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September 03, 1987

Britain agreed to extradite 26 soccer fans to Belgium to face manslaughter charges in connection with a 1985 stadium riot that left 39 people dead and 400 injured. The decision by Home Secretary Douglas Hurd to hand the Liverpool supporters over to the Belgian authorities brought protests from opposition party legislators and defense attorneys, who wanted the defendants to be tried in Britain, but European soccer officials welcomed it. An agreement is being negotiated with Belgium that would make it possible for the defendants to serve part of their sentences in Britain if they are convicted, Hurd said.

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