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Attorney general seeks new inquests into Hillsborough disaster

16 Oct 2012 13:47:28

Attorney general seeks new inquests into Hillsborough disaster

Britain's attorney general said Tuesday he would apply for fresh inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters during the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster.

Dominic Grieve said he would ask the High Court to have the verdicts of the original inquests into Britain's worst ever sporting disaster quashed so that new inquests can be held.

The application comes a month after a damning report revealed that police had altered at least 164 witness statements in an attempt to divert blame onto Liverpool supporters for the stadium crush.

"I will apply to have every one of those 96 inquests quashed," Grieve told parliament. "I believe that these deaths, arising as they do from a common chain of events, should all be considered afresh."

Britain's police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said on Friday that it would launch the biggest ever independent inquiry into potential police wrongdoing over the disaster.

The crush was triggered by massive overcrowding in the Leppings Lane End of Hillsborough stadium in the northern English city of Sheffield at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

To ease overcrowding outside, police opened an exit gate, allowing supporters to flood into the central pens. Fenced in, Liverpool fans were crushed to death.

In England, inquests are held to examine sudden or unexplained deaths. They set out to determine the place and time of death as well as how the deceased came by their death. They do not apportion blame.

The original inquests returned verdicts of accidental death.

In further fallout from the damning report on Hillsborough, Britain's police watchdog said last week it would launch the biggest ever independent inquiry into potential police wrongdoing.


AFP

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