Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The death of David Kelly - Dr. Kelly had no motive to commit suicide on 17th July 2003

This post largely consists of the text of a communication sent to the Attorney General's Office on 17th November 2010.

If, as I contend in the quoted document, David Kelly had no motive to commit suicide on 17th July 2003 then the whole "suicide hypothesis" is opened up as the fragile speculation that it has always been!

FAO Dominic Grieve, Attorney General

Mr McGinty,

I would be grateful if you would add this email to the correspondence beginning on 25th October 2010 from myself to the Attorney General regarding the need for an inquest re the death of Dr. David Kelly.

I believe I can demonstrate that Dr. David Kelly had no motive to commit suicide on 17th July 2003. The detail of why I reach that conclusion follows later in this document.

Clearly, if David Kelly had no motive for suicide on 17th July 2003 then the Hutton conclusion of suicide is catastrophically undermined.

The evidence I present below is, I believe, "new evidence" in the sense that it has never been brought together in this way to demonstrate the absence of motive for suicide at the relevant time period.

I do not here directly attempt to dismantle the evidence presented to Lord Hutton favouring a conclusion of suicide. In this document I simply state that such evidence is largely conjectural and, with respect to Professor Hawton's evidence, is founded (so I understand) on a lack of awareness of key evidence some of which I present later in this document.

If it would assist the Attorney General to receive a document dismantling in detail the evidence presented to Hutton that seems to favour suicide, I'd be happy to prepare such a document on request.

The widely accepted, but erroneous, motive for suicide is that Dr. Kelly's reputation had been ruined since he, supposedly, was the prime source for Andrew Gilligan's controversial broadcasts of 29th May 2003 and the soon-following article by Gilligan in the Mail on Sunday.

However, that interpretation is largely based on a dubious interpretation of a statement issued by the BBC on 20th July 2003. Dr. Kelly was dead before that statement was issued so we must, logically, discount it in an analysis of what might have been in Dr. Kelly's mind on 17th July 2003 (whether or not one assumes that the BBC statement of 20th July 2003 can be trusted or not).

It seems to me that the behaviour of Professor Hawton, Thames Valley Police and Lord Hutton (among others) have founded on that anachronism, and they have, consequently, failed correctly to consider the information available to David Kelly on 17th July 2003 alone as being of relevance.

The Sequence of Events

In late May 2003 Patrick Lamb was informed by David Kelly that he had met with Andrew Gilligan and had spoken with Susan Watts (see evidence on Page 64 at ).

Dr. Kelly prepared a letter on 30th June 2003, addressed to his line manager, Dr. Bryan Wells, in which he acknowledged that he had met with Andrew Gilligan but stating "I am convinced that I am not [Andrew Gilligan's] primary source of information". The quote is from the final paragraph on Page 3 of

David Kelly met with more senior managers in the Ministry of Defence on 4th July 2003 and 7th July 2003.

On 9th July 2003 some journalists were able, with some assistance from the Ministry of Defence, to identify David Kelly as the individual who had identified himself to the Ministry of Defence as having spoken to Andrew Gilligan.

On 15th July 2003 David Kelly appeared before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. At the end of that session, the Minutes record that the view of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee was that "Dr. Kelly was unlikely to be the prime source of Mr. Gilligan's allegations". See Paragraph 5 at .

In a subsequent letter on 15th July 2003 to Jack Straw, Donald Anderson (chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee) wrote that it seemed "most unlikely that Dr. Kelly was Andrew Gilligan's prime source for his allegations about the September dossier on Iraq.". See .

As far as the Foreign Affairs Select Committee was concerned David Kelly was in the clear.

The question is whether or not David Kelly knew that he was in the clear.

At the meeting of the Intelligence and Security Committee on 16th July 2003 the following exchange takes place:

JOYCE QUIN: Can I ask you how you respond to the letter that the Chairman of
Foreign Affairs Committee has apparently written to the Foreign Secretary expressing the
view that it seems most unlikely that you were Andrew Gilligan's prime source for his
allegations about the September dossier on Iraq.
DR KELLY: Well that's what I believe myself, I mean I do not believe that I'm the
prime source,

Source of the quote: Page 14 at .

Not only was David Kelly "in the clear" as far as the Foreign Affairs Select Committee were concerned but, importantly, he knew he was "in the clear".

I have looked for any evidence given to Hutton that something of momentous significance happened on 17th July 2003 to suggest a dramatic reversal of Dr. Kelly's position. In other words I looked for some piece of information that could explain a sudden transition from being tired but relaxed to being suicidal.

I could identify no such event.

On 17th July 2003 there could be no reasonable expectation that further revelations would be forthcoming. David Kelly had admitted to Patrick Lamb in May to having met Andrew Gilligan and having spoken to Susan Watts. The Foreign Affairs Select Committee had concluded that David Kelly was not Andrew Gilligan's prime source.

He was in the clear. He knew it.

He had a busy morning on 17th July 2003 composing and sending emails. He wrote, for example, about his upcoming trip to Iraq the following week. These are the actions of a man focussing on the future, rather than the actions of a man who had decided that he, at his own hand, would have no future!

David Kelly was not suicidal on 17th July 2003. Professor Hawton correctly states that Dr. Kelly was not depressed. Neither had he on 17th July 2003 any reason to commit suicide.

I conclude that the absence of a motive for suicide on 17th July 2003 seriously undermines the "suicide hypothesis" to the degree that I consider the "suicide hypothesis" to be untenable.

I have written separately to Professor Hawton asking him to review the reliability of the evidence he gave to the Hutton Inquiry. In the interests of transparency I am copying this email to him and his PA.

I will also forward a copy of this email to Assistant Chief Constable Helen Ball and other senior officers at Thames Valley Police in connection with my report to them (URN514 of 28/10/10) in which I ask them to investigate the suspicious death of Dr. David Kelly, given that my view is that the death is more likely to have been murder than suicide.

I would be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt of this email. If you require clarification on any point of detail please do not hesitate to get in touch.

(Dr) Andrew Watt


  1. Leaving aside the small matter of it being near impossible to have killed himself by the means posited....

  2. Felix,

    My main point in writing to the Attorney General was to show that the widely accepted scenario for David Kelly's supposed "suicide" simply didn't add up when you look at the evidence.

    The questions about the supposed means of suicide etc are, in this context, something I see as being separate issues.

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