Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Death of Dr. David Kelly - Possible pre-meditated insufficiency of inquiry by Lord Hutton

This post consists largely of the text of an email sent to the Attorney General's Office on 27th January 2011.

The following was the title of the email:

David Kelly - Possible pre-meditated insufficiency of inquiry by Lord Hutton

And the content was as follows:

Mr McGinty,

I write to draw to the attention of the Attorney General a potentially serious matter which I do not recall having seen raised in any publicly available documents sent to the Attorney General in connection with a possible application to the High Court with a view to obtaining an Order that an inquest be held into the death of Dr. David Kelly.

The matter causing me concern is prima facie evidence that Lord Hutton's insufficiency of inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly was, in fact, pre-meditated.

The following text is, so I understand, a quote from material written by Lord Hutton for the Inner Temple Yearbook 2004. The Attorney General will note that the meaning on the face of Lord Hutton's text is that he didn't bother looking rigorously into various matters within the scope of the Hutton Inquiry.

I thought that there would be little serious dispute as to the background facts [about Dr Kelly’s death].

I thought unnecessary time could be taken up by cross-examination on matters which were not directly relevant.

The material quoted is from here:

A lengthier version of the quote appears on page 83 of the book The Strange Death of David Kelly by Norman Baker MP.

Unusually, with respect to matters I have written to the Attorney General about I do not have access to a full copy of the original document. I suggest it should be straightforward for you to obtain a copy of a full version of the relevant text to allow appropriate evaluation of the scope and severity of the problem.

The notion of "background facts" is potentially very broad. Consequently, Lord Hutton's approach is, in its scope, potentially far ranging.

I suggest that the quote above is prima facie evidence that Lord Hutton excluded an unspecified variety of issues from rigorous consideration. It seems to me that such an approach is potentially both improper and insufficient.

The lengthier version of the quote indicates that "the basic facts" were already apparent "from reports in the press and other parts of the media".

For a judge to exclude from consideration consideration about supposed "background facts" because of "reports in the press" is something I find astonishing in this context.

It strongly suggests to me that Lord Hutton did not diligently inquire into all matters relating to the death of Dr. David Kelly.

Since it is apparent that he premeditatedly intended not to inquire into some matters it is, to my mind, disturbingly clear that Lord Hutton's insufficiency of inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly is, in at least some respects, a pre-meditated insufficiency of inquiry.

I ask the Attorney General carefully to examine the scope and seriousness of what appears to have been a pre-meditated insufficiency of inquiry on the part of Lord Hutton in the context of previous correspondence from myself and others with respect to the need for an inquest into the death of Dr. David Kelly.

In my estimation, the interests of justice require an inquest to explore issues which were ignored in what appears to have been a pre-meditatedly insufficient inquiry by Lord Hutton.

(Dr) Andrew Watt


  1. I think the term "insufficiecy of inquiry" relates to section 13 of the Coroners Act but it doesn't really apply to Dr Kelly's death.

    There had been NO inquiry when the cause of death had been placed on the death certificate. No inquest and Hutton had not heard any medical evidence.

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