By Alex Stevenson
Momentum is gathering for criminal prosecutions against those who hid the truth about the Hillsborough disaster, one day after devastating revelations shocked Britain.
South Yorkshire police's systematic cover-up of the truth, the Sun newspaper's willingness to accept their story and the inadequacy of the original inquest are now facing the renewed light of public scrutiny after the publication of hundreds of thousands of pages of documents yesterday.
Attorney-general Dominic Grieve will review the evidence and decide whether to apply to the high court for the original inquest to be quashed. Its pathologist incorrectly argued that all the victims were dead before 15:15, a quarter of an hour after the kick-off in the FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Sheffield Wednesday.
Yesterday the Hillsborough Independent Panel said that as many as 41 of the 96 victims still had the "potential" to survive after that time.
The victims' families are threatening to pursue legal action against those who covered up failings in the policing operation. In all 164 statements were "significantly amended" and some officers carried out national computer checks in an attempt to "impugn" the reputation of those who had died.
Trevor Hicks, who lost two daughters in the fatal crush at Hillsborough, told BBC2's Newsnight programme that he expected those in positions of authority would do all they could to press for criminal action.
"If I come back to David Cameron's statement, he said quite categorically that the state had let us down," he said.
"So we will give the state the opportunity to put that right. But if it looks as though they're not going to do that, then we will do as we've done before and we'll take it out of their hands."
The prime minister's acknowledgement of the "double injustice" suffered by the victims' families – that the reputation of those in the crowd had been muddied by allegations that they were under the influence of alcohol and that this somehow played a part in their death – was greeted with particular relief by the families yesterday.
Anger remains at the zeal with which the Sun newspaper, in particular, embraced the police's lies under its headline: 'The Truth'.
Current editor Dominic Mohan said: "We said it was the truth — it wasn't.
"It's a version of events that 23 years ago The Sun went along with and for that we're deeply ashamed and profoundly sorry."
News International, which owns the Sun, pointed the finger at a Sheffield news agency and the former Sheffield Hallam MP Irvine Patnick as the source of the rumours.
Labour backbencher John Mann has begun calls for Patnick to be stripped of his knighthood.
"The shameful and disgusting behaviour of Sir Irvine Patnick is a significant feature in the Hillsborough independent panel report and his knighthood should be removed immediately," he said.
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By Alex Stevenson