First witnesses named for public hearings

16 November 2009

The names of witnesses who will appear at the Iraq Inquiry during the first few weeks of public hearings have been released today. The witnesses will give evidence covering the period from 2001 up the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The subject areas the witnesses will be asked to cover, as well as the posts they held at the relevant time, have also been announced along with a more detailed timetable of hearings for the first week. The hearings will begin on Tuesday 24 November 2009 at the QE II conference centre in London.

Iraq Inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot said;

“I explained recently that we will use the first five weeks of hearings to help establish a reliable account of the essential features of the UK’s involvement in Iraq between 2001 and 2009. The witnesses announced today are senior officials and military officers who had a key role in either developing advice for Ministers or implementing government policy, or sometimes both.

“We will cover a wide range of topics during these hearings. Those topics will include UK government policy on Iraq between 2001 and 2003, transatlantic relations during this time, policy and intelligence on weapons of mass destruction, and planning by the military and other governmental bodies for the invasion and its immediate aftermath. We will also look at developments at the UN, including the negotiation of UN Security Resolution 1441. We will not be looking at this stage into the legal basis for military action. That issue will be addressed in January.

“The Committee expect to gain considerable insight into the events from the evidence we hear from these witnesses. Our formal lines of inquiry will continue to develop as a result of that insight.”

A further list of witnesses will be announced on 30 November covering the period from the 2003 invasion of Iraq to the end of July this year (the end of the Inquiry's terms of reference).

The timetables for hearings will be published on the Inquiry’s website a week in advance. Information on public access to the hearings will be released shortly.

The initial list of witnesses who will give evidence on the period covering 2001 to the invasion are:

WitnessesPosts and dates in post 
Sir Peter Ricketts KCMG Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee 2000-2001

Director General Political (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 2001-2003
Sir William Patey KCMG Head of Middle East Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Offic 1999-2002
Simon Webb CBE Director General Operational Policy (Ministry of Defence) 1999-2001

Policy Director (Ministry of Defence) 2001- 2004
Sir Michael Wood KCMG Legal Adviser (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 1999-2006
Sir William Ehrman KCMG Director International Security (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 2000-2002

Director General, Defence and Intelligence (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 2002-2004
Tim Dowse Head of Counter Proliferation (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 2001-2003
Sir Christopher Meyer KCMG HM Ambassador to the United States of America 1997-2003
Sir Jeremy Greenstock GCMG Permanent Representative to the United Nations 1998-2003
Sir David Manning GCMG Foreign Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister 2001-2003
Edward Chaplin CMG OBE HM Ambassador to Jordan 2000-2002

Director, Middle East and North Africa (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 2002-2004
Sir Kevin Tebbit KCB CBE Permanent Secretary (Ministry of Defence) 1998-2005
Admiral Lord Boyce GCB Chief of the Defence Staff 2001-2003
Lt General Sir Anthony Pigott KCB CBE Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Commitments) 2000-2003
Major General David Wilson CB CBE Senior British Military Adviser to CENTCOM 2002-2003
Major General Timothy Cross CBE Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance and Coalition Provisional Authority 2003
Desmond Bowen CB CMG Director General Operational Policy (Ministry of Defence) 2001-2002

Deputy Head of Defence and Overseas Secretariat at the Cabinet Office 2002-2003
Sir Suma Chakrabarti KCB Permanent Secretary (DFID) 2002-2007
Dominick Chilcott Head of Iraq Planning Unit (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 2003
Sir John Scarlett KCB OBE Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee 2001-2004
Sir John Sawers KCMG Private Secretary to the Prime Minister with responsibility for Foreign Affairs 1999-2001

The timetable for the first week of hearings is:

SubjectDateWitness
UK Policy towards Iraq in 2001 24 NOVEMBER Chairman’s Opening Statement

Simon Webb, Peter Ricketts & William Patey

Michael Wood, Simon Webb & William Patey
Weapons of Mass Destruction 25 NOVEMBER William Ehrman & Tim Dowse
The Transatlantic Relationship 26 NOVEMBER Christopher Meyer
Developments in the United Nations 27 NOVEMBER Jeremy Greenstock