LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 15, 2015: A supporter touches the temporary Memorial before the 26th Anniversary Hillsborough Service at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Hillsborough match commander pleads not guilty

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter by gross negligence for the deaths of 95 supporters at the Hillsborough disaster.

The former chief superintendent appeared via videolink at Preston Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

The names of the 95 men, women and children he is charged with unlawfully killing were read out in court as the charge was put to him.

Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the death of the 96th victim, Tony Bland, as he died more than a year and a day after his injuries were caused on April 15, 1989.

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Mr. Duckenfield was the police offer in charge for the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough when Liverpool faced Nottingham Forest 29 years ago.

He is charged in relation to those who died in the crush at the ground.

The maximum sentence for manslaughter by gross negligence is life in prison.

Graham Mackrell also entered a plea of not guilty, to two charges of breaching safety legislation.

Mr. Mackrell was the secretary and safety officer of Sheffield Wednesday at the time, the club on whose ground the semi-final was taking place.

The trial for the two men is due to start on January 14 in Preston.