Gilligan rejects TV dishonesty claim

By Caitlin Pike

Andrew Gilligan, the journalist at the centre of the Hutton Inquiry,
has adamantly rejected allegations made in a Channel 4 film that he
falsified his notes long after meeting weapons inspector David Kelly.

The film The Government Inspector , written and directed by Peter
Kosminsky and due to be shown next Thursday, depicts Gilligan editing
his notes weeks after his meeting with Kelly, who killed himself after
the story became public. If true, this would contradict Gilligan’s
evidence to Lord Hutton at the inquiry into Kelly’s death.

is shown falsifying two of Kelly’s claims: that the intelligence claim
contained in a government dossier to Parliament about Saddam Hussein’s
forces being ready to attack in 45 minutes was “real, but unreliable”;
and that Downing Street’s then head of communications, Alistair
Campbell, was responsible for its inclusion.

Gilligan stands by
his evidence and says that he did not alter his notes other than once
at the end of his meeting with Kelly on 22 May 2003.

He told Press Gazette: “On one level, I can sympathise with Peter Kosminsky’s need to find a ‘new angle’

in what has by now become an extremely old story. But his allegations against me are demonstrably, even absurdly, false.”

an article in the Evening Standard , Gilligan wrote: “What it actually
shows is just how tricky and dangerous a TV genre is drama-doumentary,
where fiction taints fact -and fact taints fiction, Unreliable: how a
drama portrays Andrew Gilligan too. The Government Inspector ends up
falling between two stools: neither adequate journalism, nor adequate

While making the film, Kosminsky commissioned a computer
crime expert, Professor Neil Barrett, to look at the evidence from
Gilligan’s computer that was made publicly available during the Hutton

Gilligan said that being involved in the inquiry meant
that he was part of the most intensive investigation ever made of any
journalist or news story in British history but that no findings of
dishonesty were made against him.

He also said the data from his
laptop was exhaustively examined by two computer experts appointed by
the inquiry and they found no evidence whatsoever to question his
account of how the notes on his organiser were created.

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