'Government risked my life by copying Iraq study'

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Indy Politics

The postgraduate student whose work was plagiarised in the "dodgy dossier" on Iraq's arms said yesterday that he feared for his life because of the Government's "reckless" decision to publish the document.

Alastair Campbell, the Prime Ministers' director of strategy and communications, was sent a second summons yesterday to appear before the powerful Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee as Ibrahim al-Marashi demanded an apology from the Government for copying his study of Iraq's security services from the internet.

Mr Campbell had to write to the intelligence agencies to reassure them that new procedures were in place to prevent a repeat of the episode.

Mr Marashi told MPs he had not been contacted by the Government. He said he had feared Saddam's security services would attack his family in Iraq or even threaten his home in California after the publication of the now-infamous document in February. He said: "It could have had disastrous effects on my family back home. Given the personal stress I have gone through, I think the least they could have done is offer me an apology." He told MPs that Iraqi security services knew the address of his family in the United States. He said: "My family in California feared for my personal safety."

He said he was "shocked" to discover that large portions of his thesis on Iraq's security service had been copied and used in the Government's dossier on Iraq's weapons.

Plagiarised material formed 90 per cent of the dossier, he said. Key parts of the original research had also been altered to make the threat from Iraq appear more serious.

"It connected me with the British case for going to war and having relatives in Iraq it would have been dangerous to them. I have already lost two relatives to the Saddam regime." He added: "It was never my intention to have it support such an argument to provide evidence to go to war."