Oral Evidence

Date: Friday, 15 January 2010

Morning Session

Witness: Major General Graham Binns
Role: General Officer Commanding Multi-National Division South East, Aug 2007 – Feb 2008

Witness: Gen Sir John Reith (private session)
Role: Chief Joint Operations Aug 2001-Jul 2004


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Additional Hearing on 15 January

The Iraq Inquiry held an additional hearing on 15 January with General Sir John Reith.

At the start of its work, the Iraq Inquiry set out a number of protocols surrounding its work including a protocol on hearing evidence in public. This states under item 1

“…. the Inquiry will hear all evidence in public unless the Inquiry Committee judges that it should be heard in private. The Committee will make its judgement on a case by case basis….taking into account the answers to the following questions about the individual witness and the evidence he/she expects to give …..(c) Is there any other genuine reason (such as health or security concerns) why a witness would have difficulty appearing or being entirely frank in public?”

General Sir John Reith made representations to the Committee that his evidence should not be broadcast. After considering these representations carefully, the Committee decided that on the personal grounds set out by General Reith, there was a genuine reason why he would have difficulty appearing in public if it were to be broadcast. Given the Inquiry's commitment to broadcast all its public hearings, the Committee agreed to see him in private. It also agreed with General Reith that the hearing should be conducted on the basis that the evidence would be published. The transcript of General Sir John Reith's evidence has now been published. Five words have been redacted on the grounds of national security. This is unrelated to the reason why the hearing was held in private.