Friday 13 November 2009

Blair To Give Evidence To Iraq Inquiry Early Next Year

Reuters reports that former Prime Minster Tony Blair will face questioning in January next year during public hearings at the Iraq Inquiry, according to its chair.

"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," John Chilcot said in a statement. The Inquiry panel will start by hearing from senior officials and military officers who advised ministers, helped shape government policies or communicated them.

"That will give us a clear understanding of how policy developed and was implemented; and what consideration was given to alternative approaches," Chilcot said, adding the committee would consider the legal basis for war.

"Early in the New Year, we shall begin taking evidence from ministers (including the former prime minister) on their roles and decisions." A spokesman for Blair has said he would cooperate fully with the inquiry.

Chilcot has not yet said whether Gordon Brown will be called to testify but has said that he hoped the Inquiry would deliver its conclusions by the end of 2010.

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