Thursday, January 10, 2008

Government rejects call for new David Kelly inquiry

Andy Tate, The Argus
9th January 2008

The Government has rejected calls for a new inquiry into the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly following claims in a book by Lewes MP Norman Baker that he may have been murdered.

Lord Hutton's report into the death of the scientist concluded that Dr Kelly had committed suicide, but Mr Baker, in a book published late last year, said Dr Kelly was probably the victim of a group of Iraqi exiles.

Dr Kelly's comments to the journalist Andrew Gilligan about weapons in Iraq sparked a long-running row between Downing Street and the BBC which was still continuing when Dr Kelly was found dead in woods near his Oxfordshire home in July 2003.
Labour peer Lord Berkeley said at Lords question time: "The new book by Norman Baker concludes that the suicide of Dr Kelly would be extremely unlikely and certainly not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

"The Hutton inquiry was not a statutory one and no evidence was taken under oath, so isn't it now necessary for the Government to set up a proper statutory inquiry to investigate fully the circumstances of this senior Government employee."

Lord Hutton concluded that Dr Kelly died by cutting his left wrist and taking co-proxamol painkilling tablets.

Justice Minister Lord Hunt this week described Mr Baker's book as "a good Christmas read".

But he told peers: "There was a thorough inquiry by Lord Hutton which reached the conclusion that Dr Kelly committed suicide.

"Lord Hutton was satisfied no other person was involved in the death of Dr Kelly because a very lengthy examination, of the area where his body was found, by police officers and by forensic biologists found no traces whatever of a struggle or involvement by a third party.

"And the wounds to Dr Kelly came from a knife from his study in his home and it was highly unlikely that a third party could have forced Dr Kelly to swallow a large number of co-proxamol tablets."

Mr Baker repeated calls for new inquiries into the Iraq war and Dr Kelly's death.

He said: "I am very pleased that Lord Berkeley took the decision to raise this matter in the House of Lords and to call for a new inquiry into the death of Dr Kelly.

"The Hutton Inquiry was far from thorough, as the minister claimed, but was an incomplete, flawed inquiry which left many very important questions unanswered.

"What I would like to see now is both a proper inquiry into the whole fiasco of the Iraq war, and a re-opening of the inquest into the death of the country's most eminent weapons inspector."


Richard Tobin - Wellingborough UK said...

Proving what caused Dr Kelly's death is not the matter of importance and indeed serves as a distraction from it. The point is that we still do not know what really happened with reasonable and correct certainty because the circumstances of Kelly's death were not correctly examined by Lord Hutton and yet his inquiry was used to supplant the process of the corners inquest, which was the correct mechanism but was not allowed to draw a conclusion.
Hutton usurped the inquest and then acted upon a prejudicial conclusion of suicide as though such a finding had already been correctly drawn. Lord Hutton has whitewash on his hands.

cmain said...

In one of his answers in parliament, Lord Hunt said it was open to Norman Baker or anyone else to seek a new inquest under Section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988. That can only be done by submitting evidence through the police to the Attorney General. Has Norman Baker and/or the Kelly Investigation Group attempted this?