Monday, 18 April 2011

The Death of David Kelly - Evidence suggesting suppression of contemporary medical report

This post consists largely of a communication sent earlier today to Mr. Kevin McGinty of the Attorney General's office.

The medical report whose content was suppressed was, so far as I'm aware, the one assessment of Dr. Kelly's health conducted by a health professional (or professionals). In my view, it is disgraceful that its content was not considered in detail at the Hutton Inquiry.

In the interests of transparency the email was copied to Professor Keith Hawton and Dr. Malcolm Warner, whose evidence to the Hutton Inquiry is referred to in the email to the Attorney General.

The title of the email was:
David Kelly - Evidence suggesting suppression of contemporary medical report

The content of the email to the Attorney General was as follows:

Mr. McGinty,

This communication is intended for the attention of the Attorney General in connection with his consideration of whether or not an application should be made to the High Court for an order that an inquest be held into the death of Dr. David Kelly.

In this email I draw to the Attorney General's attention an issue which I believe to constitute "rejection of evidence" and "insufficiency of inquiry" in the meaning of Section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988.

On or around 7th July 2003 a medical examination was conducted on Dr. David Kelly at RAF Honnington.

The Kelly family gave written permission for the medical report to be released to the Hutton Inquiry. See page 2 of the document incorporating the hand-delivered letter of Peter Jacobsen of Bircham Dyson Bell of 7th August 2003 which is available online on the Hutton Inquiry website here: .

Notice the reference to "envisaged" departure to Iraq signifying that the report referred to was produced shortly before the scheduled travel to Iraq on 11th July 2003 rather than being a medical report produced in May 2003 before David Kelly's abortive trip to Kuwait.

I have spent time attempting to identify the report on the Hutton Inquiry web site. The most likely document is labelled thus: Dr Kelly's medical report / Health Declaration - not for release - personal information ( TVP/10/0125 - 0130 ) which is not available to the public therefore I cannot give a link to its content.

The only reference in the oral testimony on the Hutton Inquiry web site that I can trace to the medical report is in oral testimony of Dr. Malcolm Warner on Tuesday 2nd September 2003 (see Page 5 of his evidence, quoted below):

14 Q. We know that an MoD health check was done on 8th July.
15 This I understand was sent to you; is that right?
16 A. That is right.
17 Q. Did it say anything significant?
18 A. No.

The questioning of the counsel to the Inquiry is visibly inadequate.

Further, Dr. Warner's evidence makes no sense, in my view. Whatever the MoD medical report contained or failed to contain I would suggest that, in the context of the Hutton Inquiry, it is both significant and important.

If, as has been rumoured, the MoD health check showed that Dr. Kelly's psychological state was fragile then the motive for suppression of evidence is clear - the medical report would be evidence that the Ministry of Defence had "thrown Dr. Kelly to the wolves" of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the press, knowing that his psychological state was fragile. In other words, a psychological report to the preceding effect would demonstrate negligence on the part of the Ministry of Defence and a failure with respect to a duty of care.

Alternatively, given the seemingly desired "verdict" of the Hutton Inquiry as "suicide" the motive to suppress a positive assessment of Dr. Kelly's psychological health on 7th July 2003 is a powerful one. If Dr. Kelly's mental health was examined by a professional and identified as in a good state on or around 7th July 2003 then Professor Hawton's fairy tale given in evidence to Lord Hutton is significantly undermined. In passing, it requires to be established whether Professor Hawton was or was not shown the MoD report. The Hutton Inquiry transcript of Professor Hawton's evidence is unclear on this matter, in my view. If the report was withheld from Professor Hawton I would view that as "irregularity of proceedings". If Professor Hawton was shown the report but failed to discuss the relevance of its content then I view that as another example of the many deficiencies of Professor Hawton's speculative "expert" testimony to the Hutton Inquiry.

If it had been the case that Dr. Kelly's psychological state had not been examined that could simply have been stated to be the case. That possibility seems unlikely given that the environment that the Iraq Survey Group was to enter in Iraq was replete with insurgent activity at the time. It would, I suggest, have been negligent for ISG members to be sent to such an environment without a professional assessment having been made of each individual's psychological state and resilience.

One of the interesting aspects of the suppression of the MoD medical report is that, in October 2010, the Ministry of Justice withheld the MoD medical report while disclosing the postmortem report and the toxicology report. Assuming that the Ministry of Justice's decision was a rational one, the MoJ must have decided to conceal the content of the MoD medical report.

At the risk of stating the obvious, whatever Dr. Kelly's psychological state on 7th July 2003 it does not preclude his being murdered on 17th July 2003.

I would be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt of this email and confirm that it will be considered by the Attorney General.

Thank you.

(Dr) Andrew Watt

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