Stage two: the 15 issues that Hutton must now consider

By Paul Waugh

16 September 2003

James Dingemans QC, counsel for the Hutton inquiry, said yesterday that stage one of the hearings - set up to examine the circumstances leading to the death of David Kelly - had not fully revealed why certain events happened. In that case, Lord Hutton might consider in stage two some or all of 15 issues. The Independent provides answers to each in the light of what has been established so far.

How was the dossier of 24 September 2002 prepared and who was responsible for drafting it?

The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) was supposed to be in charge of the dossier, with the cabinet office assessment staff doing the drafting. MI6, MI5, GCHQ and Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) commented on drafts. Changes in wording from Alastair Campbell were also adopted.

What part did Dr Kelly play in the preparation of the dossier?

Dr Kelly wrote most of the section on the history of UN weapons inspections in Iraq and parts of sections on Iraq's weapons programmes.

What knowledge did Dr Kelly have of the contents of the dossier and of earlier drafts of the dossier?

He first saw a full copy of the dossier on 19 September at a meeting. It appears that he had not seen earlier drafts but was undoubtedly told about them. It is unclear whether he saw theSeptember JIC assessment on the 45-minute claim.

Were the Prime Minister and Mr Campbell and other officials in No 10 responsible for intelligence being set out in the dossier which was incorrect or misleading, or to which improper emphasis was given?

The Intelligence and Security Committee has already made clear that the dossier failed to include caveats for its claims about 45 minutes and production of chemical and biological agents. Mr Campbell will argue that he was making presentational points and correcting inconsistencies. Much of the intelligence does now look to have been incorrect or misleading.

What was said by Dr Kelly to the BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan on 22 May?

Dr Kelly said that he didn't recognise himself as the main source for Mr Gilligan's broadcast. Dr Kelly admitted to MPs that he may have used the word "sexier". A tape from Susan Watts, another BBC reporter, shows that Dr Kelly believed No 10 was involved.

Did Mr Gilligan accurately report what was said by Dr Kelly in his broadcast on 29 May and in his Mail on Sunday article on 1 June?

Mr Gilligan is in trouble over evidence that it was he who used the name Campbell first. It has been claimed that Dr Kelly didn't use the word "transformed".

Were the matters reported by Mr Gilligan during his radio broadcast and in his Mail on Sunday article true?

Mr Dingemans said it was for this reason that the inquiry would hear further evidence about the September dossier.

Mr Gilligan accepts that he was wrong to state in an early broadcast that No 10 wanted intelligence in the dossier "knowing" it was untrue. It is clear that the 45-minute claim was not included in the dossier at Mr Campbell's "behest".But Mr Campbell's suggestions for stronger language in the dossier were accepted by John Scarlett, chairman of the JIC. The hardening up of the passage on the 45-minutes threat was included "against the wishes" of members of the DIS. Brian Jones and his chemical weapons chief felt the claim was not "reliable" because it was single-sourced, second-hand and failed to make clear it referred to battlefield munitions, not long-range missiles.

What was the response and complaints made by the Government to the BBC relating to the broadcast?

No 10 made clear while the programme was on air that it felt the central charge about it "transforming" the dossier was false. Mr Campbell complained, but for some reason did not use the BBC Complaints Unit and wrote letters instead. He widened his attack to suggest that the BBC was opposed to the war in general.

What was the BBC reaction to those complaints?

Richard Sambrook, director of news at the BBC, Gavyn Davies, the chairman and Greg Dyke, the director general, stuck to their guns. They defended the entire Gilligan broadcast, including the early "two-way" that Mr Gilligan accepts was wrong. An internal memo saying his reporting was "flawed" was not shown to Mr Davies or Mr Dyke.

What steps did the Ministry of Defence and the Government take after Dr Kelly informed his MoD line manager that he had spoken to Mr Gilligan on 22 May?

Dr Kelly was interviewed twice by Richard Hatfield, personnel director at the MoD. After the second interview, Martin Howard, deputy chief of defence intelligence, Sir Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the MoD, and John Scarlett, the JIC chairman, all agreed that Dr Kelly looked like Mr Gilligan's main source.

What were the circumstances in which the MoD released a press statement on 8 July and the question and answer material used in support of it?

This also involves identifying what Dr Kelly was told about this process and determining whether or not he agreed to it, Mr Dingemans said. Tony Blair chaired a "running meeting" in his office on 8 July that in effect approved the idea of a press statement. Mr Blair's role in the Q&A drafted that day is much less clear. Pam Teare, director of news at the MoD, and Mr Howard hatched the plan to confirm Dr Kelly's name, but Sir Kevin"glanced" at the Q&A at lunchtime and approved it. Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, chaired a meeting that also appears to have given the final go-ahead for the confirmation strategy. Dr Kelly appears to have agreed to the press statement.

Was there an attempt by Government to downplay to the media Dr Kelly's importance as a civil servant and his role in the production of the dossier which did not reflect the reality and was designed to assist in the dispute with the BBC?

Dr Kelly was described as a "middle ranking official", which was technically true, but failed to reflect his expertise as the leading authority on UN weapons inspections in Iraq and biological weapons, and the fact that he regularly briefed DIS and met MI6.

What were the circumstances leading up to Dr Kelly giving evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Intelligence and Security Committee and the hearings before those committees?

Dr Kelly was "briefed" by Mr Howard. It is unclear whether this meant telling him what to say on "tricky issues". Mr Hoon insisted the FAC should not question him on the wider issue of the dossier and WMD.

How did Dr Kelly die and is it clear that he died by his own hand?

Dr Kelly was found with his left wrist slashed by a penknife. He took his wife's painkillers an hour beforehand. Police and forensic psychologists all suggest he took his own life.

If Dr Kelly died by his own hand, what are the matters which were likely to have led him to take his own life?

This was judged with the benefit of "hindsight," Mr Dingemans said, adding that the inquiry had already heard that those in contact with Dr Kelly could not have foreseen that he might take his own life. The issues include his being "thrown" by a question about Ms Watts at the FAC. That led him to mislead the MPs. He faced requests on the morning he died from his bosses for answers to a parliamentary question on his media contacts. He was worried about his pension and whether he would be allowed to continue his work in Iraq.