Interview with Elfyn Llwyd

Pubblicato il 8 Luglio 2013

Altre pagine di questo documento:

  1. Intervista a Elfyn Llwyd sulla Commissione Chilcot
  2. Interview with Elfyn Llwyd

Elfyn Llwyd & Marco PannellaElfyn Llwyd & Marco Pannella
London, 26 June 2013 - VIDEO

by Matteo Angioli

You were very active in the debate, which you partook on the floor of the House, on Iraq and you focused on the conflict of interest that is affecting the Chilcot Inquiry.

I believe that the Chilcot Inquiry is fundamentally flawed for two main reasons. Firstly, I believe that it should have had a Counsel to the Inquiry, in other words a lawyer responsible for assisting with cross-examination of all the witnesses. In the Leveson Inquiry, to do with press matters, even though Lord Justice Steveson is a very very accomplished judge, there was a Counsel to assist that Inquiry. So there should have been a counsel to assist this Inquiry because people like Tony Blair could just sit there and say anything they liked. They were not being cross-examined sufficiently well and following the evidence that a trained lawyer would do.

Secondly, the “gatekeeper” or secretary to the Inquiry, one lady by the name Margaret Aldred, was previously responsible for policy on Iraq. She was part of an operation that came up with the dodgy dossier and worked with the then Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O’Donnell.

What do you think of the delay that the Chilcot Inquiry is going through? Will it make any difference to the public opinion or people will just shrug off?

I think it may well be detrimental to the process because if you consider when the Inquiry begun, it went through a lot of work very quickly and that’s obviously to its credit, although I have to say they did not follow the evidence in sufficient detail. The cross-examination was extremely poor. A senior lawyer shouldn’t lead it. That said, we are now led to believe that the delay may well be because some individuals who gave evidence – and we can guess who they are – are not happy that certain documents will be made public. If this was meant to be their defining inquiry and a full, open and transparent process, then there shouldn’t be an argument and these documents should be made public. Because if they are not, there will be a feeling amongst the public that once more they’ve fallen short of the truth and it could therefore be a whitewash.

Like you, your colleague Peter Lilley MP sent evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry without receiving any reply. Are you worried about this?

This is another major concern. Clearly, that evidence was important because one of the features of the recent debates that we had, and many debates before, was that we say: “Hans Blix should be given time to finish the job”. The other side, the Government side, say “he had finished the job” and clearly that’s not true. So without him having finished the job he wanted to do, on behalf of the UN, it shows that it was a flawed process and that we should have never attacked Iraq. 0’36”

Are you familiar with the request filed by Stephen Plowden, through Freedom of Information Act asking for the declassification of notes concerning a telephone conversation between Blair e Bush held on 12 March 2003?

Of course I would support it and I do know it because I was one of the sub-reasons why Tony Blair said he’s got to go, because the French will not move. In other words, if the French will not move, the UN path is blocked and that was his justification for proceeding against Iraq without UN mandate. That to me is unforgivable. They were blaming the French because the French – they said – were not going to support any such move. Therefore they had to over and above the UN and just proceed like cowboys.

The Information Commissioner who ruled in favour of Mr Plowden and who is responsible for this kind of requests is being hindered by the Foreign Office. What do you think?

There is a closed-off space within Government when Government has policies discussed, where Government could justify not disclosing information, the Commissioner will allow that, because for example it’s the same issue with Cabinet minutes not being made public because their excuse or their reason is if they make it public then Cabinet Ministers will never express their opinions honestly in Cabinet for fear of some retribution at another time. So that’s a closed-off even within the legislation setting the commissioner himself. So I can understand, although in this instance it is vitally important that we know as much as we can.

Maybe it’s time to reduce the time where you can apply the Secret of State?

Certainly. There has been a debate about that and I fully support that. They should not be closed-off for tens of years. They should be available, so that we can judge as soon as possible whether these things have been done properly.

How is your party doing in Europe?

We are part of the European Free Alliance in the European Parliament and we have been for a considerable time. We hope to make gains in the next elections although it has to be said, Wales sends four MPs to the European Parliament and at the moment we have one member. It would be good if we could go back to two, although under the current voting system is rather difficult, because we have five parties in Wales.

Altre pagine di questo documento:

  1. Intervista a Elfyn Llwyd sulla Commissione Chilcot
  2. Interview with Elfyn Llwyd