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Tuesday September 23 2003, 2.00 pm John Scarlett, chairman of the joint intelligence committee Assistant chief constable Michael Page
MR SUMPTION: Could we have CAB/27/2, please? This is the first of three documents that was disclosed at the end of August, after you gave your evidence first time round. It is a note of a meeting in your office on 18th September. What was the meeting about; can you tell us?
A. This was a meeting held under my Chairmanship to discuss and agree, looking ahead by this stage to the production process, at the issues relating to the actual production of the document, the briefing which would need to happen alongside it, issues such as press lines and dissemination. So it was a series of practical issues, quite separate from the drafting of the text itself.
Q. Is that answer affected by the text which is redacted?
A. What is redacted are either sort of individual names, as you can see at the top there, which would add nothing to the understanding of the document; and there is also separate redaction in addition to names which relates to briefing arrangements for foreign governments and sensitive recipients.
Q. If you look on the first page, you will see: "Ownership of the dossier. "Ownership lay with No. 10." Why did thatappear there?
A. Right. We had one previous meeting on this subject, on 16th September, and that was also talking about production arrangements; and at that stage there had not been any discussion of: well, which Government Department was going to be taking the lead on presenting this document on behalf of the Government? So this point was raised straight away at the 18th September meeting; and it was immediately agreed that this was a document which was going to be presented -- or since this was a document that was going to be presented by the Prime Minister to Parliament on behalf of the Government, its ownership, in that sense, looking ahead to that moment, lay with No. 10 and the JIC itself does not produce documents for public dissemination and there had never been any intention that it would do so. So it is ownership in that sense and it is a forward looking statement.
Q. Could we look at CAB/27/5, please? This is a further meeting in your office on 20th September. What was thismeeting about?
A. Well, it was a continuation, there was a series of rolling meetings on this, as we progressed the production.
Q. That is --
A. It also, I see there, on the first bullet point, addressed the question of how arrangements at the printers and proofreading should be managed and that action lay with me.
Q. CAB/27/8. The same question, what was this about?
A. Is that the same document?
Q. No. The last one you saw was CAB/27/5.
A. This is another date, this is the 23rd. Again, same subject, and this was after the proofreading. I should add that I had been made responsible for or I had made myself responsible for the proofreading, even though the production and the ownership point passed to No. 10. The proofreading was so intimately linked to the text that clearly I needed to stay in charge of it. Now here at the bottom, on a similar point, I think, the aspect of that which arose on 23rd September related to the liaison between my staff and No. 10 for the management of the website, to make sure that the website was in line with the printed text of the document. It was the same principle, that my staff and I myself needed to be in charge of anything to do with the text.
Q. Is there anything in these three documents which you regard as relevant to the question whether you had ownership of the process of drafting the dossier?
A. Well, I think both those points. The emphasis on my personal involvement with the proofreading, where I signed off the proofs for each page, and then also the rather small point of the website on the 23rd.
Q. Turning to a different question: have you read the transcript of the evidence given to the Inquiry by Dr Jones?
A. Yes, I have.
Q. I would like to ask you for your comments on the evidence of Dr Jones. First of all, what was the role of the DISand Dr Jones in particular in relation to the preparation of the dossier?
A. Well, the DIS of course played a key role in the formulation of the dossier. They are a major source of military expertise, advice and input and also scientific and technical expertise with a military angle to it. Dr Jones was the head of one of three of the -- he was assistant director in one of the directorates at DIS. He was there responsible for three branches within DIS which the assessment staff consulted during the process of putting together the dossier. Altogether assessment staff consulted ten branches in three different directorates.
Q. What was Dr Jones' role in relation to the intelligence about the 45 minutes point in particular?
A. Well, the role of his staff was advising on the capability of Iraq to produce chemical agent and to fill munitions. That was relevant, in this particular context, to his responsibility.
Q. What would he have known about the intelligence on which the 45 minutes point was based?
A. He and his staff, relevant staff, would have seen the intelligence. If I can just add there, an addition -
Q. The raw intelligence or the assessment?
A. No, they would have seen both. If I could just add there a relevant point, that I referred to the role of his branch in relation to the capability to produce agent and fill munitions. The lead branch on the 45 minutes point was not one of Dr Jones' branches, it was another branch in another directorate of DIS which took the lead in relation to doctoring, deployment, command and control and firing mechanisms, and they had the lead role on advising on the 45 minutes point.
Q. Yes. Now, Dr Jones said that the DIS had expressed concerns that intelligence received about the 45 minutes point was second-hand and possibly unreliable and about the strength of the language in which the draft referred to chemical weapons production. Were you aware of those concerns at the time?
A. I was not aware of concerns about the source being second-hand or the information being unreliable. I was aware of the concern about -- briefly aware of the concern about the CW agent production.
Q. How did you learn of that concern?
A. That was reported to me by Julian Miller, the Chief of Assessment Staff, following the meeting of the drafting group on 17th September.
Q. Yes. What had they received to alert them to these concerns?
A. Well, that was just one of the many points that was raised in the drafting meeting; and the reason that particular point was mentioned was that it related to the existence of additional compartmented intelligence.
A. Compartmented or especially sensitive intelligence --
A. -- which was underpinning the judgment.
Q. Was that compartmented intelligence available to Dr Jones?
A. No, it was not.
Q. When you and the assessment staff learnt of the DIS's concerns on this point, what did they do about them?
A. They arranged for the management in DIS to be briefed on the compartmented intelligence which came from SIS and I was told that that was being done.
Q. What was the outcome of that process?
A. That briefing took place.
Q. Yes, but was any change made to the dossier in response to the DIS's concerns about this point?
A. The draft that was circulated on 19th September retained the wording which had been there on 16th September. No comment on that point came back from DIS amongst the three pages of comments that they submitted on 19th September; and in accordance with the normal silence procedures we took that as assent.
Q. Dr Jones gave evidence also about another matter, namely the definition of weapons of mass destruction, the definition of weapons of mass destruction.
Q. And, in particular, he gave evidence about whether they included battlefield munitions. Is there an accepted definition of weapons of mass destruction?
A. Well, the best I can do here is to quote the most recent statement made on behalf of the British Government on this issue which was by the Foreign Office Minister Mr O'Brien in answer to a Parliamentary Question on 28th January this year, in which he said there is no universally accepted definition of the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" but it is generally held to refer to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
Q. Does that include battlefield munitions or not?
A. Yes, it does.
Q. Can I ask you briefly to comment on the evidence of Mr A? Have you read that?
A. Yes, I have.
Q. Mr A gave evidence that at the time of the DIS meeting on 19th September he thought that too much was beingmade of the al-Qa'qa' phosgene plant. Were you aware of any reservations on that point in September 2002?
A. No such reservations were passed to us.
Q. Do you have any comments to make on the point now that you are aware of it?
A. I would say this: that this phosgene of course is an example of dual use and has been quoted in that sense. It hasindustrial uses but it also can be used as a chemical agent or as a precursor for nerve agent. This particular plant had been bombed in 1991 and it was subsequently dismantled under UNSCOM supervision. After 1998, and the inspectors having left, it was rebuilt; and in that context, given its dual use status and the fact it had been rebuilt, it was an object of interest. That is why it was mentioned. MR SUMPTION: Thank you. LORD HUTTON: Yes Mr Caldecott.
Cross-examined by MR CALDECOTT MR CALDECOTT: Could I pass up to Mr Scarlett these hard copies. I have the same for his Lordship. (Handed). LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much. MR CALDECOTT: Mr Scarlett, can you help me a little, please, about the status of final JIC assessments? First of all, they are what go to the Prime Minister and Ministers; is that right?
A. Yes, that is right.
Q. And they would not go to them in draft form, they get the final version only?
A. That is correct.
Q. Obviously if the public are to be put in the position of the Prime Minister, it is the final assessments which the public would expect to see reflected in the dossier.
A. Yes, that is correct.
Q. A final JIC assessment, as I understand from your evidence this morning, has broadly two parts: some main text and some key judgments, I think you said, at the front?
A. Yes. Correct.
Q. Obviously the main text may itself contain a degree of assessment and judgment?
A. That is correct.
Q. And these judgments, whether they are in the main text or in the key judgments, will have been reached after going, if I can use the phrase "round the houses", central intelligence groups, SIS, DIS -
A. Full drafting and assessment process.
Q. Can we just look please at the 45 minute claim in the context of the final assessment? Just to help everybody, the guidance that I have on this is drawn from the ISC report, because we have very little else to go on. Firstly, I am right, am I not -- just to give the reference, I take this from paragraph 50 of the ISC report, at BBC/30/4 -- that the 45 minutes claim nowhere appeared in any key judgment in the 9th September final assessment?
A. That is correct. The 45 minutes claim was not in the key judgments on the 9th September assessment.
Q. And the assessment started with a proviso, I think I am right in saying, which I actually do not have the reference to, but there is a proviso about the importance of distinguishing between assessments, judgments and the like. I seem to have the wrong reference.
A. Sorry, I do not see it there.
Q. I will come back to that, if I may. In the main body of the chemical and biological capability section, but not in any key judgment, appears the 45 minute claim as it has been given to the Inquiry.
A. Yes, it is there on the document.
Q. The word "indicates" in that claim represents a judgment by the assessment staff having gone round the houses, if I can continue to use that shorthand.
A. It represents a statement included in the assessment of 9th September, drawn up by assessment staff having coordinated the draft in a normal way, through the CIG, as to how this point is best expressed in that document.
Q. Yes. But it does represent a judgment -
A. No it does not.
Q. Does it not?
A. No it does not. It is a statement, "Intelligence ... indicates that...".
Q. Well it could be a firm statement, "intelligence shows that", or a qualified statement that it "indicates that". Which of the two it is is a matter of assessment, is it not?
A. That is one of the ways in which intelligence that is being put into an assessment is described in documents ofthis kind; and that says what it says.
Q. But the use of that way is an exercise of choice, is it not?
Q. They could have said "shows", they chose to say "indicates".
A. That is right.
Q. Which is less strong. We have had almost unanimous evidence about this that "indicates" is the normal language for possibility and "shows" is the normal language for certainty.
A. If you are referring to what intelligence is telling you about that point. This relates purely to what the intelligence report says.
Q. But I suggest to you, again, that this includes an element of assessment. It could equally have said "intelligencealso shows that" and that is an exercise of choice.
A. It reflects a decision by the assessment staff and the CIG when drawing up that assessment as to how that piece of intelligence on this particular point was to be described in that assessment.
Q. In the way it is here presented it carries with it a message for anybody reading it, does it not?
A. Yes, it describes the intelligence.
Q. Yes. And it describes it as amounting to an indication rather than a certainty?
A. With regard to that particular piece of intelligence?
Q. Thank you. And the Prime Minister, who no doubt is alert to these nuances, reading that final assessment would have so read it?
A. In that assessment, yes.
Q. Thank you. Now --LORD HUTTON: When you refer to "in that assessment", I think you drew a distinction before as to the difference in meaning between the dossier and the assessment. But are you using the word "assessment" there as referring to the dossier?
