Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Death of David Kelly - The evidence of Mai Pederson

In this post I summarise some aspects of the evidence of Mai Pederson, given to Thames Valley Police.

The record of that evidence given to the Hutton Inquiry by Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page is on Page 199 of the transcript of the oral evidence given on the afternoon of Tuesday 23rd September 2003

Here is the relevant text from the transcript. The questioner is Lord Hutton.

5 Q. Have there been other people you have contacted and
6 taken statements from?
7 A. In order, my Lord, there were twelve individuals
8 including Olivia Bosch from whom we took statements.
9 Q. Was one of those persons Mia Pedersen?
10 A. Yes, we interviewed Mia Pedersen. She declined to give
11 a statement as such but I have a record of the
12 interviews that took place.
13 Q. Were you able to obtain any relevant evidence from her?
14 A. The conversation with Mia Pedersen added nothing that
15 was of relevance to my inquiry at all.

Apparently, more than one interview with Mai Pederson took place (see Line 12 above).

The interviews seem to have taken place in August 2003 over two days. See David Kelly's closest female confidante on why he COULDN'T have killed himself.

Ms Pederson apparently told the Police about the weakness of David Kelly's right hand and the apparent elbow fracture.

I reproduce here some of her statements quoted by the Daily Mail:

David would have had to have been a contortionist to kill himself the way they claim,’ she said.

‘I don’t know whether he was born right-handed but by the time I first met him he favoured his left hand for any task that required strength, like opening a door or carrying his briefcase.

‘When he embraced friends at the beginning and end of Baha’i meetings, it was his left arm that you felt hugging you and you could tell his right arm hurt him because he rubbed the elbow a lot.

‘I didn’t want to pry but he finally told me the reason in the spring of 2003. It was the last time I saw him before he died. He was visiting America on business and we went out to dinner.

‘He ordered steak and he was holding his knife very oddly in the palm of his right hand, with his wrist crooked, trying to cut the meat.

‘He told me that some time ago he had broken his right elbow and it was never fixed properly, so he had real problems with it. It was painful and it never regained its strength.

'I just don’t see how he could have used his right hand to cut through the nerves and tendons of his left wrist - especially as the knife he supposedly used had a dull blade.

If the Daily Mail article accurately reports what Mai Pederson told Police in August 2003 then ACC Page has serious questions to answer.

If David Kelly supposedly committed suicide by cutting his left wrist then the weakness of his right hand reported by Mai Pederson is potentially of crucial importance.

Yet ACC Page told Hutton:

14 A. The conversation with Mia Pedersen added nothing that
15 was of relevance to my inquiry at all.

One assumes that the Police officers sent to the USA recorded Mai Pederson's evidence about the weakness of David Kelly's right hand.

Did the Thames Valley Police attempt to corroborate that evidence? We don't know.

It's certainly an issue meriting close scrutiny.

For completeness I believe that Mai Pederson makes an appearance as "Mike Peddison" in the evidence of Janice Kelly in the transcript of oral evidence taken on the morning of Monday 1st September 2003 (See Page 7 Line 9). I interpret that as a simple mishearing by the stenographer.


  1. I find it inconceivable that the police who went to America to interview Ms Pederson came back, in effect, empty handed. Apart from the matters of elbow and tablets Ms Pederson introduced Dr Kelly to the Baha'i faith with its very strict views on suicide and she also would have known more about Dr Kelly in the later years of life than almost anyone outside his immediate family.

    Looking at things from the viewpoint of ACC Page here we have a man just two and a half years away from retirement when Dr Kelly died. Any alternative verdict from Lord Hutton to suicide would have meant reopening the case and Mr Page's reputation in tatters. It is perhaps not surprising that Mr Page wasn't enthusiastically searching for evidence of a possible alternative scenario to the one he believed in of suicide.

  2. Brian -
    Normer Baker interestingly states that on Mr Page's retirement Lord Hutton appeared and gave a long eulogy.