Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Northern Ireland duo join panel on Hillsborough disaster

A former top PSNI officer and a professor based in Northern Ireland will sit on an independent panel set to probe the Hillsborough disaster, which left 96 football fans dead.

Ex-deputy chief constable Paul Leighton and Queen’s University law professor Phil Scraton were yesterday named as part of the seven strong panel who will have access to millions of previously unseen secret documents on the 1989 tragedy.

The Liverpool football fans were crushed to death at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium on 15 April.

Families of the victims have disputed the findings of the previous inquest into the deaths.

They have also raised questions concerning police statements about the events.

The panel, who will meet for the first time tomorrow, will be chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Rev James Jones.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Leighton said: “I’m privileged to have been asked to serve on this panel because if I can do anything to bring an understanding and openness to the families I am delighted to try and help through my experience.”

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