A. Well, my Lord, I am referring to that document there; and in my comments at the moment I am purely referring to what is in the classified JIC assessment of 9th September which I think is what is referred to here in this -- yes, it is indeed, in this extract from the ISC report. LORD HUTTON: I see. So that is definitely a normal type JIC assessment --
A. That is drawing --LORD HUTTON: -- as opposed to a draft of the dossier itself?
A. Indeed, my Lord.MR CALDECOTT: That is how I had understood your evidence, Mr Scarlett.
A. That is right.
Q. We are not talking about the dossier at the moment, we are talking about how this JIC final assessment would have been understood?
A. That is quite right.
Q. What I want to be clear about this -- I can well understand that the dossier would refer to key judgments taken from JIC assessments it was presenting to the public.
Q. I can also well understand that it would report what appears in the main text; but can I tell you what my difficultyis: I do not understand, at the moment, how the dossier could add a judgment which never appeared in any JIC
assessment previously and which was, in fact, inconsistent with the wording of the only judgment that did appear in any previous JIC assessment on the point, namely "indicates".
A. No. The first point on your last point is it is not inconsistent with what appears there, it adds to it.
Q. It strengthens it, does it not?
A. No, it does not. It takes it from a different point of view. In the draft of 11th September, the intelligence report, which is also referred to here on the 9th September assessment which was a very recent intelligence, it had only come in at the beginning of September, was referred to purely in the context of the intelligence report. Intelligence "indicates" that is normal. In the draft of the 16th September it was expressed for the first time in the executive summary as a judgment. That judgment is not just drawing on the intelligence, it is drawing on standing JIC assessment about the command, control and logistical arrangements of the Iraqi armed forces for the deployment of chemical and biological weapons. It is based and is drawing on the long-standing overall assessment of the capability of the Iraqi armed forces in this area; and it is also drawing on the intelligence. In other words, it goes beyond that specific intelligence report. It is a classic example of what I mean by "judgment" as opposed to a specific reference to specific items of intelligence.
Q. You see, that is to treat the dossier as if it were a new JIC assessment itself.
A. The drafters were under instructions from the JIC to make use of the most recent intelligence, incorporate it, absorb it, and by logic where necessary consider the standing assessments.
Q. You see when the Inquiry asked about the JIC's conclusions on the 45 minute point, they were supplied with the draft JIC assessment of 5th September.
Q. And the final JIC assessment of 9th September.
Q. And an account was given as to how they were reached; but there was no suggestion that there was any further JIC assessment of the 45 minute claim in the dossier itself.
A. The ISC were told that on 16th September in the draft of the dossier and in the context of the dossier a draftexecutive -- a draft judgment was prepared by assessment staff.
Q. Are you saying that members of the public would have understood from the term "executive summary" that the dossier was a wholly new JIC assessment, freestanding from earlier JIC assessments?
A. Since the dossier quite clearly stated that it is drawing on standing JIC assessments, and incorporating the mostrecent intelligence, I think it was quite reasonable for that -- in fact absolutely reasonable for that conclusion to be drawn.
Q. Can I show you how the Prime Minister introduced the dossier at in the House of Commons at BBC/30/27? At the top of the page, please: "The dossier is based on the work of the British Joint Intelligence Committee. For over 60 years, beginning just prior to WWII, the JIC has provided intelligence assessments to British Prime Ministers. Normally its work is secret. Unusually, because it is important we explain our concerns over Saddam to the British people, we have decided to disclose these assessments."
Q. Those are the assessments as supplied to the Prime Minister. "I am aware, of course, that people are going to have to take elements of this on the good faith of our Intelligence Services."
Q. The plain impression given there is that what they are getting in the dossier is the intelligence assessments as given to the British Prime Minister and, no doubt, including the very latest on Iraq.
Q. But nothing more. It is not suggested that the dossier itself is some wholly new JIC assessment and update, is it?
A. The executive -- the judgment that was made in draft on 16th September was discussed explicitly in the draftinggroup with representatives from various members of the JIC on 17th September. It was discussed explicitly as a draft executive judgment. That indeed was the discussion which was taking place around the comment of the DIS, so that those representatives took that away for discussion, as necessary, in their agencies. We happen to know that it was specifically discussed within DIS in that context and accepted as an executive judgment from the comments and evidence from Mr Tony Cragg, the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence at the time; and it was then circulated to the whole members of the JIC in that form on 19th September, and accepted by members of the JIC. It was a judgment, it became a judgment of the JIC and entirely consistent, therefore, with what the Prime Minister is saying in his foreword.
Q. Your evidence this morning was that the assessment staff said: you could not have a judgment that says "suggests" or "indicates"; do you remember saying that?
A. Yes, I do indeed.
Q. But you can certainly have a judgment which says "may", can you not?
A. You could, but in this case it did not because it did not need to.
Q. But we know, from early drafts, that the word "indicates" was interpreted as "may", do we not?
A. The word "indicates" relates to the intelligence report. It does not relate to the standing JIC assessments already there from March 2002, for example, on the command and control capabilities of the Iraqi armed forces and the long-standing overall assessment of Iraq's capabilities which were rather exceptional an experience in this area. So it goes beyond that specific intelligence report.
Q. I am, at the moment, on specifically the 45 minutes claim --
A. That is what I am referring to.
Q. -- where it is clear that the word "indicates" was interpreted as "may" by your assessment staff in early drafts of this dossier.
A. Because it is referring, in that context, to one intelligence report. The judgment goes beyond that one intelligence report.
Q. There was no new intelligence at all after 9th September which related to the 45 minutes claim, was there?
A. There was not.
Q. I want to move on in this context just to explore it a bit further. What was agreed on 17th September? LORD HUTTON: Before you go on, Mr Caldecott, may I ask you this: are you making the point to Mr Scarlett that where there is an assessment issued to the public which, of course, would include Members of Parliament and interested persons, that members of the public would in their own minds draw a distinction between a JIC assessment which was made public and a dossier based on intelligence information which came with the authority of JIC? MR CALDECOTT: My Lord, the central point I am putting is this: members of the public were being told: you are here being given effectively a digest of what I, the Prime Minister, have received in JIC assessments up until now. LORD HUTTON: Yes. MR CALDECOTT: Those are obviously the final JIC assessments. Therefore, we say that the key to what the public were being told must lie in the language of those final JIC assessments, not in the language of the dossier in terms of the core text but in the language of the JIC assessments, final JIC assessments. Now, the 9th September was the last final JIC assessment on the 45 minutes claim. There is no statement of certainty at all in any key judgment. The only reference is "indicates" in the main text. LORD HUTTON: Yes. MR CALDECOTT: That as we know translated as a possibility, not a certainty. That is how I put it to Mr Scarlett, his own assessment staff read it in the early days of the drafts. LORD HUTTON: Yes. I quite appreciate that was the distinction you were drawing. What I just want to understand is: are you suggesting to Mr Scarlett that in some way the public is misled if they are issued with a dossier which has in fact been authorised by the Chairman of JIC with the authority of JIC itself? In other words, that the average member of the public would think to themselves, if they directed their minds to the matter in detail: I am being misled, because I took this dossier to be an exact statement of JIC assessments as opposed to a document on intelligence matters issued with the authority of JIC? MR CALDECOTT: My Lord, yes, because there is, we would say, a real distinction between the formality of final JIC assessments as given to the Prime Minister, which is what the Prime Minister is saying I am presenting -LORD HUTTON: Quite, yes. MR CALDECOTT: -- and a rather looser point of something which the JIC have said: yes, we can produce this dossier, we are fine with it. Of course it is rather more important when you get to a specific claim and its specific language. Then the point becomes rather more intense. I am not sure I put it very elegantly. LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much. I am sure Mr Scarlett has, himself, fully appreciated the distinction much more readily than me. Yes thank you. I did not mean that in any sarcastic way.
MR CALDECOTT: I hope not my Lord. I do not know whether it was a swinging ball or not. LORD HUTTON: No, not at all. MR CALDECOTT: Can I go back to what you said this morning about the 17th September meeting. I do again on this same point wish to be clear about this.
Q. This was not a meeting you attended but a meeting chaired by Mr Miller?
A. That is right.
Q. It was decided that after the end of the discussion the assessment staff would go away and look at the 9th September classified assessment -
Q. -- and also at the intelligence --
Q. -- and bring the wording of the text, the two middle sort of points, into line with what the assessment and the intelligence said?
Q. Now the only assessment element of the 45 minute claim in the 9th September final assessment is in the maintext, is it not?
Q. And it says that it is merely an indication.
Q. If that was the agreement, how is it reflected by strengthening the word "may" to the word "are"?
A. Because the intelligence contained no indication of "may", no indication of uncertainty. It was a statement in the intelligence report that they had this capability. But the JIC assessment of the 9th September put it in terms of intelligence indicates that they have that capability, and that was therefore reflected in exactly those terms in the main body of the redrafted text, which is what the assessment staff said they would do.
Q. But that, with respect, is to -- I do not know what the wording of the raw intelligence is but of course I take it from you.
Q. But --
A. Thank you.
Q. -- that is slightly to look, is it not, at the wording of the raw intelligence without taking into account the assessment element and the choice of the word "indicates"? We have had a lot of evidence about the importance of precision and the significance of words like "indicates".
Q. If you do go back you do not just look at the raw intelligence, you look at how it was assessed; and it wasassessed as "indicates", not "shows". Why does it therefore get put up to "are" if you are implementing this agreement?
A. The 9th September assessment that intelligence indicates that chemical and biological munitions could be withmilitary units and ready for firing within 20 to 45 minutes -- that was the wording, the sense of which was accurately reflected in the redrafting on the 17th September of the dossier. That is the point I am making. They went back to the intelligence, the original intelligence, which contained no caveat of uncertainty. They went back to the way in which it was phrased in the 9th September assessment and they redrafted their main body of the dossier to come into line with that, which it had not been before, including the words "intelligence indicates that".
Q. You say there was no element of uncertainty in this intelligence?
A. Report, yes.
Q. Report. Well, can I just put to you some possible elements of uncertainty which might have influenced the assessors to say "indicates" and not "shows"? Firstly, you did not know what munitions the Iraqi officer was specifically referring to, did you?
A. No, that is right.
Q. You did not know from where or to where the munitions might be moved within 45 minutes?
A. That is right.
Q. Indeed, it was thought at one point that it must mean that these munitions were at forward depots but it was thought that was too uncertain so it was removed?
A. No, that was removed because it was not stated as such in the intelligence report; but that was the assessment at the time of what it did refer to, and indeed remains the assessment of what it did refer to, that these were munitions at forward deployed points.
Q. You see, "forward deployed points" is removed. If they are not at forward deployed points, one asks oneself: where are they?
A. At forward deployed points, that is where we assessed them to be.
Q. Why remove "forward deployed points" in that sense?
A. We were being accurate and precise and not putting into the 9th September assessment wording which was not actually in the assessment. We could have left it in, it was a fine point but it was decided not to put it in, so it was not.
Q. Do you accept that assessors could have regard to the fact, for example, that they did not know from where to where exactly what was covered by this period of 45 minutes? They did not know the specific weapons referred to. It was relayed to them through an intermediary -- I appreciate a reliable one, but nonetheless it is second-hand. All these were matters properly to take into account in deciding whether it indicated or showed a particular state of affairs.
