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Hillsborough disaster police chief pleads not guilty

Former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent David Duckenfield was the match-day commander on the day of the Hillsborough disaster © AFP / PAUL ELLIS

LONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 10The police commander at the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster pleaded not guilty on Monday on the first day of his manslaughter trial over the death of 95 Liverpool supporters.

David Duckenfield, 74, was the match-day commander at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground.

He faces 95 counts of gross negligence manslaughter following the fatal crush in the Leppings Lane end allocated to Liverpool fans.

The former chief superintendent appeared via videolink at Preston Crown Court on Monday, confirming his name and entering his plea.

England’s state prosecutor, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), had applied to lift a historical stay — an order preventing him being tried — on Duckenfield, which was put in place in 2000.

Former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, 68, also pleaded not guilty to one charge involving the stadium safety certificate and one health and safety charge.

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