Iraq dossier must be published

Published on View London, by Adfero Ltd, 23 January 2008.

The Foreign Office has been ordered to publish an early draft of the controversial dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

An information tribunal has ruled that the unpublished document, which was a precursor to the final dossier on Iraq’s alleged possession of WMDs, must be made public.

The final document, which was issued by then prime minister Tony Blair in September 2002, was at the centre of a government scandal after accusations that the dossier had been ’sexed up’ in order to encourage support for an invasion of Iraq …

… In handing down its decision on the publication of what is known as ‘the Williams draft’, the information tribunal said there is “a strong public interest in disclosure”.

“We do not accept that we should, in effect, treat the Hutton Report as the final word on the subject,” the tribunal decision continues.

“Information has been placed before us, which was not before Lord Hutton, which may lead to questions as to whether the Williams’ draft in fact played a greater part in influencing the drafting of the dossier than has previously been supposed.”

The tribunal also suggested that the handwriting of two different individuals was found on the document, “suggesting that at least one person other than the author had reviewed and commented on it”. (full text).

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