NEWS

Bid to stop Hillsborough prosecutions

Image copyright Hillsborough Inquests
Image caption Ninety-six fans died as a result of a crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground in 1989

Six men including former police chief David Duckenfield have begun a legal bid to prevent them being prosecuted over the Hillsborough Disaster.

They have asked a judge at Preston Crown Court to halt any future prosecutions by claiming they are an abuse of the legal process.

A legal order imposed in 2000 would have to be lifted before Mr Duckenfield can face manslaughter charges.

The hearing is expected to last up to two weeks.

Mr Duckenfield faces 95 charges of gross negligence manslaughter following a fatal crush at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final which resulted in the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.

For legal reasons, the 73-year-old cannot be charged over the death of the 96th victim Tony Bland as he died four years after the disaster.

The hearing will address the issue of a legal order – or ‘stay’ – imposed following a private prosecution 18 years ago halting future legal proceedings against the former chief superintendent.

The Crown Prosecution Service has applied for that stay to be lifted.

Lawyers representing the six men are expected to make their applications to judge Sir Peter Openshaw to have any forthcoming prosecutions halted.

The full list of individuals and charges are:

  • Mr Duckenfield, 73, faces manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 men, women and children
  • Sir Norman Bettison, 61, faces four charges of misconduct in a public office relating to alleged lies he told about his involvement in the aftermath of Hillsborough and the culpability of fans
  • Graham Mackrell, former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary, will be accused of breaching Health and Safety and Safety at Sports Grounds legislation
  • Peter Metcalf, who was a solicitor acting for South Yorkshire Police, is charged with perverting the course of justice, relating to alleged changes to witness statements
  • Former Ch Supt Donald Denton and former Det Ch Insp Alan Foster are accused of perverting the course of justice

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk

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