MX23RW : Wednesday, September 26 04:41:34

Charges dropped against Hillsborough police chief Sir Norman Bettison

Charges dropped against Hillsborough chief
© Reuters
Former police chief Sir Norman Bettison has all charges of misconduct in the wake of the Hillsborough tragedy against him dropped by the CPS.

Former police chief Sir Norman Bettison will not be prosecuted for alleged lies in the aftermath of the Hillsborough tragedy after all charges against him were dropped this afternoon.

Bettison had been charged with four counts of misconduct in a public office, all of which related to alleged mistruths he told about his role in the 1989 disaster which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.

The 62-year-old was the chief inspector at the time of the tragedy, and had been due to face trial next year before the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the charges at Preston Crown Court today.

Bettison was accused of untruthfully describing his role in the response to the incident as "peripheral" when applying for the job of chief constable in Merseyside, as well as lying to the Merseyside Police Authority by saying that he never attempted to shift the blame for the disaster onto Liverpool fans.

Further accusations related to comments Bettison made in September 2012 following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, while he was also charged over a statement claiming that he had never "besmirched" Liverpool fans.

Five other men, including Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield, are due to face trial next year over their role in the disaster.

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A Liverpool football club supporter looks at floral tributes and memorabilia ahead of a memorial service to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster at Anfield in Liverpool, north-west England on April 15, 2009
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