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Inquiry publishes provisional issues list

Inquiry publishes provisional issues list

THE BAHA MOUSA PUBLIC INQUIRY News Release issued by COI News Distribution Service. 20 November 2008

Today, the Baha Mousa Inquiry has published its provisional Issues List. The list is intended as a guide to the issues on which the Inquiry's investigations will focus. It has been published on the Inquiry's website and sent to the prospective core participants under the authority of the Inquiry Chairman, the Right Honourable Sir William Gage.

The list is a provisional one and the Inquiry's investigations may uncover the need to address further issues, which are within its terms of reference but not contained in this list. Accordingly, the issues in this list may be subject to revision during the course of the Inquiry.

The Chairman has also announced that the Inquiry will hold its first Directions Hearing on Wednesday 3 December 2008. The hearing will be a procedural one, at which the Chairman will give directions to lawyers representing the Inquiry's core participants about the provision of evidence.

The Chairman will also inform the legal representatives of the process for determining which witnesses are to be called to give oral evidence, and will set out an indicative timetable for the Inquiry. He will also hear any representations about matters such as reporting restrictions and legal representation arrangements that core participants may wish to make.
The Chairman has also indicated that a second Directions Hearing will be held on Wednesday 21 January 2009, continuing on Thursday 22 January if necessary.

Note to Editors

1. The next hearing will be the first Directions Hearing and will take place on Wednesday 3 December, continuing the following day if necessary. The Chairman will sit at 10:00. A transcript of the hearing will be available online shortly afterwards.

2. The Hearing will be held at the Inquiry's premises in the City of London: Finlaison House, 15-17 Furnival Street, London EC1A 1AB (view online location map at tinyurl.com/6pxuex). The following day, Thursday 4 December, has been reserved for a continuation of the hearing if necessary.

3. The issues list is available on the Inquiry's website at http://www.bahamousainquiry.org/key_documents/index.htm. As stated in the preamble it is neither a pleading nor a statement of case: it is designed as a guide to the issues that the Inquiry is likely to cover and it may be subject to revision from time to time.

4. The list is issued on the authority of the Chairman by Counsel to the Inquiry: Gerard Elias QC, Nick Moss and Patrick Halliday. Biographical details of the Inquiry team can be found on the Inquiry's website.

5. Sir William Gage held the Inquiry's Preliminary Directions Hearing on 15 October 2008 in the International Dispute Resolution Centre. The Inquiry has now moved to permanent premises at Finlaison House in Furnival Street, London.

6. Directions hearings will be open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend the hearing should contact the Inquiry press office (details below) and will need to arrive by 09:45 on the hearing day(s) to ensure entry. All attendees will be required to undergo security checks in line with normal court procedures before being admitted to the building, and photography and the use of mobile phones in the hearing room is prohibited.

7. Court Reporting Rules: Sir William Gage highlighted at the Preliminary Hearing that at the Court Martial of seven servicemen arising out of these events, the presiding Judge Advocate made an order, which remains in force for this Inquiry, requiring the media not to publish certain features and information in relation to the Defendants. Anybody was invited to make submissions in relation to this order, or any related matter affecting other service personnel, by contacting the Chairman in writing by 14 November 2008. If necessary he shall consider them and any further argument at the first Directions Hearing.

For more information please contact Suzanne Halls or Mark Fenwick in the Baha Mousa Inquiry Press Office on 020 7261 8327,
or visit the website at http://www.bahamousainquiry.org.

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