Don't jump the gun on inquiry : LETTERS

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The Independent Online
From Mr C.P. J. Muttukumaru Sir: With regards to Chris Blackhurst's article, "Lilley is blamed by Iraq arms inquiry" (27 January), where criticism of individuals have been made in the draft report, extracts are sent to them for comment in order to ensurefairness. The final version of the report will be the only authoritative and conclusive reflection of Sir Richard Scott's views.

For that reason, we have asked individuals to respect the confidentiality of the draft extracts sent to them. Ill-informed speculation about the contents of the draft report is unfair to the individuals concerned and creates unnecessary burdens for the inquiry. By way of illustration, the section of the report dealing with public interest immunity has not even been written! It is a matter of great regret that, as a result of the Inquiry's efforts to ensure fairness, mischievous comment is now being madeby people whose motivation is unclear. Sir Richard Scott hopes that, pending publication of the final report, the individuals concerned, as well as the media, will show an appropriate degree of restraint.

Yours faithfully, C.P. J. MUTTUKUMARU London, SW1

27 January The writer is Secretary to the Inquiry into Exports of Defence Equipment and Dual Use Goods to Iraq.