Hillsborough justice at last

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SIX CHARGED in connection with Hillsborough stadium tragedy.

British prosecutors charged six people, including four former senior police officials, on Wednesday in connection with the deaths of 96 fans at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, England, in 1989.

The victims, all Liverpool supporters, died in an overcrowded, fenced-in enclosure at the stadium during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Police at first blamed the tragedy on drunken fans, an explanation that was always rejected by the friends and families of the victims and the wider Liverpool community who spent decades campaigning for ‘justice for the 96’.

In April 2016, a two-year inquest found that the fans had been ‘unlawfully killed’, citing errors or omissions by the police in planning and executing security for the match on April 15, 1989.

In particular, the inquest faulted the actions of commanding officers and left to prosecutors the decision whether to file criminal charges and on Wednesday, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it would.

David Duckenfield, the match commander for the South Yorkshire Police on the day of the tragedy, will face manslaughter charges. Five other men also face charges: Graham Henry Mackrell, a former secretary of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, which operates Hillsborough Stadium; Peter Metcalf, a lawyer who represented the South Yorkshire Police; and three other former high-ranking police officers — Norman Bettison, Donald Denton and Alan Foster.

“I have decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge six individuals with criminal offences,” said Sue Hemming, head of the special crime and counter-terrorism division at the Crown Prosecution Service, in a statement.

Relatives of the victims, who were told of the decision in private shortly before it was made public, embraced outside the building where they were briefed in Warrington, northern England.

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