Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Lord Hutton makes a statement to the media

On the 21 July 2003 Nicholas Gardiner opened the inquest into he death of Dr David Kelly.  Five minutes later it was adjourned to an undefined date.

On the same day and fifty odd miles from Oxford Lord Hutton was taking somewhat less than five minutes to read out a statement to the cameras.  He took no questions from reporters.  This press notice includes the text of his statement:

Press Notices

21 July 2003


STATEMENT BY THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD HUTTON (Issued through the Department for Constitutional Affairs Press Office)
The Government has invited me to conduct an investigation into the tragic death of Dr David Kelly which has brought such great sorrow to his wife and children.
My terms of reference are these:
"urgently to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly."
The Government has further stated that it will provide me with the fullest cooperation and that it expects all other authorities and parties to do the same.
I make it clear that it will be for me to decide as I think right within my terms of reference the matters which will be the subject of my investigation.
I intend to sit in public in the near future to state how I intend to conduct the Inquiry and to consider the extent to which interested parties and bodies should be represented by counsel or solicitors. In deciding on the date when I will sit I will obviously wish to take into account the date of Dr Kelly''s funeral and the timing of the inquest into his death.
After that preliminary sitting I intend to conduct the Inquiry with expedition and to report as soon as possible. It is also my intention to conduct the inquiry mostly in public.
I have appointed Mr James Dingemans QC to act as Counsel to the Inquiry and Mr Lee Hughes of the Department for Constitutional Affairs will be the Secretary to the Inquiry.

There isn't much I want to add.  Hutton made his opening statement at the Inquiry on 1 August and then waited until after the funeral before he started taking testimony on Monday 11 AugustI stand to be corrected but I believe this is the only time he makes reference to the inquest.  Lord Hutton was very quickly appointed to chair the Inquiry on the 18th and he acted with a similar turn of speed by asking James Dingemans QC to be his Senior Counsel on the same day.  Peter Knox had to wait a little longer ... his appointment as Junior Counsel was announced on the 24th July.

Some biographical details of Hutton, Dingemans, Knox and the Secretary to the Inquiry, Lee Hughes, can be found here  http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090128221550/http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/content/biog.htm

I will be adding a little more to the biography of Hutton, information that the Blair government wouldn't have been keen to publicise I think.

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