Tuesday, 25 March, 2008
- 25 Mar 08, 05:09 PM
Tonight, MPs are debating the case for a full inquiry into the Iraq war. Newsnight is running an exclusive film which, some will say, provides compelling evidence that such an inquiry is absolutely necessary.
THE CASE OF "CURVEBALL"
In the late 1990s an Iraqi engineer turned up in Germany seeking asylum. Codenamed Curveball, he was questioned by German intelligence, and what he told them was shocking. He claimed he had witnessed a biological weapons programme in Iraq.
His information was passed on to the CIA, and it became a cornerstone of the intelligence case that Colin Powell made to the United Nations on the case for war. The only problem was, none of Curveball's claims were true. And, moreover, many of the holes in his story had been identified months before Colin Powell's presentation.
Curveball's been in hiding ever since the war, but a report for Spiegel magazine has tracked him down. Tonight Newsnight will show the first images of Curveball that have been seen since the war. Does he stand by his claims? And what does the whole saga tell us about the world of intelligence? We'll be talking to Colin Powell's former Chief of Staff.
We'll also be hearing from two MPs about whether a full inquiry is now necessary - and, if so, why it's taken so long.
TIME TO BOYCOTT?
Nicholas Sarkozy is the latest politician to suggest that he hasn't ruled out boycotting the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in the light of the crackdown by Chinese authorities in Tibet. Why has the British government not been more outspoken about China's record? Are ministers hampered by the fact that Britain is hosting the 2012 Olympics? We'll debate this.