A HIGH Court judge is set to preside over new inquests for the 96 who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster.
Attorney General Dominic Grieve said he expected a Yorkshire coroner to ask a high court judge to oversee the re-run of the inquests that originally returned an ‘accidental death’ verdict.
In a letter to Birkenhead MP Frank Field he also all but confirmed that the families would not have to pay their own legal costs saying that government would wish to ensure that the inquests are “properly funded”.
He stated that while he cannot ensure that the fresh inquests are held in Liverpool, he is very aware of the feelings of families affected by Hillsborough. Once the matter is back at Sheffield it could then be transferred to another venue, he said..
Mr Field wrote to the Attorney General last week pressing the case for families.
He said: “The Attorney General, while maintaining the independence of his position, is clearly going to do his best to put centre stage the needs and wishes of the families who lost loved ones at Hillsborough”.
Margaret Aspinall, chair of Hillsborough Family Support Group, said it was vital families did not have to pay their costs.
“The costs should be covered by the government, the families have already paid.
“Let’s hope the high court judge (that oversees the inquests) takes into consideration the feelings of the families after 23 years (that the inquests be held in Liverpool).”
Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram revealed last week that the legal costs of the 1991 inquests for the families had reached £125,000, and when travel to Sheffield was added the bill ran to £250,000.