Peter Ricketts KCMG is the Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He has held this office since July 2006. He was Political Director-General of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 2001 to 2003. Prior to this he held the post of Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee.
Questions for Sir Peter Ricketts
Here are some of the questions (under a number of general headings) that we believe the Inquiry should ask Sir Peter Ricketts.
We would welcome any further suggested questions, particularly if they come with an explanation of why they are relevant. If you would like suggest questions that go some way to refining the ones we already have here or which raise different issues, please use the comment box at the bottom of the page. (Or otherwise feel free to contact us directly if you prefer to remain anonymous.)
FCO knowledge of WMD
What was the FCO understanding of Iraq’s WMD capabilities in the period prior to the 2003 invasion?
Did you see or were you aware of any evidence which categorically stated that Iraq was in material breach of its disarmament obligations?
FCO understanding of the legality of the 2003 invasion
What was the FCO understanding of the legality of the 2003 invasion?
Did the FCO independently assess its own legal advice?
Was Elizabeth Wilmhurst’s advice taken to be definitive?
Was her advice contradicted by any other FCO legal advice?
1441 and the second resolution
Did you believe that R.1441 authorised military action against Iraq?
Did you believe that the failed second resolution should have authorised military action against Iraq?
What is your understanding of the reasons for the failure of the Security Council to agree upon and pass the second resolution?
Pressure on Hans Blix etc to find Iraq in material breech
Were you aware of any political pressure being applied to senior staff members of UNMOVIC and the IAEA with the objective of finding Iraq in material breach of R.1441?
If so, what was this pressure, and which nations applied this pressure?
Pressure on other UNSC members
Were you aware of political pressure being applied to other members of the UN Security Council in the run-up to the 2003 invasion with the objective of gaining support for military action against Iraq?
If so, what was the nature of this pressure?
Were you aware of the claimed spying activities being undertaken against other members of the Security Council?
Sir Jeremy Greenstock’s book
What was/were the reason(s) for the FCO’s objection to the publication of this book?
Do you believe that these objections were warranted?
What were/are your views on the FCO’s decision to prohibit publication of this book?