A. You are talking as if the assessors sit there and operate in a vacuum. They do not. They are assessing individual intelligence reports against the background of their knowledge. This was a point of precision which was being given, a timing which was being given for the first time with precision, to an assessment which already existed about the capability of the Iraqi armed forces in this area. That is what assessment is about. There is too much emphasis on sources, single reporting. Assessment is a much more complicated thing than that and it takes many aspects into account, as has been explained many times to this Inquiry.
Q. Mr Scarlett I am entirely with you about that and I readily accept that the assessment staff doing their exercise on 9th September took into account all these matters, but the fact is that their conclusion was "indicates".
A. The sentence in the assessment was referring to the intelligence report as such. It was not looking at it in the wider context. The JIC had instructed the drafters to incorporate and take account and assess recent intelligence which was coming in, the 45 minutes report clearly fell into that category and under that rubric the assessment staff drafted, on 16th September, for the first time, a judgment, drafted a judgment, which was then discussed at the 17th September meeting, which was then circulated to JIC members, was accepted by JIC members, explicitly in the case of DIS and SIS, and therefore had the full authority of a JIC assessment.
Q. But, you see, if the word "indicates" in the 9th September assessment is a mere word of narrative and not a word of judgment, why, on 17th September, is it agreed that you will have regard to what the assessment said on this subject?
A. We did, and that was what was taken into account in the main body of the text; but what was in the executive --what was in the judgment was a different point. As I have said, the judgment is a judgment taking into account the factors I have already indicated to you. It is not a summary of the main points in the text. The word "indicates" relates to the specific intelligence report. The judgment does not just confine itself to one intelligence report.
Q. Much as I would like to spend the afternoon continuing on this, I think I had better move on. Can we go forward,please, to 9th September? I think it is right that everyone in DIS and SIS with assessment potential was involved one way or another in the dossier?
Q. You had a meeting with Mr Campbell on 9th September, shortly followed by a much larger meeting; is that right?
A. That is right, yes -- not much larger, but larger.
Q. Would I be right that there were senior DIS staff at the meeting of the 9th September?
A. I think there was somebody from DIS there, but I cannot be certain.
Q. From GCHQ?
A. Again, I think so.
Q. From SIS?
A. Yes, certainly.
Q. Was Mr Howard there?
A. I do not think so.
Q. Sir David Omand?
A. No, he was not but he was circulated and one or two others were on the record of the meeting afterwards.
Q. Your position in intelligence matters is plainly far superior to that of Mr Campbell, is it not?
A. It is indeed.
Q. He may not agree with you, but I do. You, presumably, regarded it as important to get across the message that you were in charge of this dossier?
A. I did, yes.
Q. And you asked Mr Campbell, as we know -- I think you said to him: it would be helpful if you set out the process, and that was one of the points he was to include in it?
Q. Why did you not chair that first planning meeting in order to get across the clear message that you were in charge and not the communications side of Downing Street?
A. That meeting was held to discuss the overall structure, format, presentation of the dossier; and Alastair Campbell, as the Prime Minister's representative and very clearly representing his views -- and the Prime Minister was commissioning this document -- chaired that meeting in that role. At that meeting we did not in any way discuss intelligence matters or anything in terms of intelligence content, intelligence reports, intelligence items, which fell within my area of responsibility. Therefore it was natural for him to chair it.
Q. Did it discuss the use of JIC assessments in the dossier in any form?
A. In very general terms, at my instigation the idea was put forward that the dossier should include an account of the history of JIC assessments over the previous three years because, indeed, it was those assessments over the previous three to three and a half years which were underpinning the judgments or going to underpin the judgments in the dossier. That was a general concept, which I put forward.
Q. Now I --
A. There was no discussion of detail at all.
Q. I just want to ask you about this: at this stage, after your discussion on 9th September, and I am not going to reenter our old dispute, but did you have in mind that the dossier would include, as it were, new judgments by the Joint Intelligence Committee on the 45 minutes point? By which I mean judgments that had not appeared in the 9th September assessment?
A. At that meeting on 9th September I was not thinking about the 45 minutes point and my thinking was not goingthat far. At that meeting I was thinking about the need for the dossier to include, as far as it was safe to do so, specific reference to individual items of intelligence. It would be, you know, intelligence-based explicitly and also refer explicitly to JIC assessments.
Q. The 9th September JIC assessment had been sent out on 5th September with a deadline for reply of the 9th.
Q. Was there any time on the 9th when the replies had to be in by?
A. What I can tell you in answer to that is that the last written comments, I am almost certain, came in by the closeof play on the 6th, which was the Friday. The 9th was a Monday. There may have been one or two telephone comments early on the Monday. What I can tell you is the JIC assessment of 9th September issued at 1400 hours.
Q. Could you look, please, at CAB/6/3 which is the second page of Mr Campbell's subsequent minute of thismeeting. It is the first paragraph of any length: "The media/political judgment will inevitably focus on 'what's new?'..." Do you see that?
Q. Knowing Mr Campbell's interest in the latest headlines, he must have asked you, must he not: what is the up-to-date position on JIC assessments on Iraq?
A. Sorry to disappoint you, he did not.
Q. He restrained himself, did he?
A. I do not know. He did not.
Q. When did he first ask you about the up-to-date JIC assessments on Iraq?
A. I do not recall him ever doing so in the terms that you have just indicated.
Q. You are sure about that, are you?
A. I do not recall him ever doing so in the terms you have just indicated. The first that he saw of our drafting and latest intelligence and the way we were expressing it in the dossier was late on the evening of the 10th September, which was the following day, that I do know for certain. That gave him, of course, quite a lot of detail.
Q. Did you understand him to be saying on 9th September that he and others from Downing Street, Foreign Office press staff would be making drafting recommendations and suggestions to you?
A. What I understood from that meeting was that there would be interest from him, certainly, in No. 10, on the way that the dossier was eventually presented. In fact I think he says in his record that whilst the assessment staff, with the authority of the JIC, are drafting the dossier, he would head a small group which would consider presentation. That is what he put in the minute.
Q. I just want to deal with one very short point. I think it was your own conclusion, I do not know whether it isreflected in the full JIC paper, which I have not seen, that the 9th September 45 minute claim related to battlefield munitions?
A. It did, yes.
Q. I think we can see how you might well have reached that conclusion if we look at BBC/30/3, very quickly. This is an extract from the Intelligence and Security Committee report.
Q. It deals with delivery systems.
Q. The potential systems are set out in 46.
Q. A number of serious doubts about almost all of them, except for artillery shells and so on, are expressed in 47. Then in 48: "The JIC assessed that the Iraqis might use chemical and biological weapons against neighbouring states or concentrations of Western forces. We were told that the weapons systems most likely to be used to deliver chemical and biological munitions against Western forces were artillery and rockets."
Q. "These are battlefield weapons, which can be used tactically to great effect, but they are not strategic weapons." Firstly, was that made clear to the Prime Minister?
A. There was no discussion with the Prime Minister that I can recall about the 45 minutes point in connection with battlefield or strategic systems. Indeed I do not remember a discussion with the Prime Minister about the 45 minutes point at all.
Q. Who, apart from the internal assessment staff, was this message conveyed to?
A. Sorry, what message?
Q. Only battlefield munitions, not strategic weapons.
A. You say "only battlefield munitions". Do you know what a battlefield munition, a battlefield weapon, might actually involve? I can tell you the assessment from the DIS of what the most likely delivery system for chemical and biological, particularly chemical weapons, would be, and this was based on the experience of the Iran/Iraq War. Multiple rocket launchers, in particular the BM21 with a range of 20-kilometres or artillery up to the 155 millimetre artillery, which would have a range of 40 kilometres. In the Iran/Iraq War 20,000 Iranians were killed or wounded through the use of chemical weapons, so the difference between strategic and tactical in those contexts is quite difficult to draw, particularly as Iran's use of chemical weapons in the Iran/Iraq War had a strategic effect of halting a major Iranian advance. I just thought I would say that.
Q. Mr Scarlett, I totally take the point but you are well aware, are you not, of the distinction between range and casualty?
Q. Yes. Strategic weapons have a far longer range, they could reach British bases in Cyprus, for example, which is what the newspaper said on 25th September.
A. A small number of newspapers said it on 25th September and not thereafter.
Q. A small number of newspapers with a readership of millions.
A. On the 25th September there were a small number of headlines about that; and afterwards virtually no reference to it.
Q. Were you concerned that that should be corrected, Mr Scarlett?
A. No, I was not and I will tell you why not. First of all, as regards my own assessment staff, we were ready to field enquiries from the press offices of No. 10, the MoD, the FCO with anything relating to issues of this kind. We received no enquiries whatsoever about the 45 minute point. The second point was I was of course following the press coverage of the dossier and I was interested to note that immediately after the headline flurry on various points on the 24th and 25th September the press coverage fell quickly into assessing the dossier as a sober and cautious document that most explicitly did not make a case for war, if anything it made a case for the return of the inspectors and it focused in particular, quite rightly in my view, on the importance of what the dossier had to say about the nuclear issue. I was content with the way that coverage came out; and that is -- that was my attitude over many months indeed.
Q. Do I understand you to say that you do not correct it because no questions had been asked about it?
A. No, you may understand it but that would be wrong, but I have explained that the reason why that was not an issue in my mind was because of the very sober and sensible way in which media coverage of the dossier fell into place immediately after the 25th September.
Q. Well, what about the 25th September itself? This is the day it is announced in the House of Commons by the Prime Minister, and certainly a number of newspapers, with mass readerships throughout the country, have misunderstood it. Why was it not put right and why were you not concerned to put it right?
A. Because it was a fleeting moment and then the underlying assessment by the media of the dossier was as I havejust described, and beyond that, of course, it is not my immediate responsibility to correct headlines and if I did that, I certainly would not have time to do my job.
Q. Can we just look, please, at the wording of the first draft? I think probably BBC/29/9 I hope is our constructed document on this. LORD HUTTON: I am sorry, BBC? MR CALDECOTT: 29/9, my Lord, I am sorry. LORD HUTTON: Yes, thank you very much.
A. Yes. MR CALDECOTT: Now, this is your first -- I say your first draft.
Q. You were drafting the executive summary personally, is that right?
A. No, that is not right.
Q. I am sorry about that.
Q. Was that also drafted by Mr Miller under your supervision?
A. The executive summary and the text, the main text of the dossier, was all part of the drafting process taking place under the leadership of Mr Miller but of course under my overall supervision.
Q. And you saw this draft before it went out, therefore, for comment?
A. I did, yes.
Q. We see the word "indicates" in the executive summary --
Q. -- which is the word which is taken directly, I think, from the main text of the 9th September draft?
Q. Your assessment staff have used a different word for it in the main text. We see three lines up from paragraph 13 "within the last month intelligence has suggested"; right?
Q. That word "suggested" reflects, does it not, the judgment element in the word "indicates" in the 9th September draft?
A. Well, so would "indicate"; and "suggests" normally tends to be slightly weaker than "indicates".
Q. And certainly weaker than "shows"?
Q. Can I just ask you: much later you did a briefing note, I think to assist Mr Campbell in briefing the Prime Ministerfor Question Time. Do you remember that on 4th June?
