Hoon, Campbell and Gilligan recalled by Hutton

Click to follow
Indy Politics

Lord Hutton's inquiry into the death of weapons expert David Kelly resumed today recalled Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon to give evidence under cross-examination next Monday.

Former Downing Street communications chief Alastair Campbell will give evidence on the same day, while BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan will give further evidence this Wednesday together with Richard Sambrook, director of BBC News.

James Dingemans QC, counsel to the inquiry, today outlined the second stage of the inquiry. He said the inquiry had heard from 63 witnesses over a 15-day period, but there were still more people and other areas to be covered.

"There are some areas that need to be tidied up," he said.

Mr Dingemans also explained that some witnesses were not available and that apparent inconsistencies in the first phase of evidence needed to be clarified.

He said the second phase was also important for witnesses who felt they had been criticised and would give them an opportunity to "accept or reject" these criticisms.

Next Tuesday, September 23, Mr Blair's official spokesmen Tom Kelly and Godric Smith, will face questioning from counsel for the Government and Mr Kelly will be questioned by counsel for Dr Kelly's family

Next up is John Scarlett, the head of the Joint Intelligence Committee and responsible for drafting the dossier. He will face questions from his own counsel as well as the BBC.

Assistant chief constable of Thames Valley Police Michael Paige and BBC chairman Gavyn Davies will also give evidence.

Mr Davies will continue giving evidence on Wednesday, September 24, followed by Patrick Lamb, deputy director of counter proliferation and arms control at the MoD.

His evidence is followed by Dr Bryan Wells, the director of counter proliferation and arms control.

Finally, MoD officials Wing Commander John Clark and James Harrison will give evidence again to the committee. This will be followed by the closing submissions for the Kelly family.

On Thursday, September 25, Lord Hutton will hear closing submissions from counsel for the Government, the BBC, individual witnesses and Mr Dingemans.

The final part, where each counsel is limited to an hour for their submissions, will be televised.

Mr Dingemans said: "While stage two is necessary, it is hoped that this procedure will continue to be fair, courteous but still designed to elicit the truth."

He said witnesses trying to, in cricket terms, "play for lunch" - in other words, providing slow and vague answers - would not be tolerated.

Comments