Hillsborough families to hear criminal charges decision from Crown Prosecution Service

CPS will announce whether individuals and organisations will face criminal charges over the Hillsborough disaster

BY Newstalk 10:25 Wednesday 28 June 2017, 10:25 28 Jun 2017

Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images

The Crown Prosecution Service is to announce whether individuals and organisations will face criminal charges over the Hillsborough disaster.

The CPS said it would reveal its decisions to the families of those who died at a special meeting.

It comes after jurors at the new inquests into the tragedy in Sheffield concluded the fans had been unlawfully killed.

In January, files of evidence relating to 23 suspects were referred to the CPS to decide whether charges should be brought. Of these, 15 suspects related to Operation Resolve's investigation into the causes of the disaster.

A further eight individuals related to the IPCC's independent investigation into both South Yorkshire Police and West Midlands Police and the alleged cover-up of the disaster.

Relatives of the 96 victims have been invited to a private meeting in Warrington, where they will be informed of the decision.

Operation Resolve Assistant Commissioner Robert Beckley said: "Our task has been to investigate whether any individual or organisation is criminally culpable for their role either in the planning and preparation for the match or on the day of the game itself.

"The extensive file we have submitted, which contains over 35 million words, reflects four years of intense work from my team.

"As well as conducting a criminal investigation, for three years we also supported the coronial process in providing the coroner with thousands of documents, witness statements and reports to assist him in conducting the inquests."

IPCC deputy chair Rachel Cerfontyne said: "These criminal investigations into the circumstances surrounding the Hillsborough disaster are the largest investigations into alleged police wrongdoing ever undertaken in England and Wales.

Margaret Aspinall CBE, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, lost her 18 year-old son James in the disaster.

She told Sky News: "It's going to be very emotional not only for the families but you have to think of the survivors as well, and I think the city as a whole will be waiting to hear what's going to happen."


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