A. No, I do not remember that.
Q. I am sorry, it is a very recent document we have just seen.
A. I think I can help you if that is all right. No, that is all right, there was not a note for Mr Campbell to assist him with the Prime Minister, it was a letter from me, as Chairman of the JIC, personally to the Prime Minister of 4th June.
Q. You are quite right, it is my fault. It is headed "Prime Minister".
A. That is fine.
Q. CAB/45/2 is where it starts. I just wanted to ask you about some words at CAB/45/4 which is page 3 of the document.
A. Fine.LORD HUTTON: This is dated, Mr Caldecott? MR CALDECOTT: 4th June my Lord. LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much. MR CALDECOTT: I promise I will be brief about this, we will not go back over old territory. I just wanted to ask you about one line.
Q. About five lines in on that page.
Q. "The report was highlighted in the same terms in a JIC assessment of 9th September." All I want to ask you is this: is the report there the dossier or is it the original intelligence report?
A. Let me just read it. No, it is the original intelligence report.
Q. I thought that was right. Thank you. Can I just move, please, to your circulation of this draft to JIC members which we find at CAB/33/133. You attach a current draft. Third line: "Nevertheless, you need to see where we have got to. I would be grateful if you could study the intelligence-related sections (essentially section 6)..."; do you see that?
Q. "... and let me or Julian Miller have your views by midday tomorrow, if not at this afternoon's JIC [meeting]."
A. That is right.
Q. It is right here, is it not, that you are asking them to focus specifically on the main text? Do you see the words there "essentially section 6"?
A. Which in that draft was what became the intelligence section on current capabilities in the final version. It changed quite a bit of course in terms of structure.
Q. You say in the last sentence: "We also need to be sure that overall the balance of the judgments remain consistent with those previously reached by the [Joint Intelligence Committee]."
A. I do.
Q. You then have a meeting on 11th September at 6 o'clock?
Q. I went through this with Mr Campbell.
Q. I am going to try to take it quite briefly.
Q. Those present are Mr Kelly, Mr Smith, two Prime Minister's Official Spokesmen --
Q. -- Mr Bassett the special adviser and Mr Pruce.
Q. Can I ask you about this: Mr Pruce, who Mr Campbell said was "punching above his pay grade" was hisexpression, he was in fact someone whom the agencies were specifically asked, were they not, could be admitted to these meetings?
A. To the meetings of the drafting group on 9th and 17th September, that is correct.
Q. I do not want to go through these e-mails in great detail. You have been through them before.
Q. But you did say in your evidence last time that certainly the gist of them was mentioned to you in the 6 o'clockmeeting.
A. I think what I said last time was that I did not see those e-mails at the time, in fact I did not see them until theycame before the Inquiry. But now that I had seen them, and I had a recollection, but no record, of the 11th September 6 o'clock discussion, that some of the main themes were represented in the very general advice that was given to me by Alastair Campbell himself.
Q. Can I just ask you, briefly, about this question of records? There has been a very important planning meeting on 9th September.
Q. Did you make any notes of that meeting?
A. The note was made by Alastair Campbell.
Q. Oh, Mr Campbell did make a note of that meeting at the time?
A. That was the record that was sent out, two and a half pages.
Q. I do not think so.
A. Yes, it was. You just quoted it on the screen.
Q. He said he was asked to do that by you after the event. We have seen no contemporaneous note of that meeting.
A. That note which was written immediately afterwards recorded the outcome of that meeting and the meeting of 5th September. As far as I was concerned, that was more than adequate.
Q. Nobody was making a contemporaneous note as this discussion about structure proceeded on 9th September?
A. As far as I was concerned, of course this was not my business, I was not chairing this meeting, but as far as I wasconcerned, all the relevant points at that discussion were recorded immediately in that I think two and a half page minute.
Q. But the answer to my question is that you are unaware of anybody making a contemporaneous note of that meeting of 9th September planning the structure of the dossier?
A. I cannot answer for the organisation of Alastair Campbell's own directorate. I am not aware of it, no, nor am I concerned about it.
Q. Can we now look at the 16th September draft, please? BBC/29/10. I will try to take this reasonably quickly. This has now, has it not, gone around, as it were, the agencies for comment? Indeed it has also gone to JIC members.
Q. We see that there is a conclusion.
Q. Was that suggested to you by Mr Bassett?
A. No, it was not.
Q. Never mentioned by him?
A. Not that I recall.
Q. We see the word "may" in the main text twice.
Q. And that I think probably again seems to relate to an interpretation of the word "suggested". We see it going down the queue from "indicates" to "suggested" and now put in as "may".
A. I know you might think that, that is understandable. In fact I do not think it does. As I explained to the Inquiry lasttime, I having consulted the people who drafted this particular draft, they have no recollection, still have no recollection of why that was phrased as "may" rather than as it was phrased on the 11th September.
Q. Can I make a suggestion to you? You referred this morning to a concern to put the language of the JIC into layman's language. I appreciate nobody seems to be able to remember how this word "may" arose but it would be an obvious explanation as to why it was used.
A. But not necessarily a truthful one.
Q. Not necessarily but we are having to do our best because you cannot remember.
A. I cannot say that that is correct because I have no knowledge of it at all. Therefore I cannot say it and therefore I cannot give my authority to that interpretation and I am not doing so.
Q. What we do know is, and I need not go to it because you were taken to it in evidence, there is the e-mail that goes out from a member of your assessment staff at about midday on the 11th about the question of being round the buoys before and the "last" with an exclamation mark.
Q. A degree of weariness with requesting more intelligence.
Q. That goes out at about midday on the 11th. The message from Mr Bassett after that last request had gone out we see at CAB/11/23 in one of his e-mails that was read to you before. In pretty strong terms he is saying that he wants more, better, more convincing intelligence. He even seems to think that intelligence is being held back. He sent that e-mail only two and a half hours before a meeting that he attended with you.
Q. Did he not express that sentiment to you?
A. I have no memory at all of -- I remember Phil Bassett being at the meeting. I do not remember what he said and I do not remember taking any notice of it.
Q. You see that actually was the e-mail read to you immediately before you gave your answer first time round that you did remember the gist of these e-mails being put to you orally at the meeting.
A. What I said the last time round was the general advice that I took away from Alastair Campbell, from nobody else at that meeting, was that the 11th September draft, as we continued to work on it, needed, ideally, to have more detail in it, it needed to be less assertive, less rhetorical, that that was the broad outline of the advice. And I happen to agree that I thought that was good advice and I took that away. And indeed the 16th September draft was clearly striking a slightly different tone in its language.
Q. Can we just quickly look at the terms in which you sent the next draft, the 16th September draft round to JIC members? CAB/33/134. Paragraph 2, please, Mr Scarlett.
Q. Again you are drawing the attention of JIC members in particular, are you not, to the main text, the second sentence?
A. (Pause). "This includes the reference to JIC's assessments which were discussed at our meeting", on the 11th, yes. What I am drawing attention to there is the passages in this new draft referring to the history, the developing history of JIC assessments over the previous three years which we had specifically discussed on 11th September. That is what I am referring to there.
Q. Can I just ask you a small point, which you may be able to help me with? Could we, first of all, please, have onscreen CAB/11/142? Paragraph 4, please, towards the very bottom. Do you see there: "These judgments have been endorsed by the Joint Intelligence Committee." Do you see that?
Q. Can we now, please, have CAB/3/26 which is the 19th September version. About a third from the top, paragraph 6, please: "These judgments reflect the views of..." So, for some reason it has been changed from "endorsed by" to "reflect the views of".
A. Sorry, this refers to which draft?
Q. The second one, the rather weaker one, "reflect the views" is 19th September. The stronger one, "endorsed by", 16th September. Can you remember why that happened?
A. No, I cannot and I do not -- can you scroll up to the top of the bullet points, the previous page, sorry.
Q. I think you will probably have to go to the previous page for that.
A. There we are: "As a result of this intelligence we judge that Iraq has..." So it is explicit that these are the judgment. They reflect the views of the JIC. That is very firm wording, I think.
Q. Can we just look at CAB/11/141, please? Towards the bottom of the page, the last line: "... and it allows us to judge that Iraq..."
A. That is right.
Q. Do you see, both these versions are plainly referring to judgments but one says "endorsed" and one says "reflect the views of", but you cannot remember any debate leading to that change?
A. No, and I see no difference between them either.
Q. So there would be no point changing it then?
A. Well one thing means -- both are saying that these judgments carry the authority of the JIC. That, for me, is good enough.
Q. We then get the 19th September draft. I have debated with you the effect of the meeting of the 17th September -
Q. -- which I think is your explanation for why "may" goes up to "are". I put to you the doubts we have about that.
Q. I am not going to go around it again.
Q. I am neither, in the time available, going to go through all the changes that Mr Sumption went through. But I just want to see the extent to which the changes being canvassed by Mr Campbell were actually discussed at the JIC Committee meeting of 18th September. Could we, please, have BBC/30/24? This is a response or a holding response, one might describe it as, to Mr Campbell's minute to you of 17th September. I imagine it is from your assistant, a secretary or someone similar, it is redacted: "John Scarlett has seen these comments and is taking account of them in the revisions now in the process of being incorporated. Both he and Julian Miller are now at the regular Wednesday JIC meeting and will be unable to move drafting forward for the next hour and a half or so. He will revert later." So it does look, does it not, from this, that the suggestions by Mr Campbell, subject to the debate between us about the 17th September meeting on point 10, were not, cannot have been raised at the 18th JIC meeting; is that right?
A. Well, actually this e-mail is not referring to the 17th September memo, it is referring to an e-mail message from Mr Campbell to me or my office on the 18th September. But I do not have the e-mail in front of me here, so I cannot tell you exactly what was in it. But I did subsequently receive, as I said, I think three e-mails after the 17th September from him. So that is what that is about.
Q. Right. Can we, please, move on to the 19th September?
Q. I just want to ask you -- CAB/23/1, please -- one question about paragraph 3. This is for circulation to JICmembers, the last on the copying list there, you will see.
Q. "Copies go to JIC members on a personal basis, reflecting the continuing sensitivity of the document and the imperative need to avoid leaks."
Q. Does that mean that the 19th September draft did not go round the system but was only seen by the JIC members?
A. No, it does not. That is a call for JIC members to be especially careful as to how this draft is handled within their organisations, given the fact that, you know, it is about to become public and you are into that area of sensitivity. This draft would have been -- certainly was seen by the normal representatives on the drafting group. That is what that refers to. It is -- you know, obviously it is a fair question but that is definitely what it refers to.
Q. What limitation did you have in mind by the word "essential"?
A. Well, what I meant by that was comments they felt, the members felt, were weighty and important. I was not defining it any more carefully than that and I think they would have understood that, although, as I have said, we did receive three pages of detailed comments from DIS, most of which we incorporated.
Q. It was not very long to consider this draft, was it, because the deadline was 3 o'clock the same day?
A. No, but the JIC is used to working, and the coordination mechanism and the support mechanism is used to working within very tight deadlines. It does it all the time.
