THE first stage of the Hutton Inquiry ended yesterday with two dramatic revelations. The first was that the Defence Minister Geoff Hoon held a meeting on July 9 with three senior staff at which it was decided to make Dr David Kelly's name known to the media as Andrew Gilligan's source; however, the meeting failed to discuss how Dr Kelly should be informed of this decision in advance of his name becoming known. The second was the revelation of a document that appeared to be from John Scarlett, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, saying that “ownership” of (responsibility for) the dossier on weapons of mass destruction belonged to No 10 Downing Street. Most of the document was blacked out but its content appeared to be in contradiction of Mr Sparrow's evidence to the Inquiry, and that of the Prime Minister and of Alastair Campbell also, that he had ownership of the dossier. A covering note from the government said that Mr Scarlett had meant that ownership transferred to No 10 when the dossier was finalised. Lord Hutton has adjourned his Inquiry until September 15 by when he will have decided what evidence already given and issues arising from it “should be made subject to more detailed and rigorous scrutiny”. In other words, the really tough questioning of those recalled for examination will begin in ten days time. It will be surprising if Mr Scarlett is not recalled and it is likely that Mr Blair and Mr Campbell will be on Lord Hutton's list also, as will be Andrew Gilligan and possibly other BBC executives.


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