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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 January, 2004, 11:02 GMT
Hutton and the intelligence services

The intelligence services were the main source of information in the production of the prime minister's September 2002 intelligence dossier on Iraq.

Nearly nine months later it was the BBC's reporting of defence scientist David Kelly's views on that dossier which led to a heated public row between Downing Street and the corporation. In turn, this set in motion a train of events that led to Dr Kelly's apparent suicide, and the Hutton Inquiry.

But how has the inquiry affected the different branches of the UK's intelligence community, and what role did they play in these events?

Joint Intelligence Committee

The role of JIC is to advise ministers on priorities for intelligence gathering, as well as analysing information produced by MI5, MI6, the Defence Intelligence staff and GCHQ. The JIC is part of the Cabinet Office.

The committee's chief, John Scarlett, was in charge of the dossier's production. During the inquiry he strongly denied claims that Downing Street had insisted on including intelligence in the dossier on Iraq's supposed ability to launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes.

He also denied that the information was known to be incorrect.

Mr Scarlett has said nothing publicly since his appearance as an inquiry witness.

MI6 or The Secret Intelligence Service

SIS is charged with gathering intelligence to protect the UK's vital interests, and comes under the responsibility of the Foreign Office.

Sir Richard Dearlove became the first head of SIS to be questioned publicly by an inquiry, although he only spoke to Lord Hutton via an audio link, not in person.

It was the SIS that originated the 45 minute claim, which has since received an immense amount of scutiny. Sir Richard stood by the claim, saying he preferred to call it a "piece of well sourced intelligence".

He also attended several Whitehall meetings where the production of the dossier was discussed.

Defence Intelligence Staff

Two members of the Defence Intelligence Staff voiced concerns about the September dossier, and the 45 minute claim before it was published.

Brian Jones, a senior member of DIS, now retired, told the inquiry that he thought the wording of the 45 minute claim in the dossier's foreword and in the executive summary was "too strong".

He also said David Kelly had access to his department and would have probably been aware of any concerns over the dossier from DIS staff.

The deputy chief of intelligence at the MoD, Martin Howard, confirmed that some discontent had occurred in his department. He told Lord Hutton: "Two individuals expressed concerns about some specific language in the dossier to their line manager."




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