Q. Even the computer illiterates like me understand this concept of tracking changes.
Q. Was any attempt made in the draft sent round to indicate the changes in later drafts from the previous draft, because we have seen no copy which indicates that was ever done?
A. No, I do not think that was so, and it was not necessary because the members of the drafting group were following this in detail and were in frequent contact with each other, and they were all well-qualified and expert in this field.
Q. This deadline of 3 o'clock was an effective deadline, was it not? It was the closing of the shutters as far as JIC members were concerned?
A. I would not use that expression. In fact, it was not quite. Comments were coming in after 3 o'clock and were absorbed without difficulty by the assessment staff during the course of that working day, which again is quite formal for them. I agree that is quite a tight deadline but that is a normal one for them.
Q. I want to ask you about a change we have not yet looked at in evidence. Could we, please, look at CAB/11/103?This is a suggestion that comes in from Downing Street -
Q. -- after your deadline of 3 o'clock. It is timed at 3.45 from Mr Powell, the Downing Street Chief of Staff.
Q. Sent only to you and Mr Campbell and copied to Sir David Manning.
Q. "Found my copy. I think it is good. "I agree with Alastair you should drop the conclusion." That we know is done.
Q. "Alastair -- what will be the headline in the Standard on day of publication? "What do we want it to be?" I will notask you about that.
Q. "I think the statement on page 19 that 'Saddam is prepared to use chemical and biological weapons if he believes his regime is under threat' is a bit of a problem. It backs up the Don McIntyre argument that there is no CBW threat and we will only create one if we attack him." Now, Don McIntyre is a chief political columnist at the Independent.
Q. "I think you should redraft the para. My memory of the intelligence is that he has set up plans to use CBW on Western forces and that these weapons are integrated into his military planning." Right?
Q. The suggestion there, is it not, is that the dossier should be redrafted to remove an express suggestion that Saddam Hussein is a defensive threat?
Q. And leave an implication that, in fact, he is an offensive threat; is that right?
A. No. It is not right. It is not to leave the implication that he is an offensive threat, it is to take away the explicit, as it were, limitation that it is a defensive -- not a defensive threat, but it is a defensive sort of point.
Q. Do you accept you can transform a dossier by omission, Mr Scarlett?
A. Well, omission is --
Q. Taking out what was in it before?
A. Of course, that is -- it is important what you take out as well as what you put in.
Q. You see, such a change would make a great effect, would it not, on the threat in fact presented by Saddam Hussein in the eyes of the public?
A. Shall I say what I did about this?
Q. Yes, please do.
A. Yes. This e-mail did prompt me and the assessment staff to look again at that particular passage. Now, we were acting under the instructions from the JIC to keep what we were writing in line with standing JIC assessments and also with recent intelligence. As I recall this particular paragraph -- obviously this particular paragraph was under the heading of what recent intelligence was showing. Now, there had been an intelligence report which made that point, I mean a recent intelligence report which is why it was phrased like this. When we looked at it again, we also realised two things: first of all, that there was no standing JIC assessment which made it clear whether we were defining Saddam's threat, if you like, as defensive or CW posture as defensive or offensive. More to the point, there was recent reporting, in addition, which was not reflected here, but which was quite clear reporting, which placed his attachment to CBW and the importance that he placed on it very much in the context of his perception of his regional position, his plans to acquire and maintain regional influence and, as one report, and maybe more, put it: dominate his neighbours. In other words, the recent intelligence was more complex than that phrase implied. Bearing those points in mind, we concluded that this was not right, the way this was phrased; and therefore we took that out. That is what I did.
Q. This formula had appeared in the draft of the 11th September, circulated to JIC members and approved. It had appeared in the draft of the 16th September, circulated to JIC members and approved. It appeared in the draft of the 19th September, circulated to JIC members and approved. Why the change? Only the reason you have given.
A. Well that is an important reason and I was acting under JIC instructions, and within our authority and delegated authority, as I have explained, in basing what we did on the recent intelligence.
Q. Can we, please, look at BBC/30/8 as to what the intelligence did say on this subject, so far as we can work itout? This is an extract, again, of the ISC report.
Q. BBC/30/8, please. Scroll down a little bit, please, to 119. "The assessments staff produced an intelligence update on 27 November 2002." That is obviously after publication.
Q. "It reiterated an earlier JIC assessment that if Saddam were to be faced with the likelihood of military defeat and removal from power, he would be unlikely to be deterred from using chemical and biological weapons by any diplomatic or military means."
Q. Now that is consistent, is it not, with the original wording?
A. What that says -- it says what he would do if he was -- and he would use these weapons if he were faced with these circumstances. It does not say, at all, that those are the only circumstances in which he would use those weapons and the reporting definitely did not say that.
Q. Can we look at what I assume is, in fact, the later intelligence update on 27th November at paragraph 120? Iaccept this is post publication.
Q. "It was assessed that Saddam was prepared to order missile strikes against Israel, with chemical or biological warheads, in order to widen the war should hostilities begin. Saddam had also identified [other countries] as targets. The update also contained recent intelligence that Saddam would use chemical or biological weapons if allied forces approached Baghdad, if Basra, Kirkuk and Mosul fell to allied control, or if Iraqi military units rebelled." All of those states of affairs are triggered by a defensive position of extreme danger for Saddam Hussain, are they not?
A. Yes, because that assessment in that update is relating to that specific set of circumstances, the likelihood of an invasion of Iraq. It is the same point as I have just made.
Q. Can we just finish this by looking at the changes that were made in the dossier as a result of this interventionfrom Downing Street at BBC/29/19?
A. Sorry, can I just interrupt to say, before I forget, that it was not as a result of the interventions from Downing Street, it was as a result of the exercise of my professional judgment and that of my colleagues in assessment staff for the reasons I have just given.
Q. It would not have occurred without Mr Powell's memorandum, would it?
A. I said we were prompted to look again at this by the memorandum. I was exercising my judgment as I was authorised to do entirely in line with the existing intelligence -- the recent intelligence which indeed had come in and which was not taken into account properly by that phrase.
Q. I think it is right we should look at the change to complete this. Bottom of BBC/29/19.
Q. The strike through is what was deleted and the underlining what was put in. We see the most important words deleted are "if he believes his regime is under threat". Again one sees "including against his own people" replaces the fact that it would only happen if there was an internal uprising by the Shia population.
A. It does not say it would only happen, it says against an internal uprising. Again the same point, there was intelligence which said that, but there was also intelligence which said that he was prepared to use CBW against the Shia in circumstances other than the internal uprising, which was why that change was made. It is the same point.
Q. Can we look at BBC/29/2 for another last minute change whose origins presently remain obscure. This is a list of titles.
Q. The 19th September draft is Iraq's programme for weapons of mass destruction, the emphasis being on what Saddam Hussein was intending to develop.
Q. The change of title on the 20th is to "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction", the emphasis being on the weaponshe in fact has.
Q. Who suggested that change at the very last minute?
A. It was not a suggestion, it was me. I decided it, because the title "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction" was anaccurate reflection of the contents of the dossier. For no other reason. What I remember more was lingering on whether I was going to say the British Government assessment or the assessment of the British Government. That is true. I do remember thinking that if -- the first line is simply a description of what the dossier actually contained.
Q. It is probably answered by that, but I think just for everybody's assistance, I draw your attention to something Dr Kelly said to Ms Watts in his telephone conversation that was recorded at BBC/1/60. It is just a couple of sentences at the very bottom of BBC/1/60. The bottom three lines almost: "I think that was the real concern that everyone had, it was not so much what they have now but what they would have in the future. But that unfortunately wasn't expressed strongly in the dossier because that takes away the case for war." Do you have any comment to make about that?
A. That is not a completely accurate assessment of what I understood or certainly what indeed was the attitude ofthe JIC for which Dr Kelly was not in a position to speak. The attitude of the JIC was that both points were relevant. It was of concern what they had at that stage as assessed by the JIC and it was of concern as to what was going to happen in the future.
Q. I want to turn, please, to a completely different topic which is various dealings you had with Parliament or Parliamentary Committees. The BBC's allegations, I think I am right in saying, you perceived as a very serious attack on the JIC as well as a serious attack on those like Mr Campbell and others in Government, as I understand it?
A. Well --
Q. That is right?
A. I perceived the allegation, in particular the allegation in the 6.07 broadcast on the 29th May, as completely wrong. That was my point, that it was a false allegation and one that I was in a position to deny straightaway.
Q. Am I right that you to some extent briefed the Prime Minister on Question Time on the 4th June?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Can we please look at CAB/1/238? There are four points. This is the first one, Question Time on 4th June.
A. I briefed him before Question Time, of course.
Q. Yes of course. Four lines in: "Furthermore, the allegation that the 45 minute claim..."
A. I cannot see it.
Q. Sorry, I beg your pardon. My fault, it is not up yet. CAB/1/238. Top of the page, please, four lines in: "Furthermore, the allegation that the 45 minute claim provoked disquiet among the intelligence community, which disagreed with its inclusion in the dossier -- I have discussed it, as I said, with the Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee -- is also completely and totally untrue. Instead of hearing from one or many anonymous sources, I suggest that if people have any evidence, they actually produce it." Who did you consult about whether or not there was any disquiet about the 45 minute claim before briefing the Prime Minister in this very strong language that he uses?
A. Well, first of all, I would say that the key point in that sentence is the intelligence community which disagreed withits inclusion in the dossier. I consulted the head -- before that, I consulted the head of GCHQ, I consulted personally the head of SIS. Furthermore, I had written the Prime Minister a letter, in effect, a note, which I think you previously referred to, which I had circulated to all members of the JIC. So all members of the JIC had seen it and had approved it. And it was on the basis of that note that I was briefing the Prime Minister. I was therefore confident, as I had been all along, that the representatives of the intelligence community were not aware of disquiet about the inclusion of the 45 minute point in the dossier, and that there was nobody in a position to represent the intelligence community, that is at the level of the JIC and senior members of the intelligence community, who had raised any difficulty with this point at all. It was on the basis of those points that I briefed the Prime Minister with a note of the 4th June which, as I said, I had circulated and agreed with all members of the JIC and is important in that regard.
Q. There are two elements to that statement, Mr Scarlett, are there not? One is disquiet about the 45 minutes claim and the other is its inclusion in the dossier. But anybody listening would have thought there was no disquiet about the 45 minutes claim as it appeared in the dossier.
A. I briefed the Prime Minister in the terms that I have just said. In fact that sentence as written there links the two, "... provoked disquiet amongst the intelligence community, which disagreed with its inclusion in the dossier". There was no disagreement, and even now, after we have heard about some disquiet in one particular section of one particular part of the intelligence community, that is not about its inclusion in the dossier. So actually that statement is a solid one. I briefed the Prime Minister in the terms I have just said.
Q. I just want to make it clear that I do not accept that is the limited meaning which the ordinary listener would place on those words and certainly Mr Campbell accepted that there were two elements to it.
A. You asked the question who did I consult and I think I did reply.
Q. Did you consult DCDI?
A. DCDI and CDI saw my letter before I sent it.
Q. I see. The second question is your involvement in talking to Mr Campbell about his oral evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Q. He did discuss it with you before he gave it, did he not?
