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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Kelly 'agreed dossier report quotes'
Mr Gilligan stood by his story
Dr David Kelly agreed the quotes BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan could use in his reports on the alleged "sexing up" of a government dossier on Iraq, an inquiry has heard.

Criticism of Mr Gilligan's "flawed reporting" over the dossier by his line manager at the BBC has also emerged at the Hutton inquiry into weapons expert Dr Kelly's death.

This was a good piece of investigative journalism marred by flawed reporting
Today editor Kevin Marsh

And the reporter admitted that his language in one report "wasn't perfect".

Mr Gilligan and another BBC reporter, Newsnight's Susan Watts, gave evidence to the inquiry on its second day.

Dr Kelly apparently committed suicide after he was named as the possible source for Mr Gilligan's report claiming the government had exaggerated Iraq's weapons capability to make the case for war.

Set up after apparent suicide of Dr David Kelly in July
Dr Kelly was government expert in Iraq weapons programmes
He was named as source of controversial BBC report
Report alleged government had 'sexed up' a dossier on Iraq's weapons capability
Government denies the allegations
Mr Gilligan said Dr Kelly had told him that government communications director Alastair Campbell was behind the "transformation" of the government's dossier.

Ms Watts said she was also given Mr Campbell's name by Dr Kelly two weeks before he met Mr Gilligan, but she considered the reference to be a "a glib statement".

Mr Gilligan did not name Mr Campbell in his BBC reports, but did in a subsequent newspaper article.

During his evidence, Mr Gilligan said Dr Kelly was "clearly aware that I wanted and intended to report on some of his remarks".

Dr Kelly was the inspector the Iraqis most feared but at the same time respected
Andrew Gilligan

He said they agreed quotes on Mr Campbell's role in relation to the dossier and unhappiness in the intelligence community.

In other evidence:

  • Mr Gilligan said it was he who first used the word "sexier" to describe how the dossier had been changed, and that the weapons expert had picked up on it.

  • Mr Gilligan said he had tried to speak to Dr Kelly after his BBC radio reports, but had been concerned that any phone conversations would have been monitored by the security services.

  • Mr Gilligan said he checked Dr Kelly's comments with two senior government contacts - who had not denied the suggestion that the dossier was "sexed up".

  • Dr Kelly described Iraq's weapons programme as "small", Mr Gilligan said.

On the dossier, Mr Gilligan said Dr Kelly told him that the "classic" example of the dossier being transformed was the inclusion of the claim that weapons could be deployed by Iraq in 45 minutes.
Dr David Kelly

Mr Gilligan said he asked Dr Kelly how the transformation happened. He said: "The answer was that one word, he said just 'Campbell'".

Mr Campbell has vigorously denied the allegation.

Mr Gilligan said he did not mention Mr Campbell's name in his Today report because he "did not want to have a row" him.

Ms Watts said she had also discussed the 45-minutes claim with Dr Kelly.

'Gossipy aside'

She said: "My shorthand notes show that Dr Kelly said to me that it was 'a mistake to put in, Alastair Campbell seeing something in there, single source, but not corroborated, sounded good'."

She said Dr Kelly revealed the information "certainly not as a revelation. I would characterise it as a gossipy aside comment".

Terence Taylor
Richard Hatfield - Personnel director, MoD
Julian Miller - Intelligence and security secretariat, Cabinet Office
Martin Howard - Deputy chief of defence intelligence, MoD
Patrick Lamb - Deputy head counter proliferation department, Foreign Office
Andrew Gilligan - BBC
Susan Watts - BBC
Gavin Hewitt - BBC
Richard Sambrook - BBC
Brian Wells - Director of counter proliferation and arms control secretariat, MoD
John Williams - Press chief, Foreign Office

She said she did not broadcast the comment because she "did not consider it particularly controversial. I found it to be a glib statement".

Mr Gilligan said Dr Kelly was not suggesting the 45-minutes claim had been invented but that it shouldn't have been in the dossier because it wasn't reliable.


And he admitted that in one report in which he suggested the government knew the 45-minutes claim was wrong the language he used "wasn't perfect".

The word "wrong" was later changed to "questionable".

Mr Gilligan told the inquiry: "I never intended to give anyone the impression that it was not real intelligence or that it had been fabricated, but I think that I must have done."

The inquiry was shown an e-mail from Today programme editor Kevin Marsh which said his report had been a "good piece of investigative journalism marred by flawed reporting".

And the inquiry heard that the BBC governors had noted that Mr Gilligan's had not used "careful language".

The BBC's Nicholas Witchell
"The reporter faced four hours of questioning"



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