No live broadcast for Kelly inquiry

Lord Hutton’s Inquiry into the death of government scientist Dr David Kelly will not be televised.

Although Lord Hutton, the judge appointed to head the inquiry, was reportedly pushing for the whole inquiry to be televised, cameras will be barred from all but the opening and closing statements.

The secretary to the inquiry, Lee Hughes, said the hearings, which will take place in Courtroom 73 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, would not be broadcast on radio or television.

Journalists will be required to report second-hand from an annexe to the inquiry room, where they will be able to see and hear the testimony of witnesses.

However, transcripts of all evidence given to the inquiry will be made available to the media and the public “almost immediately.”

Lord Hutton announced earlier this week that he wanted to conduct the inquiry “mostly in public”.

No date for the first public sitting has yet been set because the date of Dr Kelly’s funeral has yet to be confirmed.

A spokeswoman for the inquiry told The Guardian that Lord Hutton believed witnesses may feel under “too much pressure” if their testimonies were broadcast in full.

Key witnesses to appear in front of the inquiry panel are likely to be Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, Geoff Hoon and Andrew Gilligan.

Iraq arms expert Dr David Kelly’s body was found last Friday in woodland near his Oxfordshire home.

He appears to have committed suicide after becoming embroiled in a row between the BBC and the government over allegations that intelligence information about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was doctored to make a case for war.

The Department of Constitutional Affairs – which is responsible for the inquiry – stated today, “The press and other sections of the media will be able to report the entirety of the public hearings, save that it is Lord Hutton’s present intention that the evidence of witnesses to the inquiry and applications in the course of the inquiry will not be filmed or broadcast.

“However, TV filming and radio broadcasting of opening and closing statements may take place.”

The inquiry is expected to report back to Parliament some time in September.

Lord Hutton himself will not be giving any interviews.