Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 1st 2014 Contents A46
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, April 1, 2014
LONDON---As Liverpool closes
in on a first English league title
in 24 years, fans are returning to
the club s darkest day.
After years of campaigning to
expose wrongdoing by the author-
ities, new inquests into Britain s
worst sports disaster are beginning
this week, with the families of the
96 Liverpool fans crushed to death
at Hillsborough in 1989 seeking
verdicts of unlawful killing.
The original accidental death
verdicts were overturned by the
High Court in London in 2012 after
a fresh tranche of documents
uncovered a cover-up by police
after the incident, which happened
during Liverpool s FA Cup semi-
final match against Nottingham
The crush took place after a
standing-only section of the sta-
dium for visiting fans became over-
crowded, and authorities sought
to place the blame on the victims
by characterising the disaster as a
result of hooliganism.
Liverpool fan groups maintain
that police were to blame for herd-
ing the fans into that section of
the stands to avoid over-crowding
outside the stadium.
The new hearings could take
about a year, with jury selection
beginning on Monday at a pur-
pose-built courtroom on a trading
estate in Warrington near Liver-
Over the next month, families
will be able to tell the jury about
their relatives who died.
"I m really, really nervous. It s
been a long, long fight," said Char-
lotte Hennessy, who lost her father
James Robert Hennessy in the dis-
aster when she was six years old.
"Hopefully, this is the beginning
tional wreck this weekend. I ve not
slept a wink."
The coming weeks will be emo-
tionally charged for Liverpool fans.
The team is on the cusp of win-
ning the league for the first time
since 1990, with eight successive
victories putting Liverpool top of
the Premier League. If the team
wins the remaining six games, Liv-
erpool is guaranteed the trophy.
The biggest game comes at
home against title rival Manchester
City on April 13---just two days
before a service to mark the 25th
anniversary of Hillsborough will
be held at Anfield.
The fresh hearings come after
the families have fought for more
than two decades to prove their
claims that misconduct and mis-
takes by authorities were respon-
sible for the deaths. Prime Minister
David Cameron has already lam-
basted the "failure of the state to
protect their loved ones" and
"denigration of the deceased."
Documents released in 2012
uncovered a sophisticated attempt
by police to shift the blame onto
the Liverpool fans by instructing
officers to change statements and
insinuate that many fans were
drunk and had histories of violence
Many of the fans died due to
lack of attention from police and
emergency services after about
2,000 supporters were herded by
officers into caged-in enclosures
that were already full. The jury
will study previously unseen video
footage from the day and a three-
dimensional model of Hillsborough
before visiting the ground where
Sheffield Wednesday still plays.
Inquests cannot determine
criminal liability for individuals,
but a verdict of unlawful killing
would give families of the victims
a long-sought sense of vindication.
Two criminal investigations are
running parallel to the inquests,
in which 22 people, including
retired or current police officers,
have been identified as potential
Some suspects have already been
questioned on a range of offenses,
including manslaughter, miscon-
duct in a public office and
obstructing justice, according to
a police watchdog.
"We ve done all our fighting,
and we know that my dad is inno-
cent and all the 96 were innocent,"
said Amy McGlone, whose father
Alan died at Hillsborough.
"We ve got most of the truth
there now and facts," McGlone
added. "People are still walking
around thinking that they ve done
nothing wrong when they have."
New probes begin into
In this file photo dated April 17, 1989, soccer fans arrive to pay their respects and look at the flowers, scarves
and banners, left on the gates at Hillsborough Football Stadium, after the Hillsborough April 15 tragedy when
fans surged forward during the Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough
Stadium killing 96 people. AP PHOTO
Links Archive March 31st 2014 April 2nd 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page