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Five accused appear in court over Hillsborough disaster

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Family and friends of those who died in the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster, gather outside the Warrington Magistrate's Court, in Warrington, north west England on August 9, 2017. Five men charged over the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans died, were to appear in court for the first time on August 9, 2017. Pic/AFP
Family and friends of those who died in the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster, gather outside the Warrington Magistrate’s Court, in Warrington, north west England on August 9, 2017. Five men charged over the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans died, were to appear in court for the first time on August 9, 2017. Pic/AFP

Five men charged over the Hillsborough football stadium disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans died, appeared in court for the first time yesterday, 28 years on from the tragedy. The five, who include three former police officers, appeared at Warrington Magistrates’ Court in northwest England. The defendants walked past relatives of the victims as they entered the court, around 15 miles (25 kilometres) from Liverpool. Following a 25-minute hearing dealing with largely administrative matters, the case was passed up to Preston Crown Court in northwest England.

No formal pleas were entered by the defendants, who spoke only to confirm their names, ages and addresses. District Judge Emma Arbuthnot told them: “You are being sent under various provisions to Preston Crown Court and the first appearance there will be on September 6. If you don’t attend there will be a warrant for your arrest and the case will take place without you. I’m sure you will attend.”

The 1989 fatal crush took place at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground in Yorkshire at an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

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