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Who's been charged over Hillsborough disaster?

Six people have been charged with criminal offences

Criminal charges have been brought over the Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath.

David Duckenfield and Norman Bettison are among six people that have been charged after two major investigations that focused on the causes of the tragedy and the alleged cover-up that followed.

 

Each of those charged will now appear in court - and could face trials - after the launch of legal proceedings against them, the Liverpool Echo reports.

South Yorkshire Ambulance service are not among those facing charges.

Just over 28 years after the disaster unfolded on the Leppings Lane terraces the families of the 96 Reds fans who died, survivors and campaigners were told of the charges in a private briefing by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Sue Hemming, head of the organisation’s special crime and counter-terrorism division, broke the news to those gathered at Parr Hall in Warrington at 11am.

In reaching the decisions, lawyers from the CPS have spent six months examining evidence against 23 suspects identified by the two criminal probes launched in 2012.

Those charged are:

· David Duckenfield , who was the Match Commander for South Yorkshire Police on the day of the disaster

· Graham Henry Mackrell , who was Sheffield Wednesday Football Club’s company secretary and safety officer at the time of the disaster in 1989

· Peter Metcalf , the solicitor acting for the South Yorkshire Police during the Taylor Inquiry and the first inquests

· Former Chief Superintendent Donald Denton of South Yorkshire Police

· Former Detective Chief Inspector Alan Foster of South Yorkshire Police

· Norman Bettison , a former officer with South Yorkshire Police and subsequently Chief Constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police

Each of the suspects will now be given court dates as criminal proceedings begin.

Any that plead not guilty to the allegations against them are likely to face a crown court trial.

The charges follow a complex process of investigations that followed the work of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which concluded in 2012.

Operation Resolve probed the causes of the disaster and worked with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to look into the actions of South Yorkshire Police before, during and in the initial aftermath of the FA Cup semi-final.

The IPCC also examined the actions of SYP and West Midlands Police following the disaster.

Both inquiries ran alongside the new Hillsborough Inquests, which saw jurors rule the 96 victims were unlawfully killed and that Liverpool FC fans were not responsible for the tragedy.

Following today’s announcement Ms Hemming 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.

“Criminal proceedings have now commenced and the defendants have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

 
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