News that Lord Hutton had secretly, a year after the end of his enquiry, taken unprecedented action to ensure that the vital evidence surrounding David Kelly’s death remains a state secret for upto 70 years was revealed in the Mail late last night.
Could it be that the Hutton inquiry was fixed by Blair and his cohorts to produce the right result, and even now are planning to knobble the Chilcott enquiry.
Norman Baker writing separately in The Mail makes clear:
Hutton was appointed, and his terms of reference agreed, within record time, just hours after Dr Kelly, the Government’s foremost weapons inspector, was found dead on Harrowdown Hill in Oxfordshire.
His task was to examine the circumstances surrounding the scientist’s death, including the political events that straddled the war, not least the claim that the Government’s case for war had been ‘sexed up’.
Lord Hutton was the ideal appointment for the Government. He had chaired only one inquiry before – into the diversion of a river in Northern Ireland.
Even more importantly, throughout his career he had shown himself to be sympathetic to the Government and critical of the media.
He goes on to say:
And now it seems that Lord Hutton has unilaterally decided that the records of his inquiry should be closed for 30 years and medical evidence for an incredible 70 years – evidence that is hotly disputed by a number of medical practitioners, who are looking to take court action to force a proper inquest to be held.
In an inquest, all the evidence is there for the public to see. What is Lord Hutton seeking to hide away until nearly all of us are dead?
The restrictions came to light in a letter from the legal team of Oxfordshire County Council to a group of doctors who are challenging the Hutton verdict. The letter disclosing the 70-year restriction was written by Nick Graham, assistant head of legal and democratic services at Oxfordshire Council.
‘Lord Hutton made a request for the records provided to the inquiry, not produced in evidence, to be closed for 30 years, and that medical (including post-mortem) reports and photographs be closed for 70 years.’
I can only echo the words of Norman Baker when he asks “What is Lord Hutton seeking to hide away until nearly all of us are dead?”
Whilst we can hope that the Chilcott enquiry seeks to overturn this ban, and present the evidence before the public, only 24 hours before the news of Hutton’s draconian actions broke in the press, the Home Secretary Alan Johnson raised the UK Terror threat level from ‘Substantial’ to ‘Severe’, even though he stressed “there was no intelligence to suggest a terrorist attack was imminent”.
Speculation is growing today that this raising of the threat level is a false flag event and is likely to provide the beleaguered Tony Blair with the pretext for not appearing before the Chilcott enquiry.
It is reasonable to assume that Government officials were aware of the Mail’s intended revelations, as they also quote a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice who said: ‘Any decision made by Lord Hutton at the time of his inquiry was entirely a matter for him.’
Is the Government playing the terror card yet again to provide cover for Blair? Next week will be telling.