Independent Panel to publish unseen documents on the Hillsborough tragedy
The families of the 96 people killed in the Hillsborough disaster will today see thousands of official documents related to the tragedy published for the first time.
The Hillsborough Independent Panel has spent the last 20 months overseeing the release of previously unpublished papers relating to the incident, which are thought to expose the cover up and failings of the police on that fateful day in 1989.
The papers have been gathered from around 80 orginisations, including the government, police, emergency services, Sheffield City Council and the South Yorkshire coroner.
The families of the 96 will be the first to see the published papers, before Prime Minister David Cameron addresses MP’s in the House of Commons.
With over 400,000 pages of evidence gathered, a report explaining the contents of the documents will be released by the panel, chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool the Rt Rev James Jones.
The families of the 96 have been fighting for justice for 23 years, after a report by Lord Justice Taylor in 1990 revealed the disaster was down to “failure of police control” but a prosecution was never brought with the Crown Prosecution Service claiming there was insufficient evidence.
The victims families have been battling for justice ever since, with no individual or orginisation being held fully responsible for the disaster. It is believed the South Yorkshire Police never initiated the major incident plan, and fans in the Leppings Lane end were denied emergency medical attention.
The families also dispute the verdict of accidental death, after an inquest claimed all the victims were dead by 3.15 pm. The published papers are set to reveal what happened after 3.15pm for the first time.
Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Families Support Group hopes today will be a crucial step in the families search for justice, and will go some way to providing some sort of closure.
“This is what the families and the fans have been fighting for 23 years. Without the truth you cannot grieve and where there is deceit, you get no justice,” Mrs Aspinall, 65, said.
The families will see the documents for the first time today at Liverpool Cathedral, and can seek advice from two of the countries top lawyers, Michael Mansfield QC and Lord Falconer.
The families are expected to meet in the coming days to decide what action to take following the disclosures.