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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 July, 2003, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Bali relatives criticise UK response
18 Britons died in the blast on the holiday island
Relatives of British people who died in the Bali bombings last year have criticised the UK authorities for their role in the lead up to and aftermath of the blasts.

They say sufficient warnings were not given before the explosions, and are angry at how the victims were treated afterwards.

The comments came at the start of an inquest in London into the deaths of 18 Britons brought home after the explosions on the Indonesian island last October.

The two-day inquest, in Hammersmith, will determine how, where and when the British victims died.

But Coroner Alison Thompson said she would not go into the criminal trials relating to the incident which are currently taking place in Indonesia.

Horrific burns

Tobias Ellwood, who had to nail down the lid of his own brother's coffin in Bali, said there were still questions to be answered.

Speaking outside the court, he said he was furious that the Foreign Office travel warning was not increased after MI5 received intelligence.

Mr Ellwood, From Bournemouth, said: "MI5 were guilty. They had the information, they should have increased the threat level and had they done so, my brother would be alive today."

For everybody it is the most appalling, devastating loss. We stand here today as deeply upset relatives
Susannah Miller, victim's sister

Polly Miller, 30, survived the blasts but suffered horrific burns and lost her husband Nathaniel, also known as Dan, and her best friend Annika Linden.

Mrs Miller told the inquest she was extremely angry as she spent 10 weeks in hospital in Australia, but was never given a family liaison officer.

Back home she now has one, but she said: "From Scotland Yard down, I didn't seem to exist. This was extremely distressing."

Militant group

Giving evidence at the inquest, Detective Chief Inspector John MacBrayne, of the Metropolitan anti-terrorism branch, said a team of British officers, including family liaison officers, were in Bali within 24 hours of the explosions.

At the inquest, relatives also spoke of their distress at the events in Bali.

Dan Miller's sister, Susannah Miller, said: "For everybody it is the most appalling, devastating loss. We stand here today as deeply upset relatives."

Other relatives spoke of "zero" control and "chaotic" scenes from their experiences in Bali.

A total of 26 Britons were killed following two explosions in the Kuta beach area of Bali, a popular resort, but only 18 were repatriated to this country.

The blasts are being linked to the South-East Asian Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiah.

A total of 29 people are now believed to be awaiting or standing trial following the blasts, the inquest heard.

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