This post focusses on two seeming discrepancies in the evidence given to Lord Hutton which relate to the circumstances surrounding the discovery of David Kelly's body.
The first discrepancy is between the evidence given to Lord Hutton about the position of David Kelly's body by the searchers who found David Kelly's body and that given by those who saw the body later (the paramedics and the pathologist).
Additionally, I attempt briefly to explore a seeming discrepancy regarding the number of "policemen" who were at or close to the scene at which David Kelly's body was found shortly after the searchers found David Kelly's body.
I'll deal with the issues in more detail later in this post under the headings "Who moved the body?" and "Who was the missing policeman?"
Who moved the body?
The two people who, with the assistance of a search dog, found David Kelly's body were Louise Holmes and Paul Chapman.
They gave evidence to Lord Hutton on the morning of Tuesday 2nd September 2003.
On page 12 Line 18 Louise Holmes states, "I could see a body slumped against the bottom of a tree,".
On page 13 Line 2 and 3 Louise Holmes states, "He was at the base of the tree with almost his head and his shoulders just slumped back against the tree."
On Page 26 Line 25, in response to a question asking what he had seen Paul Chapman states, "The body of a gentleman sitting up against a tree."
The two searchers concur. David Kelly's body was lying or sitting against a tree.
Vanessa Hunt and David Bartlett, paramedics, who saw the body later gave evidence on the afternoon of Tuesday 2nd September 2003.
On Page 71 Line 2 Vanessa Hunt describes what she saw, "There was a male on his back".
On Page 80 Lines 15 and 16 David Bartlett states, "They led us up to where the body was laid, feet facing us, laid on its back".
David Bartlett was not told at the Hutton Inquiry about the position of the body as described by Louise Holmes and Paul Chapman but stated to the Daily Mail subsequently, Dr David Kelly's body 'had obviously been moved': Paramedic at death scene reveals concerns over Hutton Inquiry, "He was lying flat out in the clearing with his bottle of water, knife and watch in line right next to his left arm".
Dr. Hunt, the forensic pathologist gave his evidence on the morning of Tuesday 16th September 2003.
At Page 6 Lines 18 and 19 Dr. Hunt states (referring to a Scene of Crimes video), "It showed a deceased man lying on his back".
At Page 8 Line 23 Dr. Hunt states, "He was laying on his back near a tree."
When the searchers found David Kelly's body it was lying "against" a tree. When Vanessa Hunt and David Bartleet, paramedics, and the forensic pathologist see the body it was on its back "near" a tree.
Who moved the body?
Who was the missing policeman?
Louise Holmes and Paul Chapman gave their evidence on the morning of Tuesday 2nd September 2003.
On Page 15 Lines 9 and 10 Louise Holmes states, "We walked back towards the car. On the way to the car we met three police officers".
On Page 27 Lines 19 and 20 Paul Chapman states, "As we were going down the path we met three police officers coming the other way that were from CID.".
So each of the two searchers testified that they saw "three" supposed "police officers", presumably not in uniform.
Detective Constable Coe gave his evidence on the morning of Tuesday 16th September 2003.
At Page 1 Line 25 he was asked "Who were you with at this time?". Notice the "were" in the question implying that counsel expected an answer in the plural (in accordance with the evidence previously given by Louise Holmes and Paul Chapman).
At Page 2 Row 1 DC Coe states, "Detective Constable Shields.".
DC Coe was asked to confirm that there were only two police officers. He did so.
Who was the "missing policeman"?
There are apparent discrepancies in the evidence given to Lord Hutton, as summarised with references above.
Lord Hutton either didn't observe the discrepancies or chose not to investigate further. Either eventuality raises potential questions aabout the validity of his conclusion.
If someone moved the body what else did that someone do?
If the evidence of DC Coe is correct that he and "Detective Constable Shields" were the first police officers on the scene. It is puzzling that DC Shields wasn't interviewed by Hutton. Failing to do so transparently risked missing relevant evidence.
Whose decision was it to keep "Detective Constable Shields" under wraps?
If the evidence of Louise Holmes and Paul Chapman is correct there were "three" police officers, who was the third? A member of the Security Service? Or someone else? Why did DC Coe deny that the "third man" existed?
Evidence to the Hutton Inquiry was not given on oath. So anyone lying to Hutton wasn't, as understand it, technically committing perjury.
At a minimum the discrepancies suggest that there are "loose ends" in the non-medical evidence given to Lord Hutton.
How are the discrepancies to be explained?
In my view these non-medical discrepancies alone require to be explained by more thorough formal investigation.
I believe that an inquest with evidence given under oath is required definitively to resolve these seeming discrepancies in the evidence given to Hutton.
Friday, 22 October 2010
The Death of David Kelly - Who moved the body? Who was the missing policeman?
Posted by Andrew Watt at 17:06
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