial Marhaba ‘had six working CCTV cameras’

Ben Ireland reports from the Royal Courts of Justice in London

The Imperial Marhaba Hotel – where 38 tourists were shot dead in June 2015 – had only six working CCTV cameras while other hotels had as many as 49, an inquest has heard.

Other hotels had nine, 14, 20, 27, 43 and 49 cameras.

Details of an inspection on May 31 were revealed to the coroner’s court during the inquests into 30 Britons killed in the resort of Sousse on June 26.

When quizzed by Andrew Ritchie QC, who is representing 18 of the families of the deceased, Venancio Lorente Lopez, head of Tunisia & Morroco, Tui Destination Services and general manager, Tunisie Voyages, said he had not reviewed the security of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel.

He said it was not his responsibility and, during further questioning from Ritchie, said that he had been Tui’s representative at hotel security meetings which were called after a separate attack at the Bardo museum in Tunis in March 2015. Tunisian authorities had called for hotels to ramp up security.

“That discloses precisely your organisation’s thinking,” said Ritchie. “To you, the most important points were everything other than the terrorist risk.”

“Yes,” replied Lopez, before adding that his responsibilities were for “passive” hotel security, such as health and safety.

Mr Ritchie argued that Tui did not have anyone to take responsibility of the “high” terror threat in Tunisia at the time and questioned why Lopez was sent to the meetings rather than anyone with the specific remit of security against attacks.

Lopez also said he wanted to see more security in the resort but didn’t want to deter tourists with an “army of police”.

The court heard there were four members of security staff on duty at the time of the attack, some of whom were working 12-hour shifts.

Health and safety audit ‘did not include security checks’

Tui destination manager feared ‘hotel scenario’

Authorities had plans for new tourist police squadron prior to attack

FCO stance queried by Tui legal chief

Operators ‘carried out no security assessments’

Foreign Office called for increased security measures

Bargain prices hailed as ‘great success’ before attack

Footage of holidaymakers fleeing gunman shown to court

Inquests begin at Royal Courts of Justice

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