A CORONER examining the deaths of two Scots, four men from England and a UK-based Colombian in a terrorist siege at an Algerian gas plant is to ask authorities in the African country about using material containing accounts from suspects who have not yet faced criminal proceedings.

Penelope Schofield told the families and representatives of the dead men that a criminal case will not have taken place in Algeria when the full inquest begins at the Royal Courts of Justice, London, on September 8.

However, she said she would be asking whether the Algerian authorities had any objections to her using the documents she had received from them.

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A total of 40 hostages were killed at the In Amenas plant during a four-day stand-off which began on January 16 last year.

The Britons killed were Carson Bilsland, from Bridge of Cally, Perthshire; Kenneth Whiteside, originally from Glenrothes, Fife; Sebastian John; Stephen Green; Paul Morgan and Garry Barlow, all from England.

Carlos Estrada, a BP executive who was originally from Colombia but lived in London, was also killed.

During yesterday's pre-inquest hearing at Crawley Town Hall, the West Sussex coroner said some of the material she had received contained accounts from suspects arrested by the Algerian authorities, and that she needed time to consider whether she could make use of the interviews or not.

Ms Schofield adjourned the hearing until July 8 when a third pre-inquest review will take place.