'A Year until Any Criminal Charges' TWO INVESTIGATIONS ABOUT THE DISASTER ARE ONGOING

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), April 27, 2016 | Go to article overview

'A Year until Any Criminal Charges' TWO INVESTIGATIONS ABOUT THE DISASTER ARE ONGOING


Byline: ELEANOR BARLOW ECHO Reporter eleanor.barlow@trinitymirror.com @eleanorbarlow

IT COULD be a year before any charges are brought relating to Hillsborough, investigators said.

Two criminal investigations into the disaster have been ongoing while the inquests into the 96 deaths have been under way.

Operation Resolve, which is examining the preparation for the FA Cup semi-final and the events on the day, and the IPCC investigation, which is focused on police actions in the aftermath of the disaster, were both set up after the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, in 2012.

But the investigations are not expected to finish until the end of the year.

Once the enquiries are complete, files will be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which could take between three and six months to make a decision on charges.

Yesterday, the CPS said it would now consider bringing charges.

Operation Resolve is investigating offences of gross negligence manslaughter, misconduct in a public office, perverting the course of justice and breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and Safety at Sports Grounds Act.

The IPCC is focusing on offences of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, perverting the course of justice, perjury and misconduct in public office.

Deputy chair of the IPCC, Rachel Cerfontyne, told the ECHO: "Now the inquests have come to an end, that's an end of a very important part of the process - but it is only part of the process.

"For the IPCC, the end of the inquests is neither a beginning nor an end for us; actually, in parallel to the inquests, while they've been going on, we've been conducting our criminal investigation."

Both teams have been working to support the inquests at the same time as conducting their criminal investigations.

Assistant Commissioner Jon Stoddart, the officer in overall control of Operation Resolve, said: "While the inquests have been ongoing, my team has been providing all the necessary statements and reports the coroner requires for the successful conclusions of the inquests. …

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