Malta Independent

Hillsborou­gh charges dropped against former police chief


A former police chief who was charged with lying about his involvemen­t in the aftermath of the Hillsborou­gh Stadium tragedy in 1989 will no longer face trial, prosecutor­s said Tuesday.

Norman Bettison, who was chief inspector of the region where Britain's worst sports disaster took place, had been charged with four counts of misconduct while in public office.

Britain's Crown Prosecutio­n Service said proceeding­s against Bettison were dropped because of developmen­ts in the available evidence, which "means there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction."

The 62-year-old Bettison had been due to face trial next year.

Five other men are to face trial next year for offenses related to the disaster in which 96 people died following a crush in a standingon­ly section of Hillsborou­gh as it staged an FA Cup semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The original verdicts of accidental death were overturned in 2012 after documents uncovered mistakes by authoritie­s and a coverup by police, following a long campaign by families of the victims.

A support group for the families said it will call for a review of the decision to drop the charges against Bettison.

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