Page last updated at 07:45 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2003 08:45 UK

Day four: Key points

Here are the key points from day four of the Hutton inquiry into the death of government scientist Dr David Kelly.

Dr Bryan Wells' evidence:

  • Dr Wells, who was Dr Kelly's line manager, said Dr Kelly had never expressed any unhappiness over his pay or conditions to him - saying he had been unaware of concerns raised by the scientist over his pay and conditions in 2000.

  • Dr Kelly was "my fount of knowledge" on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and the workings of UN's inspections teams.

    Dr Kelly expressed some concern about the publicity that would be surrounding an open interview before the Foreign Affairs Committee
    Bryan Wells
    David Kelly's line manager
  • He said the former weapons inspector was "vital" in trying to recruit inspectors to travel to Iraq after the war.

  • Dr Kelly had been keen to return to Iraq and had won approval to travel with a military team to Kuwait on 19 May this year - but when he got to Kuwait it was found he did not have the correct visa and he was deported the next day.

  • Dr Kelly found the experience "disturbing" but had not said he was unhappy with the MoD over the incident.

  • Dr Kelly's dealings with the media were generally to be authorised by the Foreign Office, apart from on certain topics, which would be through the MoD press office.

  • Senior MoD official Martin Howard contacted Dr Wells believing that Dr Kelly might be the source for an Observer article of 15 June concerning the mobile biological weapons facilities that had been discovered.

  • Dr Kelly, in New York, told Dr Wells he was not the source of that report.

  • A meeting with Dr Kelly about his media contacts was fixed for 24 June but did not take place because there was a separate police inquiry into an earlier leak of a top secret document to Mr Gilligan.

    I had deep confidence in Dr Kelly
    Patrick Lamb
    Foreign Office official
  • Dr Wells said that Dr Kelly was being considered as part of the inquiry - but had later been cleared - and a separate interview about Dr Kelly's links with the press might prejudice that other inquiry.

  • Dr Kelly wrote to Dr Wells on June 30, late afternoon on Tuesday, 1 July. Dr Kelly had telephoned him on the 30th to say he had written it, and that it was about his dealings with Andrew Gilligan.

  • Dr Wells said the scientist's attention had been brought to Mr Gilligan's evidence before the Foreign Affairs committee and he had spent the weekend pondering whether he could possibly be the source of the BBC report.

  • Dr Kelly said in the letter he was "sympathetic" to the war with Iraq and "most certainly have never attempted to undermine government policy in any way".

    I started off by saying (to Dr Kelly) that you must not give the departmental line, you must answer as you see fit
    Martin Howard
    Ministry of Defence official
  • At Dr Wells' and MoD personnel director Richard Hatfield's meeting with Dr Kelly, the scientist was asked to summarise his contacts with Mr Gilligan and was told it might become necessary to issue a public statement over the furore, and that he might be named as the reporter's possible source, said Dr Wells.

  • Dr Kelly was composed throughout the meeting at which he was warned he would face disciplinary action for any further breaches.

  • Mr Hatfield had said his judgment was that if there was a single source of Mr Gilligan's story, it was not Dr Kelly.

  • Sir Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the MoD, on 4 July told Sir David Omand, permanent secretary to the Cabinet Office his "immediate reaction" was that Dr Kelly must have been the single source but closer examination suggested this would not necessarily be a reasonable conclusion.

  • On Monday 7 July Dr Wells received a call from Mr Hatfield saying Dr Kelly was being recalled for another interview that day. Mr Howard was also present for that meeting.

  • A memo from John Scarlett, the chairman of the joint intelligence committee, to Sir David Omand said it looked increasingly likely that Dr Kelly was Mr Gilligan's source: "Kelly needs a proper, security-style interview in which all these inconsistencies are thrashed out."

  • An MoD press statement was issued on 8 July saying an official had come forward admitting meeting Mr Gilligan.

  • Dr Kelly left his home on 9 July and headed to Weston-Super-Mare and then Cornwall after being warned by the MoD press office that he might become the focus of media attention.

    Your contact with Gilligan was particularly ill-judged
    Richard Hatfield, MoD personnel director to Dr Kelly
  • Dr Kelly received a letter from Mr Hatfield on 14 July which accused him of a serious breach of procedure and added: "Your contact with Gilligan was particularly ill-judged."

  • There was no disciplinary action because it was "unforeseen and unintended" by Dr Kelly, it said, but if he was holding anything back he might be in greater trouble.

