Blair to give evidence to Hutton

Blair to give evidence to Hutton
Blair to give evidence to Hutton

The Hutton Inquiry has confirmed that the Prime Minister will be asked to give evidence next week.

When launched, the inquiry made clear its intention to call political heavyweights as witnesses. And with Alistair Campbell having given evidence, Tony Blair will follow suit by becoming the first witness on Thursday 28th August .

Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, has been called to give evidence on his role in the affair on Wednesday, whilst the Hutton inquiry has also confirmed that the chairman of the joint intelligence committee, John Scarlett, will be giving evidence on Tuesday the 26th of August.

Lord Hutton's judicial inquiry into the apparent suicide of Dr David Kelly has turned its attention to the role of the Government in disclosing Dr Kelly's name as a possible mole.

Several Government officials such as the head of the Ministry of Defence, Tony Blair's chief of staff and Number 10 spokesmen have given evidence on the role of the Government in the decision to make Dr Kelly's name public after he came forward as a possible source for a BBC story.

Much of the evidence suggests that the Government was heavily involved in the decision to make his name public, though it emerged that the final decision was left with the MoD.

Former UN weapons inspector Dr Kelly was named as the Iraqi weapons expert used as the BBC's source in allegations that someone in Downing Street doctored a key intelligence report on Iraq's capacity to launch lethal weapons.

The BBC's Andrew Gilligan alleged that Mr Campbell was responsible for including information that Iraq could launched WMDs 'within 45 minutes,' in a dossier used to justify the war on Iraq.

Tony Blair will be expected to outline his role in decisions made over the release of Dr Kelly's name, as well as his role in formulating the Iraq dossiers, which laid out the arguments for war.