Hillsborough cover up exposed — cops could face charges
Pressure is mounting for police officers involved in the Hillsborough disaster to face prosecution.
In 1989, 96 football fans were killed in a human crush in a game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.
The calls for prosecution follow the publication of a damning report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel that exposed the extent of the cover-up by South Yorkshire Police, which attempted to shift the blame onto the 96 innocent victims.
The report found that 164 police statements had been altered, 116 of them to remove or alter “unfavourable” comments about the policing operation on the day. The panel also found that statements by South Yorks emergency services staff had been doctored.
The families of those who died have vowed to carry on their fight for justice by pursuing criminal prosecutions against those who they said should “hang their heads in shame”.
Former lord chancellor Lord Falconer, who is advising the victims' relatives, said: “The question of criminal proceedings needs to be looked at.”
South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton, who was appointed in April, said: “If someone has falsified something and it breaches the criminal law then fair enough, that applies to anybody, whether it's in relation to Hillsborough or anything else. They should face prosecution, let's be clear about it.”
There have also been calls for honours to be stripped from those criticised in the report including Sir Irvine Patrick, who was Tory MP for Sheffield Hallam at the time of the disaster and was singled out as a source for some of the false allegations linking the behaviour of fans to the deaths.
West Yorkshire Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison was also urged to resign after being identified in the report.
[Abridged from Morning Star.]