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Fresh Hillsborough Inquest Ordered

Wed 19th Dec 2012 | Legal

A fresh inquest into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans has been ordered after the original inquest verdict was quashed by the High Court.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve today made his request to the High Court three months after the Hillsborough Independent Panel report established 41 of those who died may have been saved.

The application to quash the original verdict of accidental death was approved by Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge at the High Court in London this morning with Home Secretary, Theresa May announcing a new police inquiry into the disaster would re-examine what happened in April 1989.

Evidence gathered by the Hillsborough Independent Panel report revealed how of the deceased, 58 "definitely" or "probably" had the capacity to survive beyond the original 15:15 cut-off time.

In making his judgement, Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said there had been "deliberate misinformation surrounding the disaster".

"There has been a profound and palpable belief that justice had not been done [and] it is clear there are sound grounds for this application," he said.

Former Durham Chief Constable Jon Stoddart will lead the new inquiry, which will focus specifically on the 96 deaths of Liverpool fans as a result of what happened at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989.

Mrs May, said: "I am determined to see a swift and thorough response to the findings of the Hillsborough panel to deliver justice for the 96 football fans who died and the families who have fought so hard on their behalf."

"The findings of the Hillsborough independent panel were truly shocking, but while the families have now been given the truth, they have not yet received justice.

"Jon Stoddart is a skilled and dedicated investigator who will bring a huge amount of policing experience to this demanding job.

"I am giving the IPCC new powers to investigate police misconduct, but this investigation will ensure no body with responsibility for fan safety at Hillsborough will escape scrutiny.

Mr Stoddart will be able to recruit investigators and staff to his team, but he will not be allowed to employ officers or former officers with any prior connection to the Hillsborough disaster or from the West Midlands, South Yorkshire or Merseyside police forces.

He said "I’m aware of the great significance and personal responsibility which comes with leading this criminal investigation.

"My first priority is to meet with as many of the families as possible and to establish a working open relationship with them throughout the investigation."

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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