A. He did, yes.
Q. And he did discuss with you the issue of drafts?
A. Well, I do not actually remember that, but maybe he did.
Q. Did you follow his evidence closely?
A. Not line for line, no I did not.
Q. Have you read it subsequently?
A. Not in full, no.
Q. You see, what he says, FAC/2/279, in answer to question 987, he is being asked here whether the 45 minutes claim was inserted against the wishes of the intelligence agencies: "Was it put in at your suggestion?" Answer: "No, otherwise -- it existed in the very first draft and, as far as I am aware, that part of the paper stayed like that." That was demonstrably wrong, was it not?
A. That is Mr Campbell speaking. I am not saying that and I cannot answer for him.
Q. We have been through the drafts, Mr Scarlett. It is demonstrably wrong, is it not?
A. I do not know whether Mr Campbell had seen all the drafts and I did not know when he said that. I cannot answerfor what he says there. That is for Mr Campbell to speak on that, but I am sure he did.
Q. He told them he had seen all the drafts. But let us look at question 988: "I can assure you that I have had many, many discussions about this issue with the Chairman of the JIC, not least in preparation for this hearing." Were you aware that he had told the Foreign Affairs Committee that the draft on the 45 minutes point never changed?
A. I have to say no, I was not.
Q. If you were aware of it, it would plainly have to be corrected, would it not?
A. Well, I was not aware of it so I cannot say more.
Q. Very well. Let us move on to the written supplemental memorandum which was prepared. Can I just remind you about this? Mr Campbell gave evidence on 25th June. On 27th June, he had a meeting with you, as I understand it, to prepare a supplementary memorandum to be submitted to the Foreign Affairs Committee?
A. To discuss one, yes.
Q. He says this in his evidence at the first round of evidence: "I spent most of the morning having to work with John Scarlett and others putting together a supplementary memo to the FAC that had to be in by lunchtime." Who were the "others"?
A. In No. 10, as I recall, the other person at the meeting was Clare Sumner; and there may have been one or two others as well, I am not absolutely certain.
Q. Was Mr Howard there?
Q. As I understand it, you did not know that Mr Campbell had told the FAC that the drafts had never changed.
A. No, I was not aware of that.
Q. What you, however, obviously did know was that there had been an exchange of minutes between Mr Campbell and you on 17th September and 18th September, and you had them in front of you, did you not, when you prepared this memorandum?
A. When we discussed the memorandum, yes.LORD HUTTON: Mr Caldecott, we need to give the stenographers a break, I think. Is this a convenient moment?
MR CALDECOTT: Certainly. LORD HUTTON: I will rise at this stage for five minutes I think.
- pm: Short Break
- pm:MR CALDECOTT: Mr Scarlett, you did read this memorandum before it went in to the Foreign Affairs Committee, I assume?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Can I, please, just ask you to look at FAC/3/131? If we could just scroll down a little bit, please. Do you see about halfway into that page: "The JIC Chairman first sent me a draft of the dossier on 10 September. "To the best of my recollection, and that of Chairman of the JIC, I did not make any comments on the text of the draft at that stage. "On 17 September, he sent me a further draft." Right?
Q. "As far as we recall, our discussions on the text took place over 17 and 18 September." Why was that an exercise in recollection when you had the documents in front of you, Mr Scarlett?
A. Because that would assume that I was confident that those documents did indeed reflect the full extent of our exchanges. I was not actually quite confident of that. I thought it was possible that we had had other exchanges, possibly before, more likely afterwards. But I simply did not remember all that time afterwards. So I wanted to be cautious. As it has turned out, of course, now, we have found e-mails which show that there were further exchanges, so this was not quite complete.
Q. Do you accept that without any reference to any document, the words "as far as we all" and "our discussions" suggest that you were trying to remember oral conversations between the two of you?
A. No, I do not. I do not think it excludes a document. I do not think it does suggest that.
Q. Why did you not simply provides the documents to the FAC? Why go to all this trouble to summarise them?
A. Because the documents on their own, which were written in shorthand, were very informal and were between two people who knew the subject they were discussing, would have been virtually meaningless. Secondly, it had been explained to the FAC that original documents were not being provided to the Committee. So there was no question of doing that.
Q. Of course, if the documents had been disclosed to the FAC, they would have seen that Mr Campbell hadsuggested a change or commented on a change to the 45 minutes claim, would they not?
A. Well, except that he did not request a change on the 45 minutes.
Q. I changed -- I added "or commented on".
A. He commented on an inconsistency on that point, that is what the comment was.
Q. And you replied that you had tightened up the language?
A. In response to his query.
Q. But if the FAC had seen the document they would have discovered that, would they not?
A. Well they might have concluded I tightened it up in response to Alastair Campbell. In fact, as I have already explained, I did not.
Q. Why not include that point in your list of the discussions? You had the document in front of you and, as we all know, point 10 disappears.
A. Alastair Campbell, as he has explained, I think, chose to answer the specific question that he was asked, whichwas an account of the changes which he had requested. It was clear to me that this was not a change which he had requested. That was the view that he took in choosing to answer this; and I thought that was an accurate view.
Q. You see, the whole controversy was over the 45 minutes claim, yet that is the one point -- well not quite the one point --
Q. -- but a conspicuous point that is left out.
A. Well, I can repeat that he was asked to give an account of his request for changes and that was -- first of all it was not the only point left out and secondly it was not a request for a change, that is --
Q. I suggest to you, Mr Scarlett, I want there to be no doubt about this, that in the context of what the FAC were looking at candour clearly required that that exchange on the 45 minutes point should have been disclosed to the FAC. Do you agree or disagree?
A. I, as I have said, thought that the -- I concluded that the reply which went back was an accurate reply to the question that he had been asked. The letter also said that he had made a number of other comments including referring or pointing out inconsistencies and making some grammatical corrections or something like that.
Q. The FAC were bound to assume that this was a full and complete account, were they not? LORD HUTTON: Sorry, forgive me, you say the letter there refers to inconsistencies somewhere, Mr Scarlett?
A. Yes, my Lord. Somewhere in this reply Mr Campbell refers to drawing attention to inconsistencies. MR CALDECOTT: The top of the page, my Lord.
A. Yes. LORD HUTTON: Just a moment, Mr Caldecott. MR CALDECOTT: It is the top of page 3/131, I think, the fourth line. LORD HUTTON: "... checked that the text was consistent throughout..."; is that what you are referring to, Mr Scarlett?
A. Yes, it is my Lord. MR CALDECOTT: If the FAC had known that checking that the text was consistent had included an exchange on the 45 minutes claim, I suggest they would have been extremely surprised at the failure to mention it.
A. The request was for an account of changes requested, and that was what the reply said.
Q. You see, some of the other points are, in fact, more comments than requests, are they not?
A. Well, for example --
Q. I will have to go back to the original draft but point 2 in my recollection --
A. I was going to say you could have drawn attention to point 2 which maybe could also be -- well, it clearly was areference to an inconsistency.
A. But it also rather more stated a reason for, as I recall, if you show me, a request for this -- an underlying request for this to be changed. That is a fine point.
Q. Are you seriously suggesting that the FAC would have thought that there might be a change to the 45 minutes claim included in that prefatory statement "checked that the text was consistent throughout"?
A. I can only repeat that the letter from the FAC had asked for an account of a request for changes. The point you are referring to was not a request for a change. It was pointing to an inconsistency. No change was made as a result of that request and there was no influence exercised by Mr Campbell at any stage whatsoever on the 45 minutes point in the drafting of the dossier.
Q. Can we move on to some other changes to the memorandum? I am indebted at this point to the Inquiry ratherthan our own researches. At PKN/1/2, please. Can I just ask you, please, about one or two of the italicised passages that are taken out of the draft, that were in it at one stage and then taken out?
A. Can I ask what the status of this note is?
Q. This is a construct, I think, comparing a draft of the memorandum with its final version.
A. Why can I not see the draft?
Q. I do not have the draft in front of me at the moment. If you scroll down, the italics are what was in the first draft but not in the final draft.
A. I do not understand why I cannot see the draft. How can I comment on a document the status of which I am notclear about? I do not know what this means.
Q. CAB/31/11 you will see the draft version.
A. Okay, fine.
Q. I shall have to take time to find the references using the document. I am sorry about this. Could we, please, find a passage starting "However, once the decision was taken..." LORD HUTTON: Mr Caldecott, if you could just assist me, what is this document? Who drew it up? MR CALDECOTT: No, my Lord, it is prepared by the Inquiry rather than us. It is a comparison between a first draft, as I understand it, of the supplemental memorandum from Mr Campbell. The italics are words which were in the first draft but not in the final draft. LORD HUTTON: This is the memorandum for the FAC? MR CALDECOTT: That is right, my Lord, yes. LORD HUTTON: So there at least two drafts?
MR CALDECOTT: My Lord, that is right. LORD HUTTON: Yes, I see. Yes. MR CALDECOTT: And the underlined passages were not in the first draft but added to the final draft. LORD HUTTON: I see, yes, thank you.
A. I am still not quite sure what it is that I am looking at here. Can I see the first page? MR CALDECOTT: The first page we will see is CAB/31/8.
A. This is to the Prime Minister. It does not look like a draft to me. LORD HUTTON: It is from Mr Campbell to the Prime Minister re the FAC. MR CALDECOTT: If we look in the second line, do you see at the end of the second line of this document: "He will then write to him explaining this decision and will attach to his letter a supplementary memorandum from me to the Committee, which is attached." Do you see that? Then at the bottom of this page, headed "Memorandum to FAC", we see a first draft of the memorandum. Do you see?
Q. I just have to find the passage that I want to show you because, for ease's sake, I had been ...
A. This is not the draft, is it?
Q. I have found the second but I still need to find --
A. This is not the draft, this is the covering note ...
Q. Sorry, I still need to find it.
A. No, I sympathise.
Q. CAB/31/10. It looks on my copy as though it is contiguous, but it appears not to be.
A. Sorry, there must be a page before this. MR CALDECOTT: I am trying to find "However, once the decision was taken ...", which at the moment I cannot see. My Lord, I am sorry, this is the problem of taking a document from somebody else. LORD HUTTON: Well would you like to leave it for a short time and come back to it? MR CALDECOTT: Yes. LORD HUTTON: Perhaps the speediest way is if I rise for 5 minutes rather than perhaps having to bring Mr Scarlett back. MR CALDECOTT: I am concerned about the Assistant Chief Constable, who I know would like to be away. In one sense the comments I can put can be made on the documents. This is not a case where I really need the oral evidence. I just felt in fairness to Mr Scarlett, I would prefer to put them. LORD HUTTON: Provided Mr Scarlett has a full opportunity to understand precisely what the document is. Are you just proposing to put the gist of it now to Mr Scarlett? MR CALDECOTT: There are only two changes. He may not have known about them, in which case that will be the end of the matter. But the two changes I was interested in -- LORD HUTTON: Just again so I fully understand this: it appears from the first document we saw up on the screen that this was a memorandum from Mr Campbell to the Prime Minister as to the question as to whether or not he should appear before the Foreign Affairs Committee. MR CALDECOTT: Yes. LORD HUTTON: Is the memorandum that you are referring to a memorandum which the Committee asked Mr Campbell to submit to it after he had given evidence or before he gave evidence? MR CALDECOTT: My Lord, the written statement itself is at CAB/1/257 as submitted to the FAC. The problem is I know there was a separate memorandum sent by Mr Campbell before he went to the FAC. LORD HUTTON: Yes, because it may be that insofar as Mr Campbell is explaining to the Prime Minister why he is going to appear, one might think that related to the first memorandum. MR CALDECOTT: I think it is better if I do not question on something which I have assumed is a construct. One needs to know more. It is not fair to the witness -- LORD HUTTON: I want to be clear. You are not making any point then to Mr Scarlett about these documents. MR CALDECOTT: My Lord, I think I have to abandon that. LORD HUTTON: That can be totally ignored? MR CALDECOTT: Yes. LORD HUTTON: Very well. Thank you.
