Law chief to consider having 
inquest verdicts overturned

The Attorney General has said “significant issues” had been raised over the original Hillsborough inquest and he would consider if there was enough evidence to have the verdicts quashed.

Dominic Grieve would need to apply to the High Court to have the verdicts of the original hearing overturned before a new one could be held.

He said: “I have not yet had an opportunity to study the Panel’s report, but it is clear that they have documented significant issues over the original inquest.

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“I will now consider whether there is sufficient evidence to support an application to the High Court to quash the original inquest and start a new inquest process.”

The procedure will take time, Mr Grieve added, acknowledging that “the wait for truth and justice has been long and unspeakably painful for a great many people”.

He said: “The meticulous and thorough work of the Panel means that not only is there now a great deal more material than was available before, but also that it has been organised in a way which makes my task easier, for which I am very grateful.

“If I decide to make an application to the Court – and I cannot reach any conclusion until I have seen all the material I need to – my responsibility will be to put together an application that ensures the Court has before it all it needs to give the matter full and proper consideration. It may also be
necessary for me to consider further representations from individuals.

“I know that the wait for truth and justice has been long and unspeakably painful for a great many people. I will do my best to come to a decision as quickly as possible but the process will inevitably take some time.”

Earlier Sheila Coleman from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign called for the inquest verdicts to be quashed, and said: “The Attorney General needs to surely, with the evidence presented to him today and the evidence previously presented to him, must quash the inquest verdicts in all cases.”

The Crown Prosecution Service said it was too early to say whether any criminal charges could be brought in the wake of the report.

James Saunders, solicitor for the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said: “It is for Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, to make an application to the High Court to quash the current inquest verdict which was based on evidence that had been tampered with and an untrue picture of events.”