E.coli Public Inquiry Moving Forward

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The E.coli Public Inquiry was set up by the National Assembly to undertake a thorough investigation into the E.coli outbreak in South Wales in September 2005.

The Inquiry has been awaiting the outcome of a police investigation into the death of young Mason Jones.

Chairman of the Inquiry, Professor Hugh Pennington, said: "I am very much aware that this is a very difficult time for the family of Mason Jones and they are very much in our thoughts.

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"The police investigation has affected the speed with which the Inquiry could move forward but as I have said before, it was important that it was allowed to run its course. The Inquiry has been able to move forward without risking prejudice to that investigation and my team has already collected a wide range of evidence. However, more will now be within our reach.

"I expect that in due course the evidence collected by the police will be handed over to the Inquiry. I am sure that will assist me considerably in my task and should make up for some of the delay.

"However, while no charges are to be brought by the police, the Inquiry is aware of the prosecutions that are being brought by the local authorities involved. I understand that a committal hearing is due to take place on 15 March 2007.

"I hope that the Inquiry will be in a position to hold its oral hearings before the end of this year. However, the dates on which they take place will ultimately depend on the speed at which the local authority prosecutions move forward and the volume of evidence that the Inquiry needs to consider in order to get to the very bottom of the matters in question, something to which I am totally committed."

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