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UK Charges Six in Hillsborough Disaster

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Photo shows the "Big Ben" in central London, Britain (Xinhua/Han Yan) (wtc)

The Crown Prosecution Service in UK charged six individuals with criminal offences in the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster that killed 96 people after the FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. The persons included David Duckenfield, a former South Yorkshire Police superintendent who was the commanding officer at the that FA Cup semi-final….reports Asian Lite News

BRITAIN-LONDON-BREXIT BILL by .
Photo shows the “Big Ben” in central London, Britain (Xinhua/Han Yan) (wtc)

Prosecutors in the United Kingdom brought criminal charges against six people, including two former senior police officers, in relation to a spectator crush that killed 96 people in the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster.

One of the defendants is David Duckenfield, 72, a former South Yorkshire Police superintendent who was the commanding officer at the fateful FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, reports Efe.

Announcing the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision to press charges, Sue Hemming, director of the service’s special crime unit, said: “Following our careful review of the evidence, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, I have decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge six individuals with criminal offences.”

Duckenfield is to face charges of manslaughter by gross negligence for the deaths of the 95 people who perished in the crush.

Due to time limitations present in the law at the time, the CPS was unable to charge the manslaughter of a 96th Hillsborough victim, Tony Bland, who died four years after the event when his life support was switched off.

As well as Duckenfield, CPS charged the former chief constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police, Sir Norman Bettison, with misconduct in a public office for alleged lies he told about his role in the aftermath of Hillsborough.

Graham Mackrell, a former company secretary for Sheffield Wednesday football club, was charged with breaching safety terms at the Hillsborough ground in his capacity as a safety officer on match day.

The former chief superintendent of the South Yorkshire police, Donald Denton; ex-chief inspector Alan Foster and former police solicitor Peter Metcalf were all charged with acts attempting to pervert the course of justice by altering witness statements.

A total of 96 people died and nearly 800 were injured as a result of the crush that was caused in a standing section of Hillsborough allocated to Liverpool fans by decisions taken by Duckenfield on April 15, 1989.

The caged-in spectator section was subject to a huge rush of fans when, in an attempt to ease overcrowding, Duckenfield ordered a gate to be opened.

This action created a deadly bottleneck in the crowd when thousands of people poured through, crushing fans against the metal cage.

Many fans, including young spectators, were relentlessly pushed by the incoming crowd against the metal fences.

In the wake of the tragedy, police and some media colluded in a cover-up that sought to blame the event on the supporters, citing hooliganism and drunkenness as the driving factors.

Later judicial reviews, petitioned for by victims associations that sprung up in Liverpool, ruled that police negligence was the cause of the disaster.