Significant numbers of police are refusing to co-operate with investigations into the alleged Hillsborough disaster cover-up, MPs heard yesterday.
Former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer told the Commons home affairs committee that around 30 officers present on the day of the disaster, which killed 96 people, are either claiming that they are sick or are refusing to speak to a police watchdog because they have retired.
Giving evidence alongside members of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG) he said: “The numbers suggest that there are some people who are just not co-operating.”
Retired officers are not obliged to speak to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is carrying out the inquiry.
Representatives of relatives of those killed in the 1989 disaster were called to speak before fresh inquests into their loved ones’ deaths next week.
Hillsborough Justice Campaign’s Sheila Coleman called on Home Secretary Theresa May to investigate claims that family groups were put under surveillance.
She wants the allegations examined alongside claims that the family of murdered Stephen Lawrence was spied on by undercover officers and that an officer accused of corruption had links to the failed investigation into the murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan.
HSFG chairwoman Margaret Aspinall said she was concerned by the number of officers who say they are too sick to give evidence to the IPCC.
She said: “It’s very important they should be brought up to answer questions.”
In December 2012 verdicts of accidental death at the original inquest in March 1991 were quashed.
The action was taken after the Hillsborough Independent Panel studied thousands of documents and reported that there had been a huge cover-up of the disaster at Hillsborough and its aftermath.
Via Morning Star