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:
|Witnesses||Posts 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:
|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|