Hillsborough appeal

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RELATIVES of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough tragedy yesterday appealed for previous inquest verdicts to be overturned, ahead of a new report into the disaster to be published on Wednesday, writes Stephen Castle.

The investigation by Lord Justice Stuart-Smith was set up by the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, to consider claims of new evidence including video from surveillance cameras that had previously been thought lost.

Phil Hammond, vice-chairman and secretary of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, said: "The majority of families want the verdicts of accidental death quashed...[as that would] at least acknowledge that the deaths of our loved ones were not an accident".

The video evidence consists of a tape taken from a surveillance camera trained on the Leppings Lane stand, which clearly shows events between noon and 5.22pm on the fateful day in April 1989. Police told subsequent inquests and inquiries that they were unaware of the build-up of fans in the pens because the camera was not working.