Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


SOL: The Hutton Inquiry - Week 3 Day 2

From the Streets of London With William Moloney

The Hutton Inquiry - Week 3 Day 2

Witnesses called today, amongst others, were Wing Commander John Clark and Geoff Hoon, Secretary of State for Defence.


Wing Commander Clark

Wing Commander Clark was called as a witness as he shared an office with Dr. Kelly and could give insight into his state of mind.

“He really was the fount of all knowledge in respect of Iraq... he was the expert”

Wing Commander Clark said Dr. Kelly had been “angry and frustrated”, as well as a little embarrassed, when accreditation problems prevented a second trip to Iraq.

Dr. Kelly had spoken proudly of his media contacts and had said he was operating within the MOD rules.

Wing Commander Clark had accompanied Dr. Kelly to the FAC committee hearing.

He had offered to accompany Dr. Kelly three days before the hearing. His role was to provide moral support.

“He felt he was tired. He was clearly not looking forward to the hearing....he was not looking forward to being televised”.


Geoff Hoon

Mr. Hoon said he came to the dossier process “relatively late”, not seeing a draft till the week beginning the 16th of September.

He said he was unaware of any concerns from the Defence Intelligence Staff had till he was preparing to give evidence to MP’s.

”The debate was whether particular intelligence indicated or suggested or showed a particular conclusion”.

When he heard Mr. Gilligans report, he reaction was that it made a “serious charge”- which Ministers had lied to Parliament and the public.

“I took particular exception to the charge as I have responsibility for decisions affecting the lives of British Serviceman.”

He first learnt that an official had come forward as Mr. Gilligan’s source on the 3rd of July. He did not recognize Dr. Kelly’s name.

“My first reaction was that this was something which could well lead to disciplinary proceedings”.

Mr. Hoon informed Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair’s Chief of Staff, that Dr. Kelly had come forward.

On Monday the 7th of July, it was agreed that Dr. Kelly was to go through a second security interview.

”I recognised that the FAC might have an interest in taking evidence from anyone who had been in contact with Andrew Gilligan.”

Mr. Hoon said he had not seen drafts of the press release about Dr. Kelly meeting Andrew Gilligan.

Mr. Hoon said he was not directly aware Downing Street involvement in drafting the MOD press release, but it would not surprise him.

Mr. Hoon said he had never seen the question and answer paper for MOD press offices which said they should confirm Dr. Kelly’s name.

On the 7th of July, Mr. Hoon discussed with Alistair Campbell ways to get the BBC to acknowledge that Dr. Kelly was their source.

Mr. Campbell floated the idea of leaking Dr. Kelly’s name.

Mr. Hoon was asked by Lord Hutton if the only reason of the MOD statement was issued solely to get the BBC to acknowledge Dr. Kelly as their source.

Mr. Hoon said that was partly the reason and also to avoid the charge of a cover-up.

It was suggested by counsel that the main reason for the Q and A sheets given to MOD press officers was to help journalist’s identify Dr. Kelly.

“If you are suggesting that there was some deliberate effort here to identify Dr. Kelly, I say that is absolutely wrong.”

Mr. Hoon said it was often very hard for press officers to “baton down the hatches” in the face of journalists.

Lord Hutton suggested you could simply say “We do not give out civil servants names”

Mr. Hoon said that this was not “strictly true”.

When asked about his decision to over rule his Permanent Secretary and have Dr. Kelly to appear before the FAC.

He said it was “ultimately my decision” but he had known the PM shared his view that it would be “extraordinarily difficult” to refuse permission for Dr. Kelly to give evidence.

Mr. Hoon said the conditions he laid down about Dr. Kelly’s appearance at the FAC was to protect Dr. Kelly, not to limit what he could say.

He admitted that Dr. Kelly had been given a “great deal of help and advice” in preparing Dr. Kelly for the FAC hearing.

“I cannot see any way in which Dr. Kelly was poorly treated in the process within the MOD.”


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news