  • Dr Wells denied that Dr Kelly was coached to give particular answers when he appeared before the Foreign Affairs Committee on 15 July.

  • Dr Wells said he thought Dr Kelly was composed ahead of the hearing, and that he had congratulated him on his performance afterwards.

  • Dr Kelly told him that he had been pleased with the way his appearance before the Intelligence and Security Committee had gone on 16 July.

  • They had provisionally agreed that Dr Kelly would return to Iraq later in July.

  • Dr Wells said he had tried to telephone Dr Kelly on the afternoon that he was last seen alive, but had been unable to get an answer from his mobile phone.

    He was asked about a memo sent by Sir Kevin Tebbit to Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon on 10 July (the day Dr Kelly was named in newspapers) recommending they resist the approach by the Foreign Affairs Committee to interview Dr Kelly.

  • But a note from Mr Hoon's private secretary Dominic Wilson to his counterpart in Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's private office noted that it had been decided that Dr Kelly should give evidence to committee.

  • It said that "presentationally it would be difficult" for Dr Kelly to give evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee and not the Foreign Affairs Committee.

    Afternoon session: Patrick Lamb

  • Patrick Lamb, deputy head of the Counter Proliferation Department at the Foreign Office, said Dr Kelly told him prior to Mr Gilligan's report being broadcast that he had spoken to the Today reporter.

  • On the same occasion Dr Kelly also said he had spoken to Newsnight's science editor Susan Watts.

  • It was not until much later, and after the controversy caused by Mr Gilligan's report, that Mr Lamb realised Dr Kelly could be the source.

  • Mr Lamb first suspected Dr Kelly could be the source when he read the article in The Observer about mobile weapon laboratories.

  • Mr Lamb was previously concerned about Dr Kelly's relations with the media after the scientist was quoted in the Sunday Times in April 2003 saying a recently-captured Iraqi official knew "where the bodies were buried".

  • Mr Lamb said he had spoken to the MoD's Mr Howard at an informal reception on 17 June and said Dr Kelly told him some time earlier that he had spoken to Mr Gilligan and Ms Watts.

    I was to approach their work as if I was an extremely hostile and sceptical journalist
    John Williams
    Foreign Office press secretary
  • On 14 July Dr Kelly had spoken to one of Mr Lamb's colleagues in the department. That colleague said Dr Kelly appeared to be under stress.

  • Mr Lamb said that in a subsequent conversation with Dr Kelly, he was "very adamant they were not the words he used".

  • Dr Kelly was "clearly very nervous about" giving evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

  • Asked how Dr Kelly seemed to be taking the pressure, Mr Lamb said: "He was tense and that was understandable. Anyone going through such an ordeal would be tense."

  • Dr Kelly was very keen, if possible, for Mr Lamb to accompany him, but he could not because the Ministry of Defence was accompanying him.

  • Mr Lamb said that Dr Kelly had been "distressed" by the fact that his appearances before the committees were to take place on successive days instead of on the same day.

    Martin Howard

  • Mr Howard is deputy chief of defence intelligence at the MoD.

    Dr Kelly was called back for a second interview with MoD officials after high level telephone calls were exchanged.

  • One letter, from Sir David (Omand) to Sir Kevin (Tebbit), "recorded the prime minister's view that before we decided on what next step should be taken, it would be sensible to try and go into a bit more detail into the differences between what Dr Kelly said and what Mr Gilligan had claimed".

  • Asked why the MoD issued a press release saying an unnamed official had come forward to say he had met Mr Gilligan, Mr Howard said: "I think the feeling was that this was a matter of very considerable public interest.

  • He said it was a "very unusual" set of circumstances for a civil servant to admit to unauthorised media contact.

    John Williams

  • He has been press secretary to the Foreign Office for three years.

  • He said there was a "very, very simple explanation" as to why the 45-minute claim was inserted into the September dossier late.

  • This reason was that it was not assessed as credible by the Joint Intelligence Committee until 9 September.

  • He said he believed this would lead people to form the opinion that Mr Gilligan's story was "incorrect" and therefore naming the source behind the report was unnecessary.

  • Mr Williams said he was present at three meetings about the dossier on 5, 9 and 17 September.

  • At the first two, which were chaired by Alastair Campbell, the subject for discussion centred on Mr Blair's decision to have a dossier and the practicalities of how it was to be done.

  • Of the 17 September meeting he said: "The spirit of that meeting was that I was to approach their work as if I was an extremely hostile and sceptical journalist ... in other words, it was to sex down, not up."


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