A formal application to quash the verdicts of the original Hillsborough inquests has been made by the British government’s top lawyer.
By David Hughes
Attorney general Dominic Grieve said there was a “good” case for setting aside the accidental death verdicts and holding new hearings into the deaths of the 96 Liverpool fans killed in the 1989 football stadium disaster.
The move comes after a damning report into the tragedy revealed a cover-up which attempted to shift the blame on to the victims.
Mr Grieve will appear in person at the High Court to argue that new evidence means there should be fresh inquests.
He said: “I believe that the case for the High Court to quash the original inquests is a good one.
“My application has now been lodged with the court. It is my intention to appear to argue the case at the hearing that will take place in the High Court.”
If the court quashes the inquests and orders fresh inquests to be heard, its powers are limited to referring the cases back to the district in which they were originally heard.
It is understood the attorney general will suggest the court should return the cases to Doncaster.
The families had made it clear they wished for the new inquests to be held in Liverpool but a spokesman for the attorney general’s office said the location will be “a matter for the coronial process”.
The 96 Liverpool supporters died in the crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium on Apr 15, 1989, where their team were to meet Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final.
Anne Williams, whose son Kevin died in the disaster, wrote on Twitter: “Just received email the attorney general is sending kevin’s case to the divisional courts seeking a new inquest his death.”
More than 105,000 people have signed an e-petition calling for a fresh inquest into Kevin Williams’ death to be held swiftly as his mother is suffering from cancer.
Ms Williams, 60, who has made four submissions to overturn the verdict of her son’s inquest to different attorneys general over the years, said this is what she had been waiting 23 years for.
She said: “I can’t believe it. This is my fourth submission to attorney generals over the years and they have always come back ’not in the interests of justice’.”
Chairwoman of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, Margaret Aspinall, whose son James, 18, died at Hillsborough, said: “We have waited over 20 years for these verdicts to be overturned and I’m sure all the families will be delighted to hear that these stepsare being taken.
“It is a great step towards getting the justice we have fought for.”
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