A. Thank you.MR CALDECOTT: One nil to you, Mr Scarlett, I think on that document.
A. I did not do anything, I just sat here.
Q. Can I go on to deal very shortly with a point which is the question of the drafts and not producing the drafts?
Q. It was a request directed to the Joint Intelligence Committee.
A. No it was not.
Q. It was not?
A. No, it was a request addressed to Alastair Campbell, who said that he would pass it on to the Joint Intelligence Committee verbally.
Q. Yes, but in terms of where it was going to end up?
A. It is quite an important point actually because neither the Joint Intelligence Committee nor the Foreign Secretary nor any Minister ever received this request in any other form than a comment at the hearing to Alastair Campbell. So I never received anything.
Q. I see. So did you get it passed on to you orally by Mr Campbell?
A. Very briefly he mentioned it to me. The Committee had said that they were going to send a written summary of the -- or written account of the requests which had been made at the Committee. A written account did come, it did not include anything to do with that.
Q. I see.
A. So I never received it.
Q. And did that lack of a formal request influence your treatment of it or not?
A. If I had received a formal request then I certainly would have placed it before the Joint Intelligence Committee and indeed to the Foreign Secretary. I know in advance, as I have already explained, what my colleagues in the Joint Intelligence Committee would have advised very strongly indeed about this request; but as I never received it, the question never arose.
Q. Can I move on to the last topic which I hope you are familiar with.
Q. Because I want to take it shortly because of the time element. You will recall that in July of 2003 --
Q. -- there came to your attention a letter from Dr Jones --
Q. -- and a letter from a colleague of his.
Q. They were both addressed to among others DCDI.
Q. And they were both very late in the process.
Q. I am sure you have prepared for this and are aware of the criticism that we make about these not being brought to the attention, in terms, of the Intelligence and Security Committee. You understand the criticism?
A. I understand the comment, yes.
Q. What I want to ask you: you obviously read those minutes, because they were attached to the briefing note whichyou discussed with Mr Howard?
A. Yes, I read them I think on 17th or 18th July which was then the first time I had ever heard of them.
Q. The briefing note, I think you were called in by Mr Howard to discuss it with him before it was finalised and went to the Secretary of State?
A. No, that is not true. There was a meeting in Sir David Omand's office at which I was present, where Mr Howard was also present, where Mr Howard informed us of the existence of these letters which we had not previously heard about. And that was on 17th July.
Q. Would you agree, first of all, that DCDI is not Dr Jones' immediate line manager?
A. No, he is the line manager of Dr Jones' line manager.
Q. Thank you. Still less is he the line manager of a member of Dr Jones' staff?
A. Well, no, he is even further removed.
Q. Quite. Did you see the letter or hear about the letter from Dr Jones to Mr Howard expressing his serious concern that Mr Straw had inadvertently misled the Foreign Affairs Committee by suggesting that there had been no formal complaint about the intelligence issues in the dossier, to summarise?
A. At the same meeting, that is the first time I had heard of it.
Q. So you were aware that Dr Jones, now in retirement, had been sufficiently concerned to write plainly because he thought, on the face of it, his letter should be drawn to the attention of the ISC?
A. He thought that. Well, did he think that? I am not sure he said that. That is not my recollection.
Q. He asked for advice on it. He was plainly moved to write. He talked about his serious concerns.
A. Yes, I do not think he said anything about the ISC. I do not remember that. It might be worth checking.
Q. You are right about that. He was concerned about the evidence Mr Straw had given to the Foreign Affairs Committee, that is what prompted him to write.
A. That is what he wrote, yes.
Q. I can take this very briefly, because it is a short point. Firstly, I suggest it was quite wrong to give the impression to the ISC that this was simply a customary debate between analysts and a document which went simply to the immediate line manager?
A. Obviously this has been a contentious point and the ISC has taken a well known position on it. But the fact is thatit was a note which went to the line manager and it was one which was dealt with within DIS, by his line managers.
Q. Well, all I can say, Mr Scarlett, is I do not want any misunderstanding.
Q. It is right I should put a point to you.
A. No, fine.
Q. We suggest that the letter from Dr Jones was a very serious letter. He was concerned that Parliament had been inadvertently misled by Mr Straw. The obvious way of dealing with it was simply to give his letter and that of his colleague to the ISC. If it amounted to very little, as you say you thought, then no doubt they would reach the same conclusion. If it mattered, they were alerted to it. Were you aware of the letter that was sent back to Dr Jones?
A. At the same time I saw that too.
Q. Do you agree, as I think Mr Howard agreed, that it tended to give the impression that the ISC would be told about his letter?
A. Well, I do not remember Mr Howard agreeing that. I should say on this, this was a matter for DIS; and these decisions were being taken by a very senior official or this advice was being given by a very senior official, Mr Howard, in DIS and it is not for me to speak for DIS. What I would say is I thought the advice that they said -- go to Mr Hoon, which was the fact there had been a dispute specifically about the 45 minute point, should be passed to the ISC. That was clearly right. Whether they should be shown the letters which were an internal matter, which had been dealt with within DIS -- after all, let us not forget that the point which had been raised had been overruled by Mr Jones' boss and, as we now know, by Mr Jones' boss's boss and by Mr Jones' boss's boss's boss. This was something which had clearly been dealt with within DIS. It seemed to me to be reasonable for DIS to give the advice that they took but that was for DIS, it was not my decision.
Q. Mr Scarlett, you no doubt appreciate the distinction between the fact of a complaint and the merits of a complaint?
A. Yes, self-evidently and -- sorry, I do not understand the point.
Q. What Mr Straw had said to the Foreign Affairs Committee is that there had been no formal complaint.
A. But DIS took the view that this was not a formal complaint. That seemed to me to be a reasonable view since itwas something which had been dealt with within the DIS and had not, in any way, been passed on outside the DIS, including on the 19th September when the DIS had had a chance to bring it to the attention of the Joint Intelligence Committee, the Chairman, in my case, or indeed on the 18th September to the full Committee, and they had not done so.
Q. But the problem was that it was characterised by the ISC as a customary exchange with the immediate line manager, and it certainly was not that.
A. I was aware of the advice that was put up by DIS. What happened to the ISC is not anything over which I can possibly have any responsibility or speak for, and it is very important that that is made clear.
Q. Can I just, lastly, just ask you about one point. I appreciate it is only because I cannot cross-examine Mr Cragg. It is really a comment point because it will not have gone to you, I accept.
Q. MoD/22/1 which is Dr Jones' letter, paragraph 3. He says there: "We have a number of questions in our minds relating to the intelligence on the military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, particularly about the times mentioned and the failure to differentiate between the two types of weapon." You could not deal with a complaint in those terms without going back to Dr Jones and asking what the number of questions were, could you?
A. That is a DIS point. As I understood it, from Mr Cragg's evidence, the matter was discussed in DIS at the time between himself and Dr Jones' director and between Dr Jones' director and Dr Jones, at those different levels. I really cannot say more than that.
Q. That is a matter for Dr Jones' evidence and not for you, I accept.
A. Thank you.MR CALDECOTT: For once I am almost on time. Cross-examined by MR DINGEMANS
Q. My time has rather been taken up by others Mr Scarlett, so I will be brief. CAB/31/8, just to tidy up this confusionon this document if I may?
Q. This was a draft memorandum attached to a note Mr Campbell wrote to the Prime Minister. When it comes on thescreen you will see in the top right-hand corner you are on the distribution list.
Q. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. What he has here is a memorandum to the FAC. It is a draft memorandum he is preparing and inviting comments on.
Q. Go to CAB/31/11 halfway down the page: "I should therefore emphasise that the intelligence judgments were entirely those of the Joint Intelligence Committee [then these words] and there was no question of interference with them. The allegation that I 'sexed up' the document and in doing so abused intelligence is one that I reject entirely, and I have the support of the Chairman of the JIC and the head of the SIS." There is obviously a note to you: "(John are you happy with this (and can you check that Richard is)..." If we go back to PKN/1/2 we can see what actually is in the final document as put. What I think you were going to be asked by Mr Caldecott, if we scroll down was this: in the final document, as put: "I should therefore emphasise that the intelligence judgments were entirely those of the Joint Intelligence Committee and there was no question of anyone seeking to override them", with the words "of interference with them" omitted. What Mr Caldecott was going to ask you was this: did you ask Mr Campbell to take out the word "interference"?
A. I honestly do not know because I do not know the relationship between the first document that you have attached and this because the first document we were looking at was a draft memorandum which I suppose was submitted to the Prime Minister before he even went --
A. -- to the Joint Intelligence Committee.
Q. This was at a time when he was deciding whether or not to go --
A. I understand that. I do not know whether that was a first draft, whether there was a second draft, a third draft, I cannot track it through.
Q. We have only ever seen the first draft and then the draft submitted to the FAC.
A. I am therefore, as you will understand, reluctant to give a view; but maybe it will be helpful if I say that in my note of 4th June to the Prime Minister I use the word, I think, that no-one at any stage has attempted to overrule my judgment as Chairman of the JIC; and the words "overrule, "may override" were ones that I just was habitually using throughout. So maybe that is a point, but I am not absolutely certain as to how it changed like that.
Q. Did you consider that anyone had attempted to interfere with your judgment?
A. No, I did not. Absolutely not.
Q. Did you understand that anyone was making a case with the dossier?
A. No, I did not, actually. My understanding of the objective of the dossier was the one that I have given.
Q. Mr Campbell said yesterday when I asked him: what case were you intending to put through the dossier to the
public, because he explained that press spokesmen et cetera were involved in making cases, was this: the explanation as to why the Government were growing more and more concerned about the issue of Iraqi WMD.
Q. Were you aware of any strand of thinking along those lines?
A. That is a politician talking in effect or someone talking on behalf of a politician. My concern, which was a related one, was to make available in the public domain the intelligence assessments as they were being presented to the Prime Minister which would enable the Prime Minister and the Government to explain the conclusions they were drawing. I was not conscious of going any further than that.
Q. When you gave evidence last time, and I asked you about any expressions of unhappiness within DIS --
Q. -- you told me unequivocally you were not aware of any expressions of unhappiness within the DIS.
A. No, I was not.
Q. On the other hand, today you have reported a conversation with Mr Miller about chemical warfare concerns and the need for a follow-up meeting at the DIS.
