LONDON, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The London inquiry into the British role in the Iraq war wrapped up four weeks of hearings with the chairman of the probe going on the defensive.
John Chilcot, appointed as the chair of the inquiry, issued a concluding statement on the proceedings of the inquiry as the panel breaks for holiday recess.
"This is no more than the end of the beginning," he said.
Observers criticized Chilcot for not pressuring policymakers in the British intelligence agency on the Iraq dossier that suggested Saddam Hussein could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of issued orders, London's Telegraph newspaper said.
Chilcot in his recess statement defended his actions, describing the inquiry as "serious."
"We are not here to provide public sport or entertainment," he said. "The whole point of our approach has been to get to the facts."
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown ordered an investigation into the role London played in the planning stages for the Iraq war beginning in 2001 to when British forces ended their mission there earlier this year.
Brown and his predecessor Tony Blair are scheduled to appear before the inquiry in early 2010.
Chilcot made it "absolutely clear" that Blair's testimony would be held in public.
The findings of the investigation are expected by late 2010 or early 2011.