HC Deb 08 January 2001 vol 360 cc347-8W
Mr. McNamara

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he reviewed the attendance of MOD personnel at the Saville Inquiry; how many staff of what grades have attended the inquiry in each week it has sat in public; and in what capacity he is represented at the inquiry. [142278]

Mr. Hoon

Ministry of Defence representation at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry is kept under regular review. Public hearings of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry began on 27 March 2000. By 8 December it had sat for 58 days and Ministry of Defence officials were present on all but five days. A Grade 5 or Grade 6 official and/or a Senior Executive Officer were present on 48 days (and on five of these days leading Counsel was also present). A Higher Executive Officer or Executive Officer attended on a further five days.

In 1998 and 1999 there were 10 days of preliminary hearings in public. On all but one day (when a Senior Executive Officer was present) leading Counsel represented the Ministry of Defence. Senior Government lawyers and Ministry of Defence officials at the level of Grade 6 and Senior Executive Officer were also present.

The Ministry of Defence is not a party to the Inquiry. Officials attend hearings to provide whatever help the Inquiry may require.

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