A. That is not an expression of unhappiness. That was Mr Miller telling me that this point had been raised at the drafting group, and a number of points had been raised, but this one had in particular, and briefing was done; and I heard no more about it. So I did not know that there was any unresolved question and therefore unhappiness in DIS. I believed that that matter had been resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
Q. What did Mr Miller say when he said that the chemical warfare concerns had been raised with you or to you?
A. No more than that, that it had been raised, that the point about the compartmented intelligence had been explained, that it had been agreed a briefing would be given to DIS senior management. That was it. I suppose, I do not remember precisely, but I would have logically thought: well, if this concern persists we will hear about it at a subsequent stage of the drafting process, or indeed at the JIC the next day, but we heard no more.
Q. Finally this: when asked about weapons of mass destruction by Mr Caldecott, you referred to a statement made by a Minister as to definition.
A. Yes, yes.
Q. Is there any confusion either at JIC level or what you understand to be public level about the definition of "weapons of mass destruction"?
A. No, there is not. I am not aware of any confusion. It is as I have described. And that is the definition that we work to. It certainly includes battlefield weapons, which I have talked about. MR DINGEMANS: I am sorry I have had to be so short with you, Mr Scarlett.
A. Okay. I am not. LORD HUTTON: Any re-examination? MR SUMPTION: I have nothing to add. LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much, Mr Scarlett.
A. My Lord. MR DINGEMANS: Assistant Chief Constable Page, please.
ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE MICHAEL PAGE (called)
Examined by MR DINGEMANS LORD HUTTON: Just sit down, please, Mr Page.
A. My Lord. MR DINGEMANS: Could you give his Lordship your full name.
A. Michael Page.
Q. You are Assistant Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police?
A. That is correct.
Q. You have already given evidence before?
A. I have.
Q. We were not in a position at that stage to sign off your evidence. Can you just briefly outline to his Lordship the lines of inquiry that you set out when confronted with the discovery of Dr Kelly's body?
A. Yes, certainly. Very early on in the inquiry one sets up a series of hypotheses which one tries then to knock down. For the sake of completeness the first of these would be: was the death natural or accidental? In this case it is fairly obvious that was not the case. The next question is: was it murder? I think as I pointed out in my last evidence, the examination of the scene and the supporting forensic evidence made me confident that actually there was no third party involved at the scene of the crime and therefore, to all intents and purposes, murder can be ruled out. One is then left with the option that Dr Kelly killed himself. LORD HUTTON: Sorry, may I just ask you Mr Page, you say no third party was involved at the scene of the crime. Did you consider the possibility that Dr Kelly might have been overpowered and killed elsewhere and his body then taken to the wooded area where it was found?
A. Yes, my Lord; and I think, again, upon examination of the pathologist's evidence and of the biologist's evidence, it is pretty clear to me that Dr Kelly died at the scene. LORD HUTTON: Yes. Thank you. MR DINGEMANS: You were going on to say having ruled out natural causes, having ruled out murder.
A. One is left with the fact that Dr Kelly killed himself. My duty in that respect is to establish to the best of my satisfaction that there was no criminal dimension to Dr Kelly's death.
Q. Have you found any evidence suggesting that there was a criminal element?
A. Based on the extensive inquiries that we have undertaken thus far, I can find no evidence to suggest any criminal dimension to Dr Kelly's death.
Q. Can you give his Lordship, and everyone else, some idea of how many people you have interviewed in the courseof your inquiries?
A. Yes, certainly. We have made contact with somewhere in the region of 500 individuals during the course of our inquiry.
Q. How many statements have you taken?
A. We have taken 300 statements and we have seized in excess of 700 documents in addition to the computer files Ireferred to when I gave evidence last time. LORD HUTTON: Mr Page, could you just elaborate just a little on what you mean by no criminal dimension?
A. Well, again, my Lord, I would -- I suppose being a police officer I am inherently suspicious and I would look at the circumstances and ask myself a range of questions as to why Dr Kelly would have taken his own life. LORD HUTTON: Yes.
A. And very early on in the inquiry, based on early discussions with the inquiry it seemed entirely out of character for Dr Kelly to take that move. Therefore, my view of whether there was a criminal dimension to this would centre around: was he being blackmailed? Was he being put under some other criminal behaviour that would have prompted him to take this action? LORD HUTTON: Thank you for that, I just wanted you to elaborate that. And you have excluded that in your inquiries?
A. We have carried out extensive inquiries and based on those inquiries, I can find no evidence that he was beingblackmailed or indeed any other evidence of any other criminal dimension. LORD HUTTON: Yes, thank you very much. MR DINGEMANS: In the course of those inquiries and interviews I think you have interviewed a number of people that Dr Kelly spoke to at some length, is that right?
A. Yes, we have obviously established all known contacts that Dr Kelly had in the last few days of his life; and we have explored all those contacts. We assessed the nature of the relationship between the contact and Dr Kelly. Some were very fairly easily dealt with because they were obviously casual contacts or business contacts and we were able to deal with those by way of questioning. Some we assessed the relationship with Dr Kelly to be more of a friendship, and therefore my main concern there was whether Dr Kelly may have confided in those individuals and therefore with a certain number of individuals we actually interviewed them and took statements from them.
Q. And took statements. One of the persons that you interviewed and took statements from in fact was able to give evidence and that was Olivia Bosch and we have heard from her.
A. That is correct, my Lord.
Q. Have there been other people you have contacted and taken statements from?
A. In order, my Lord, there were twelve individuals including Olivia Bosch from whom we took statements.
Q. Was one of those persons Mia Pedersen?
A. Yes, we interviewed Mia Pedersen. She declined to give a statement as such but I have a record of the interviews that took place.
Q. Were you able to obtain any relevant evidence from her?
A. The conversation with Mia Pedersen added nothing that was of relevance to my inquiry at all.
Q. There was also some called Gabriella Kraz-Wadsak, is that right?
Q. Who is she?
A. Gabriella Kraz-Wadsak is an officer in the German army. She worked alongside Dr Kelly in Iraq for a number of years and had been in contact with Dr Kelly in the days before his death as indeed she had been for some years before that.
Q. Was she able to give any relevant evidence?
A. Nothing that furthered my inquiries at all.
Q. There was a document TVP/2/20 headed "Gabriella's concerns". Was she able to explain what this meant to you?
A. Yes, indeed my Lord. Apparently the document refers to a conversation or conversations that she had with Dr Kelly between June 14th and the 17th, and apparently refers to Dr Kelly's assessment of the efficacy of the inspection programme in Iraq. Hence, I think there is a heading there which says "Confidence of legitimacy and deterrence effect"; and apparently around the issues that Dr Kelly has recorded there and recorded numbers along each side of, they were discussing those issues and assessing impact of the programme.
Q. Have you managed to investigate phone and e-mail contacts?
A. Yes. We have investigated all telephone and e-mail contacts.
Q. Does that include mobile telephones?
A. That includes mobile telephones.
Q. Have you been able to find anything relevant from those contacts?
A. Nothing of relevance. I will just say that our inquiries in respect of one of those are still ongoing but that is a technical issue more than anything else.
Q. We heard about investigations that have been carried out in the post-mortem and toxicology reports.
Q. And the pathologist said that Dr Kelly's lung had been removed for tests. Have you discussed that matter with the toxicologist?
A. I have discussed that matter with the toxicologist. The lung was not subjected to tests, and the rationale given tomy team by the toxicologist is that the blood was tested for an entire range of substances including volatile substances and stupefying substances. No trace whatsoever was found and therefore they considered that examining the lung would not be relevant because if it was not in the blood, it would not be in the lung.
Q. In the course of your inquiries were you contacted by a person who suggested there had been three men dressed in black wandering around at the time that Dr Kelly's body was found?
A. Yes, I think both we and the Inquiry received a communication from a gentleman who expressed concern that he had noticed three individuals dressed in dark or black clothing near the scene where Dr Kelly's body was found. I am speaking from memory, but I think the sighting was at somewhere between 8.30 and 9.30 in the morning, something like that.
Q. Did you follow up that sighting?
A. Yes, we undertook some fairly extensive work. We got statements from all our officers who were at the scene and that was in excess of 50. We plotted their movements on a map and eventually were able to triangulate where the writer was talking about and identify three of our officers, so I am satisfied that I am aware of the identity of these three individuals.
Q. Were you ever contacted by Dr Kelly's dentist?
A. Yes, we did receive a telephone call from Dr Kelly's dentist, shortly -- I cannot recall whether it was on the day that he died or the day after but we did receive a call, yes.
Q. What was that about?
A. The doctor -- the dentist, rather, expressed some concerns. Upon hearing of Dr Kelly's death on Friday 18th July, she was aware he was a patient and apparently the practice has a process whereby patients are contacted shortly before an appointment. She was aware that he was due an appointment shortly and she did not want to cause distress to Dr Kelly or his family, so she went to the filing cabinet to find his notes of his dental records and they were missing.
Q. So what did the police do?
A. We carried out a full examination of the surgery and, in particular, one window which the dentist was concerned may not have been secure. We found no trace of anything untoward either in the surgery or on the window.
Q. Did you carry out any further investigations as a result of this?
A. Yes, the dental records -- we had another call from the dentist to say that the dental records had reappeared on the Sunday in the place in the filing cabinet where they should have been. We forensically examined those and could find no evidence of extraneous fingerprints or whatever on that file. However, upon hearing about this, and again I stress because I am a police officer and probably inherently suspicious, because dental records are a means of identification it did prompt me to take the extra precaution of having DNA checks carried out to confirm that the body we had was the body of Dr Kelly, notwithstanding the fact that that had been identified by his family.
Q. Did you have those DNA checks carried out?
A. I did and they confirmed that it was the body of Dr Kelly.
Q. We have heard that Dr Kelly received a letter from Mr Hatfield dated 9th July 2003 at the end of a meeting; and we have also heard that it was found unopened after his death in his study. Have any tests been carried out on that letter?
A. Yes, that was the letter I believe that was seized by Detective Sergeant Webb. It was sealed although it was a resealable envelope. It was sent for forensic tests and there was no trace of any of Dr Kelly's fingerprints on that letter, so from that I can only conclude that he had not read that copy of the letter at least.
Q. Having carried out all your investigations, is there any evidence of the involvement of third parties in Dr Kelly's death?
A. I still have a few lines of inquiry to complete, although I should stress that I do not anticipate that those lines of inquiry will reveal anything of an earth shattering nature; and I can say that based upon the inquiries we have made at the moment, further to my statement, that I do not believe that there was any third party involvement at the scene of Dr Kelly's death. I am reasonably satisfied that there was no third party involvement or criminal dimension to Dr Kelly's death in the wider dimension.
Q. Including blackmail, for example?
A. Including blackmail, for example.
Q. Subject to those points, is there anything else that you know which is relevant to the circumstances of Dr Kelly's death that you can assist his Lordship with?
A. Nothing at present, but should anything arise you will be the first to know. LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much indeed Mr Page. Sorry it was rather a long wait this afternoon. That concludes the evidence for today? MR DINGEMANS: My Lord, yes. LORD HUTTON: Very well, we will sit again at 10.15 tomorrow.
4.23 pm: Hearing adjourned until 10.15 am the following day