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Special prosecutor to lead Hillsborough investigation - report

The Liverpool Echo reports that the British government will announce the highly-unusual move on Monday when the Hillsborough Independent Panel report will be debated in parliament.

Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT will announce the appointment of a special prosecutor to lead the investigation into the Hillsborough disaster on Monday, it is reported today.

The Liverpool Echo reports that the Home Secretary Theresa May will announce the move in the House of Commons on Monday to quell fears that fresh criminal investigations into the football stadium disaster 23 years ago will drag on for years.

The unusual move comes in the wake of the publication of a damning report into the disaster last month which exposed an inadequate emergency response and concerted attempt by the police to shift the blame for the disaster onto the supporters.

Already following the report’s publication the largest independent investigation into police behaviour in British history has been launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Director of Public Prosecutions.

Earlier this week the Attorney General for England and Wales, Dominic Grieve, announced plans to overturn the original inquest verdict of ‘accidental death’ in the case of the 96 Liverpool supporters who died at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium.

The identity of the special prosecutor has not yet been identified, says the Liverpool Echo, but the person who takes up the role will be charged with investigating criminal actions including possible manslaughter charges and/or conspiracy to pervert the course of justice charges.

Speaking to a parliamentary committee earlier this week, the victims’ families called for a “knitted together” investigation into Hillsborough.

“The injustices that have been dealt to all these families needs correcting and needs correcting quickly,” Trevor Hicks, who lost his two teenage daughters at Hillsborough, told MPs.

The announcement will likely be made as a five-and-a-half-hour debate on the Hillsborough Independent Panel report gets under way in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon.

The publication of the report last month has already led to a full apology from the British Prime Minister David Cameron to the Hillsborough families for what he described as the “double injustice” of losing their loved ones as well as the subsequent police smear campaign.

Read: Up to 200 police could face charges over Hillsborough tragedy

The Hillsborough documents: What we’ve learned so far

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Hugh O'Connell

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