Iraq inquiry: Hard copy of Chilcot report will cost £767

June 3, 2016 12:52 PM

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Iraq inquiry: Hard copy of Chilcot report will cost £767

A hard copy of the full Chilcot report, looking into the Iraq war, will cost £767.

Families of the 179 British soldiers who died in the war will not be given a free copy of the 12-volume report, due out on 6 July.

Next-of-kin will get a free hard copy of the executive summary - which will otherwise cost £30 - and the full report will be available free online.

Families have also been invited to attend inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot's public statement when the report is published and will be able to read an embargoed copy.

But some relatives, who have been waiting seven years for the long-awaited publication, have reacted angrily to the news.

Roger Bacon, whose son was killed in Iraq, told the Telegraph it was "ridiculous and very unfair".

"Where do they think the families are going to get the funds from to do that? This is big money for most people. We are not corporations or government organisations, we are ordinary people," he said.

"To be expected to pay that amount of money for a report that has had an enormous effect on all of us is really not on.

"To deal with something like this you need to have something you can hold and read. It is offensive to expect us to cough up that amount of money."

Rose Gentle, whose son Fusilier Gordon Gentle was killed in a bomb attack in Basra in 2004, aged 19, told the Press Association news agency it was "disgusting".

"Why should we have to pay - have we not paid enough times with the lives of our sons?" Mrs Gentle, from Glasgow, said.

"The families should get a free copy of this, we have paid the cost with their deaths....

"Why doesn't Tony Blair say 'I will pay for it', because he has got enough money."

The inquiry was announced by former prime minister Gordon Brown in June 2009. The last public hearing took place in February 2011.

But the main reason for the delay was the long tussle between the inquiry and the government over which classified material could be published alongside the report, or referred to in it.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said he had written to the Ministry of Defence asking that free hard copies of the report be made available to the families on request.

He said: "It is unbelievable that after all these years of waiting, of stalling and uncertainty, we now find out that the families will have to pay for a copy of the report.

"Families who have waited years, mothers and fathers who have fought to have this report see the light of day, should not have to pay for this."

The inquiry was set up in 2009 by then prime minister Gordon Brown to examine the lead-up to the invasion, from the summer of 2001 up until the withdrawal of the main body of British troops.

The report's long-awaited publication follows 130 sessions of oral evidence, the testimony of more than 150 witnesses and is more than 2.5 million words long.

The inquiry has analysed more than 150,000 government documents as well as other material related to the invasion.

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Source: bbc.co.uk

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