The second phase of the Holyrood Inquiry chaired by Lord Fraser concluded on 2 April 2004. Lord Fraser explained the form of phase three, which will take place in May, as follows:
I now propose to adjourn the Inquiry to enable me to consider which part of the evidence already given and what issues arising from that evidence might be made subject to a more detailed and rigorous scrutiny. I want also before the third phase of the inquiry to give consideration to whether there are any witnesses I might want to recall to assist me in this third phase of the Inquiry. I want also to consider whether there are any additional witnesses whose evidence I have not yet heard or received in written form whom I might invite to attend. … I wish to make clear and to emphasise [a number of points]. The first is the fact that if I recall a witness to give further evidence in the 3rd phase of the Inquiry it does not necessarily mean that I regard that person as a possible object of criticism. I may recall a witness simply to clarify some matters and not because I think that he or she may be liable to criticism in my Report. The second point is that the fact that I do not recall a witness does not necessarily mean that he or she may not be subject to criticism in my Report. Finally I am not departing from my original intention that if someone is subject to criticism in my Report that person will be privately notified and will be given the opportunity to correct that criticism in private or in public. My initial view will be a provisional one and that may alter or be revised in the light of further evidence and/or on further consideration.
On the matter of the BBC tapes (see No 340)