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PS1m police legal budget for inquests.

WEST Midlands Police has revealed it plans to spend PS1 million on lawyers when the Birmingham pub bombings inquests are reopened.

Birmingham and Solihull coroner Louise Hunt made the historic ruling to reopen the inquests earlier this month.

Ms Hunt announced the decision after receiving "signifi-cant" new information about the IRA terrorist atrocity on November 21, 1974.

Now the force has admitted in its annual statement of accounts that around PS1 million of public money will be spent on lawyers to represent the force at the hearing.

It said: "The inquest is expected to commence in the next accounting period and the costs of legal representation for the force are expected to be around PS1 million although the scope of the inquest is yet to be determined."

The bombings at the Tavern In The Town and the Mulberry Bush killed 21 innocent people and injured more than 180.

A botched investigation by West Midlands Police led to the Birmingham Six being wrongly jailed for the crime.

In the 1970s, inquests were opened after the attacks. However, the process was overtaken by the criminal inquiry and the later convictions of the Birmingham Six, so the inquests were never resumed.

Ms Hunt revealed she had received a "significant" piece of new information related to the claim that British security services may have had knowledge of the bombings beforehand.

The force admitted in the same accounts that it had yet to assess the financial impact of legal action brought by the families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

Families of fans killed in the tragedy are suing West Midlands and South Yorkshire police for PS19 million.

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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 30, 2016
Words:273
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