Letter: No right of appeal against Scott inquiry conclusions

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The Independent Online
Sir: Lord Howe's strictures on the Scott inquiry are revealing of the contempt with which ministers, former ministers and civil servants treat the public. The arms to Iraq (and Iran) scandal is one of the most serious examples of the abuse of power that has ever emerged. So far we have barely scratched the surface.

There have been murders, wrongful arrests, false imprisonments and misuse of government agencies and the process of law in this sorry affair. Many have had no protection at all from political abuse and corruption orchestrated in conjunction with the security/ intelligence services.

Lord Howe obviously did not understand 'Big Boys' Rules' although his government has applied these rules mercilessly to innocent men. He bleats about legal representation and the fact that Lord Justice Scott is detective, inquisitor, advocate and judge. Has he ever heard of a Department of Trade and Industry Inquiry, one of the devices used to hide Iraqgate?

Most of the people in my company (Astra Holdings) could not afford legal representation, and the ridiculous report produced at a cost of pounds 2.2m condemned those who had been among the first to report and investigate the scandal. Several of us were also ridiculed by a Conservative-dominated DTI Select Committee of the House of Commons, although the truth of what was said has now been established.

Your editorial of 13 January hits the nail on the head. Lord Justice Scott must now follow the money and look at the City and industry and those who were the well paid tools of corrupt government.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW13

13 January

The writer was formerly chairman of Astra Holdings PLC.