A jailed terrorist recruiter suspected of radicalising Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi has lost a legal bid to swerve a call to give evidence to the continuing public inquiry into the atrocity.

Abdalraouf Abdallah's lawyers had urged the chairman of the inquiry, Sir John Saunders, to cancel a notice requiring him to give evidence.

He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and his lawyers argue calling him would infringe his human rights and increase his risk of self-harm or suicide.

But today Sir John ruled against the convicted Islamic State recruiter, who is scheduled to give evidence on Wednesday as the inquiry turns to how the bomber was radicalised.

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Abdallah, A British-Libyan national from Moss Side, has said he will refuse to answer questions. He was jailed for terror offences in 2016 and remains behind bars.

He insists he had nothing to do with the May 2017 bombing which claimed 22 lives nor the radicalisation of Abedi.

Abdallah, who was paralysed after fighting in Libya in 2011, has self-harmed on multiple occasions whilst in prison, including recently, the inquiry has been told.

Abedi visited Abdallah at HMP Belmarsh in February 2015 while he was awaiting trial and once again after he was jailed in January 2017, four months before the bombing.

Abdallah is said to have used an 'illicit' mobile phone while he was in prison in early 2017 to attempt to call Abedi.

An inquiry-commissioned expert on radicalisation, Dr Matthew Wilkinson, believes Abdallah was responsible for 'grooming Salman Abedi into the violent, Islamist, extremist world view'.

Salman Abedi on his way to the Arena

He accepted he had a duty to prevent self-harm or suicide in prisons but he also said he has a duty to investigate the attack.

Sir John also accepted requiring Abdallah to give evidence would increase the risk of him self-harming although he went on that he believed this was 'capable of being properly managed' in prison and that any 'interference' of his rights under the Human Rights Act was 'necessary and proportionate'.

He noted Abdallah had given evidence 'with clarity and robustness' over three days during his 2016 criminal trial, when he already had a PTSD diagnosis, and that he intends to give evidence to an up-coming parole hearing.

Sir John Saunders

Abdallah has indicated he will 'claim privilege against self-incrimination' and refuse to answer questions on Wednesday on the advice of his lawyers.

Sir John said: "It is not open to a witness at an inquiry simply to invoke the privilege against self-incrimination without justifying it. It also has to be dealt with on a question-by-question basis; there can be no blanket application of the privilege."

Arguing his client should not be called during legal arguments on Thursday last week, Rajiv Menon QC said there was a 'strong and direct connection' between the incidents of self-harm and the inquiry's correspondence with Abdallah.

Mr Menon said: "Mr Abdallah will not be answering questions on legal advice and so the spectacle which will inevitably arise if he is compelled to attend either in person or by video link, which will involve him having to sit through hours of questions will one, serve no useful person, two, will merely dehumanise and humiliate him and three, will frustrate everybody else present who is wanting him to answer the question.

The inquiry continues

"So we ask rhetorically, what is gained by going through that process?

"If there's a real and appreciable risk that an answer that Mr Abdallah were to give may be used against him in criminal proceedings, he is entitled to refuse to answer that question."

He added: "Dragging him either physically or metaphorically to a video link room in prison to simply have questions thrown at him will serve no useful purpose."

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Mr Menon said Dr Wilkinson's expert report which concluded Abdallah groomed Abedi and was 'effectively a co-conspirator' in the Arena attack was a 'preposterous suggestion speculated at best without any proper evidential foundation'.

Abdallah was arrested in November 2014 and charged with assisting others in committing acts of terrorism by facilitating travel and raising money to enable various others to participate in the civil war in Syria.

In May 2016, he was convicted and sentenced to a nine-and-a-half-year extended determinate sentence.

The inquiry resumes on Tuesday morning.