Interview with Lord Hugh Dykes, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords who raised the issue of the delay in the publication of the final report by the Iraq Inquiry.
Matteo Angioli: Why did you raise a point on the floor of the House on the delay that the Chilcot inquiry is going through?
Lord Dykes: I think a lot of people are concerned about the delay because obviously the memory in some people will fade and this has been going for some time and one has every sympathy with Lord Chilcot and his inquiry in eventually producing the final report. They do need to go through all those procedures and I’m sure they are but equally we’ve had rumours for some time that the may be certain officials in the United States trying to get documents not published and people objecting and other being protected.
In our party, the Liberal-democrat Party where we took part in the million march against the war in Iraq invasion is still considered to be a illegal invasion although the UN was forced to prove it ex-post and that remains our position. We have to remember above all that a very large number of civilians, men, women and children died during and after this invasion and this therefore constitutes possibly war crimes and have to looked at properly. But I don’t want to prejudice the course of the publication of the Chilcot report and I wish them all well. I think just it is very important for us no to allow to get certain sources to interfere with the contents of the report.
What do you think of the fractions between the Chilcot Inquiry and the government of the day?
Obviously you need to put it to the members of the government and see how they react, in particular on the Conservative Party coalition and the Prime Minister if he ever agrees to talk to you. If that happened that would be a very bad thing. From our point of view we want a full report to be published with all the details of all the details of this so that people can judge it properly. Therefore I think if the Prime Minister was inclined for some reason because of pressure of rom he outside or whatever, then I hope he changes his mind and cooperate with the Chilcot request properly.
The Radical Party has been following this issue for several years now, with Marco Pannella and other members.
I’m glad to hear that. Also considering other countries where there are other inquiries going on, like in Holland and Australia.
Yes, Australia, the Netherlands where it is over now and also Denmark. What do you think of the request from other countries and people’s to know more about the involvement of their governments and troops in the war in Iraq?
There is a need to know which is massive everywhere. There’s a lot at stake here. Wrong decisions were made, Colin Powell made a fool of himself at the UN, all sort of things need to be looked at properly and explained properly. People are still by disturbed about what happened later on in this saga. So the sooner this report is published the better. I know that they are now in the process of people writing their own justification if criticised, and that should end in June. But even by then an immense amount of time will have passed and we really want to see this report out.
Are you confident that this will be a reasonably strong report?
I’m sure it will be. The people involved in it, starting from Sir John Chilcot, are people of immense distinction. But I would be worried if there were attempts by the United States and so on to trying to put pressure. There’s a lot at stake here. There may even be the question of name being sent in the International Criminal Court as a result of any conclusion. So it’s pretty important to get the truth in detail of all the things that happened. It’s a very disturbing saga for this country and for the United States.