BBC journalists are at the top of the witness list for the Hutton Inquiry into the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly, which opens on 11 August.
Andrew Gilligan, Susan Watts and Gavin Hewitt will be called to give evidence in that order after a Government official is first questioned about Kelly’s expertise, the nature of his work for the Government and any role he played in preparing the Iraq dossier. “Then I would like to hear a witness from the BBC to state the reasons why the BBC declined to say that Kelly was the source of the reports until after his death,” Hutton said.
The inquiry will sit from 10.30am to 4.15pm, Monday to Thursday.
Gilligan will be asked to describe his 22 May meeting and any earlier meetings or discussions with Kelly; explain how he prepared his 29 May report for the Radio 4 Today programme; detail the editorial supervision for that item; indicate whether he gave prior warning to the Government about the report; and explain his Mail on Sunday article of 1 June.
Lord Hutton said he would also ask Newsnight science editor Susan Watts and BBC special correspondent Gavin Hewitt about meetings and conversations with Dr Kelly and their radio and television reports.
BBC director of news Richard Sambrook will be called to account for why the corporation declined to confirm Kelly as the source for the reports until after his death.
By Wale Azeez