Britain’s public inquiry into the Iraq War said on Thursday it would not deliver its conclusions until next summer at the earliest as it seeks the release of secret government documents.
The five-member inquiry team began hearings in November 2009 and had hoped to deliver its verdict by the end of the year or early 2012. But in a statement on its website, it said that timescale was no longer possible.
“The inquiry has advised the government that it will need until at least summer 2012 to produce a draft report which will do justice to the issues involved,” it said.
“Very considerable progress has already been made, but there is still much to be done.”
The inquiry was negotiating the declassification of a “significant volume” of secret material for use in the report, or to be released alongside it, the statement said. Some progress had been made but further requests are needed.
“The inquiry has made clear that it will need co-operation from the government in completing this in a satisfactory and timely manner,” it added.
The inquiry, under former civil servant John Chilcot, was set up by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to learn lessons from the 2003 US-led invasion and its aftermath.