Friday, 29 April 2011

The Death of David Kelly - Mai Pederson's evidence and its rejection by the Hutton Inquiry

This post consists largely of a communication sent to the Attorney General earlier today.

In it I draw to the attention of the Attorney General the evidence that might have been available to the Hutton Inquiry indicating that David Kelly had functional problems using his right arm and had an aversion to swallowing pills.

These matters, if substantiated, are of obvious potential importance in assessing the validity (or otherwise) of the "suicide hypothesis" adopted by the Hutton Inquiry.

The title of the email was:

David Kelly - Rejection of Evidence - Mai Pederson

The text of the email was:

Mr McGinty,

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.

In this communication I wish to draw to the Attorney General's attention what I believe to be "rejection of evidence" in the meaning of Section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988. The "rejection of evidence" also casts a spotlight on yet another aspect of the "insufficiency of inquiry" by counsel to the Hutton Inquiry.

The specific cause for concern is the evidence potentially available to Lord Hutton from Mai Pederson, a close friend of David Kelly.

Mai Pederson is mentioned only twice in the oral evidence to the Hutton Inquiry. First by Janice Kelly in the guise of "Mike Peddison" (the stenographer presumably having mis-heard the name) and second in the evidence of ACC Michael Page (on his second appearance before the Hutton Inquiry.

The relevant quote from ACC Page's evidence is here (page 199):

5 Q. Have there been other people you have contacted and
6 taken statements from?
7 A. In order, my Lord, there were twelve individuals
8 including Olivia Bosch from whom we took statements.
9 Q. Was one of those persons Mia Pedersen?
10 A. Yes, we interviewed Mia Pedersen. She declined to give
11 a statement as such but I have a record of the
12 interviews that took place.
13 Q. Were you able to obtain any relevant evidence from her?
14 A. The conversation with Mia Pedersen added nothing that
15 was of relevance to my inquiry at all.

Again, Mai Pederson's name is incorrectly recorded.

The Press indicates that Mai Pederson's lawyer, Mark Zaid, wrote to the Attorney General on 10th June 2010 regarding the need for an inquest into the death of Dr. David Kelly. Various quotes from that letter appear in the media.

I understand (and the Attorney General can readily confirm this) that Mark Zaid wrote on 10th June 2010 in a letter or email to the Attorney General,

"... as you may be aware, Ms. Pederson was requested to provide testimony to Lord Hutton and had agreed to do so. This never occurred because reasonable privacy protections, which were requested in part because she was an active duty member of the United States military at the time, were not afforded."

Further press reports ascribe statements to Ms. Pederson to the effect that David Kelly had an old elbow injury on the right side, had (at least sometimes) difficulty using his right arm to (for example) cut steak and had an aversion both to swallowing pills and to suicide.

Such statements are of immense importance in relation to proper assessment of the "suicide hypothesis".

Such testimony, if it were of the nature reported in the press, would have cast huge doubts over the "suicide hypothesis" adopted by Lord Hutton.

If Mr. Zaid's letter of June 2010 accurately reflects the facts in 2003 then it appears that the Hutton Inquiry rejected evidence that could have been of crucial importance in demonstrating the "suicide hypothesis" to be untenable.

One must ask why the Hutton Inquiry rejected Mai Pedersen's evidence.

It cannot have been a matter of Mai Pederson asking for exceptional treatment.

Mai Pedersen asked for privacy protection. Such was afforded to other witnesses.

The Hutton Inquiry afforded to "Mr. A." some level of anonymity and allowed Janice Kelly and Rachel Kelly to use an audio link. Roger Avery gave evidence by videlink from the USA.

Why did the Hutton Inquiry not offer similar anonymity or privacy protection to Ms. Pederson and allow her to give evidence to the Inquiry from the USA?

It seems to me that one principle of a properly conducted judicial inquiry is equity of treatment. Ms. Pederson was not, in my view, afforded that and the result was the rejection by the Hutton Inquiry of potentially crucially important evidence.

If I correctly interpret Mr. Zaid's assertion quoted earlier, then the approach of the Hutton Inquiry to Mai Pederson's evidence had obvious and worrying similarities to the concept of "constructive dismissal".

It seems to me that the failure of the Hutton Inquiry properly to collect and consider Mai Pederson's evidence constitutes "rejection of evidence" in the meaning of Section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988.

It is beyond the scope of this communication to explore whether the rejection by the Hutton Inquiry of Mai Pederson's evidence is due to oversight, incompetence or corruption.

However, given the multiple material deficiencies of the Hutton Inquiry it seems to me that exploration of all those possibilities in a formal Police inquiry, judicial inquiry or legal professional inquiry ought not to be indefinitely postponed.

The evidence ascribed by the Press to Mai Pedersen also indirectly sheds light on another aspect of the "insufficiency of inquiry" by the Hutton Inquiry. There is no record in oral testimony from anyone that David Kelly had full use of his right arm.

In a situation where a conclusion is reached of suicide by use of that right arm the failure to ask appropriate questions regarding the matter of the functionality of David Kelly's right arm (for example of Janice Kelly and/or Rachel Kelly) is, in my view, a gross failure on the part of both the James Dingemans QC and Lord Hutton.

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.

Thank you.

(Dr) Andrew Watt


  1. ACC Page was lying again

    “Ms Pederson’s Washington DC lawyer, Mark Zaid, has made available to The Mail on Sunday parts of her final statement to Thames Valley Police, given on September 1, 2003.

    Its ten pages would appear critical, since they describe Iraqi death threats and the incident with the laser. She also stated that she was bewildered about how Dr Kelly could have taken an overdose, as he suffered from a disorder that made it difficult for him to swallow pills.”

    In the newspaper article it is revealed that Mai Pederson had taken courses in suicide prevention, she dismisses the claim that Dr Kelly was suicidal. Her evidence was and is critical to proving beyond reasonable doubt that Dr Kelly did not commit suicide

  2. Mark Zaid was the lawyer for whistle blowers Lt. Col.Anthony Schaffer and Sibel Edmonds. I suspect Pederson had quite a lot to tell about Dr Kelly's lost period in Monterey. Perhaps ACC Page meant to say Mai Pederson added "nothing that was of convenience to my cover-up"

  3. Assume for a moment that it is true that Dr Kelly didn't have full functional capacity in his right arm and that he had extreme difficulty in swallowing pills.

    It's quite amazing isn't it that those setting up a "suicide" scene decided on those two methods (if Mai Pederson is right)which Dr Kelly would have huge difficulty in employing.

    So was this bad luck on the part of the "suiciders", was it a lack of research or did it all have to be done in a rush without the time to check Dr Kelly out medically.

    It does seem to me that there was a lot of last minute panic in trying to get the suicide scenario to look right. A possible very late delivery of the body to Harrowdown Hill?

  4. Andrew - a strange timeline:

    On 1 September 2003, the Times publishes an article by James Bone in Birmingham Alabama, American was Kelly's spiritual mentor

    Bone writes:
    "Dr Kelly’s friendship with Sgt Pederson has not yet figured in the Hutton inquiry, but further details of Dr Kelly’s faith could surface today when his widow, Janice, who suffers from arthritis, and one of his daughters, Rachel, give evidence.


    And sure as eggs are eggs, Janice Kelly later the same day appears at the Hutton Inquiry and and says:

    "He read widely on the subject [Baha'i Faith] and met a number of people. I think there was one interpreter, Mike Peddison,[viz.Mai Pederson] who in fact later became a family friend, who was quite influential there."

    Well, fancy that. What a coincidence.