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Tuesday, July 20, 1999 Published at 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK


Hillsborough policemen face trial

Accused: Bernard Murray and David Duckenfield

Two former senior policemen on duty during the Hillsborough disaster are to stand trial.

Former Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield and former Superintendent Bernard Murray face charges of manslaughter over two of the 96 Liverpool football fans who died. They are also charged with wilful neglect of public duty at the 1989 disaster.

The BBC's Catherine Marston: "They will now face a trial for manslaughter"
Mr Duckenfield, 54, of Bournemouth, Dorset, and Mr Murray, 57, of Pontefract, West Yorkshire, were in charge of crowd control at the Sheffield Wednesday ground during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The private prosecution against Mr Duckenfield and Mr Murray is the first criminal case arising from the tragedy.

[ image: Fans were caught in the crush]
Fans were caught in the crush
Members of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, which brought the prosecution, were at Leeds Magistrates Court to hear stipendiary magistrate Nigel Cadbury rule after a nine-day hearing that both men should stand trial at Leeds Crown Court on 24 August.

The decision was greeted with joy by members of the support group, who have fought for 10 years for a prosecution over the disaster.

The BBC's Mike McKay: Relatives have been campaining for a trial by jury for several years
The Liverpool fans named in the charges, John Alfred Anderson, 62, and James Gary Aspinall, 18, were crushed to death with others on terracing at the Leppings Lane end of the stadium.

Last week stipendiary magistrate Mr Cadbury rejected a defence argument that a fair trial could not take place.

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