The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, August 11, 2003

Hutton Day 1: slow start, but a promising revelation

The transcript isn't yet up on the Hutton Inquiry site. But press reports - as this from the Guardian - suggest a glimmer of fresh information:
Martin Howard, now deputy chairman of the MoD's defence intelligence service..., who at the time the dossier was drafted worked as the department's director general for communications, admitted two MoD insiders had expressed concern about the dossier shortly before it was published on September 24.

Now, the main difficulty in all parts of the case is the lack of corroboration for allegations made - at least, a lack so far as we plebs are concerned: much juicy evidence may lie within the Fort Knox of national security, and we can have no realistic hope for much it is to be disclosed.

So, any corroboration is more than usually welcome.

Of course, Howard's statement is really only evidence to the extent it is made against interest. To back up the statement, there is
a letter dated 19 September 2002 commenting on a revised draft of the dossier that had been prepared that day.
A copy of the letter was shown in evidence to the inquiry but the names of the sender and recipient were blanked out for security reasons.

Will the writers be called (anonymously) to give evidence? We'll see.

Meanwhile, a piece in the Guardian today on James Dingemans QC, senior counsel to the Hutton inquiry.

Johnny Cochrane, he ain't (and thank the good Lord for that!) - at least, according to the piece. Quite right - there's no jury to rap to - showbiz is the last thing they need.

Which may put Phoney Tony - Mr Showbiz himself - in some difficulty. The so-called hard interviewers on TV usually play up to his histrionics - and come off worse (he's so much better at it than they are!). Dourness from Dingemans might do the trick.

(This may be one reason why Hutton kept the TV out - not to spare Blair & Co the embarrassment, but to stop his man being tempted to lose focus and be drawn by Blair into being an Ikette to some sort of Checker's speech.)

Hopefully, the Day 1 transcript will be up tomorrow. Whereupon more here.

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