Sunday, 28 November 2010

The death of David Kelly - Formal identification FOI response

This post largely consists of the text of a response from Thames Valley Police to a Freedom of Information request that I sent on 28th October 2010.

The text of my questions is in italics.

Dear Dr Watt

Reference No: RFI2010000737

Thank you for your request for information dated 28/10/2010 which I have repeated below with our response to each point.

1. Who formally identified the body of Dr. David Kelly (on or around 18th July 2003)?

Dr Kelly’s body was formally identified by his widow, Janice Kelly.

2. On what date and time was formal identification carried out?

11:25am on Saturday 19th July 2003

3. At what location was the body identified?

Chapel of Rest – John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford

4. On whose authority and on what grounds was the person making formal identification of the body chosen?

It is normal practice to use a close family member to provide the formal identification.

Please contact me quoting the above reference number if you would like to discuss this matter further.


  1. Which is the answer Norman Baker provided without quoting a source.

  2. The Scotsman of 22 July 2003 attributed this very same information to Nicholas Gardiner at the brief 5 minute inquest of 21 July 2003, opened and adjourned. Curiously his other press statements quoted that the identification was only circumstantial!!!

  3. there is a fascinating comment on an American Straightdope (sic) forum from 18 july 2003 Toadspittle
    07-18-2003, 09:36 AM
    This AP story goes on and on about David Kelly's involvement with the WMD intel criticism, and says that the body has not been formally identified ... but it doesn't mention one word about suspected cause of death--or even say "officials have not yet released a statement as to the suspected cause of death".

    Kind of odd ... why is this? Is it just breaking news that's too fresh (i.e., they took their old story file, describing Kelly's role in recent events, and just tacked on the paragraph or two at the beginning saying that a body had been found ... and in 20 minutes we'll know more)? Or is this the usual MO for British reporting? Is it considered bad form to discuss cause of death, etc., before other details (ID of victim, etc.) are known? Or are the cops very tight-lipped about such matters to the press?

    Or am I just reading too much into this (to me, rather glaring) omission?