There are foundational questions about the relevance or otherwise of the knife found at Harrowdown Hill that remain unanswered.
The title of the email is as follows:
David Kelly - Major gaps in the chain of evidence regarding "the knife"
The text of the email is as follows:
This email is intended for the attention of the Attorney General in connection with a possible application to the High Court that an inquest be held into the death of Dr. David Kelly.
The information referred to in this email relates to conduct which seems to me to constitute both "insufficiency of inquiry" and "irregularity of proceedings" in the meaning of Section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988.
The purpose of this email is to draw attention to a worrying number of significant gaps in the "chain of evidence" regarding the knife found beside the body at Harrowdown Hill on 18th July 2003.
In fact, a closer scrutiny of the evidence relating to the knife found at Harrowdown Hill demonstrates there is, in fact, no demonstrable chain of evidence.
The knife was never shown to the family
At no point was the knife itself shown to any member of the Kelly family (according to their evidence given at the Hutton Inquiry). The only "identification" (if such a casual process can be termed an "identification") was based on the showing of a photograph or photocopy to two of Dr. Kelly's daughters.
One result of this irregularity is that there can be no certainty that the photograph/photocopy was of the knife found at Harrowdown Hill.
Had the process not been so irregular there would have been a chain of documentation linking a knife in an evidence bag shown to one or more individuals in the Kelly family to the knife that had been found at the scene at Harrowdown Hill.
That chain of documentation is absent.
The result of this casual and deficient approach to the identification of the knife is that we do not know if the knife found at Harrowdown Hill belonged to David Kelly.
No distinguishing features on the knife
No evidence is presented to the Hutton Inquiry, so far as I can trace, that there are any distinguishing features on the knife found at Harrowdown Hill.
Nor does anyone in the Kelly family state that the (assumed) knife belonging to Dr. Kelly had any distinguishing features.
This leaves open the possibility that the knife found at Harrowdown Hill was merely similar to a knife belonging to Dr. Kelly.
No evidence that the knife was used
No forensic evidence is presented on the Hutton Inquiry web site that the knife found at Harrowdown Hill was used to inflict the wounds on the left wrist of the body. A study of the shape of the knife blade and the wound geometry might well have been illuminating.
Like so much of the Thames Valley Police investigation it appears that a conclusion that was "obvious" was jumped to and that any serious thought of any alternative explanation was considered to be unnecessary.
It seems to me that this seeming failure on the part of the Police and the failure of Lord Hutton to identify that failure constitute at a minimum "insufficiency of inquiry".
The absence of fingerprints was ignored
In response to a Freedom of Information request, Thames Valley Police have indicated that no fingerprints were found on the knife.
At a minimum the absence of fingerprints on the knife seriously calls into question a "suicide" verdict.
Absence of fingerprints may well mean that Dr. Kelly never held the knife. If he didn't hold the knife, then he didn't use it to inflict wounds on his left wrist.
At no point is the absence of fingerprints on the knife discussed in oral evidence at the Hutton Inquiry. Nor is the absence of fingerprints disclosed in the Hutton Report. To my mind this is gross "insufficiency of inquiry" on the part of Lord Hutton.
Any competent and honest judge should have asked about fingerprints on the knife. If Lord Hutton failed to do so then his competence seriously comes into question, in my view.
However, if Lord Hutton was informed by Thames Valley Police that there were no fingerprints on the knife and decided to ignore such potentially important information both in his questioning of witnesses and in his report it seems to me that there is prima facie evidence of "irregularity of proceedings". A diligent and honest judge would not ignore such pivotal forensic information.
A credible "suicide hypothesis" demands that David Kelly held the knife. The absence of fingerprints make such a scenario highly questionable, at best!
The absence of a credible chain of evidence regarding the knife indicates that a "suicide" verdict "beyond reasonable doubt" cannot be sustained.
On this aspect of the evidence alone, I suggest that it is not possible legitimately to reach a "suicide" verdict.
An "open" verdict is possible but, in light of evidence presented in other communications, I suggest that the only credible verdict is that David Kelly was murdered.
I would be grateful if you would confirm receipt of this email and that the information contained in it will be drawn to the attention of the Attorney General.
(Dr) Andrew Watt