Friday, 29 April 2011

The Death of David Kelly - The Nine Silent Witnesses

In this post I report a communication sent earlier today to the Attorney General drawing attention to deficiencies of inquiry in relation to nine witnesses who may have had contact with David Kelly during the last few days of his life.

We don't know whether the "nine silent witnesses" had material evidence to contribute.

We should have known at the Hutton Inquiry.

And we should know now what evidence they might have had to contribute.

The email was entitled:
David Kelly - The nine silent witnesses

The text of the email was as follows:

Mr McGinty,

This email is intended for the attention of the Attorney General in connection with a possible application to the High Court for an Order that an inquest be held into the death of Dr. David Kelly.

The matter to which I refer in this communication is, I believe, "insufficiency of inquiry" in the meaning of Section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988. Further, the failures by counsel to the Hutton Inquiry in relation to this matter may also have resulted in "rejection of evidence" in the meaning of Section 13. In addition, the giving of evidence by ACC Page about "Gabrielle's concerns" is arguably "irregularity of proceedings".

Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page gave evidence on two occasions to the Inquiry. His second appearance was on the afternoon of Tuesday 23rd September 2003. The transcript is here:

ACC Page makes reference to interviewing twelve witnesses here (on pages 198 and 199):

8 MR DINGEMANS: In the course of those inquiries and
9 interviews I think you have interviewed a number of
10 people that Dr Kelly spoke to at some length, is that
11 right?
12 A. Yes, we have obviously established all known contacts
13 that Dr Kelly had in the last few days of his life; and
14 we have explored all those contacts. We assessed the
15 nature of the relationship between the contact and
16 Dr Kelly. Some were very fairly easily dealt with
17 because they were obviously casual contacts or business
18 contacts and we were able to deal with those by way of
19 questioning. Some we assessed the relationship with
20 Dr Kelly to be more of a friendship, and therefore my
21 main concern there was whether Dr Kelly may have
22 confided in those individuals and therefore with
23 a certain number of individuals we actually interviewed
24 them and took statements from them.
25 Q. And took statements. One of the persons that you

1 interviewed and took statements from in fact was able to
2 give evidence and that was Olivia Bosch and we have
3 heard from her.
4 A. That is correct, my Lord.
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?

However, counsel goes on to ask ACC Page about the evidence of only three of the twelve individuals.

James Dingemans fails even to ask (about the other nine individuals) who they were and what information they had provided to the Police.

This, to my mind, is gross insufficiency of inquiry on the part of James Dingemans QC and the Hutton Inquiry.

It might be the case that the "nine silent witnesses" had nothing material to contribute. Surely, at a minimum, a competent and diligent counsel would have established that by brief, appropriate questioning!

Additionally, Mr. Dingemans seems to have accepted at face value ACC Page's implicit conclusion that "business contacts" and "casual contacts" can have no material evidence to contribute.

Counsel asks ACC Page nothing whatsoever about the purpose of interviewing the other nine witnesses, asks nothing about their identity and asks nothing about the nature of the evidence given by the anonymous nine witnesses.

To my mind this is overt and worrying "insufficiency of inquiry" by James Dingemans QC.

Since at least some of the twelve had spoken "at length" with David Kelly and possibly during the "last few days" of his life, then they might, at a minimum have been able to shed light on his mental state. (I have drawn to the attention of the Attorney General some of the doubts about Janice Kelly's evidence and the bizarre viewpoint adopted by Professor Keith Hawton.)

Evidence was potentially available to the Hutton Inquiry about David Kelly's mental state in the "last few days" of his life. The Inquiry failed to elicit that evidence. To my mind that is, in practical terms, "rejection of evidence".

Further, ACC Page sought to explain "Gabrielle's concerns". This seems to me to be "irregularity of proceedings". Surely, Gabriella Kraz-Wadsak should have given her own evidence. If David Kelly had been discussing concerns about the Iraq Survey Group's methodology and, possibly, integrity with Ms. Kraz-Wadsak that is, I would submit, potentially important information.

I have titled this email "The nine silent witnesses". Arguably, there are eleven silent witnesses since only Olivia Bosch of the "twelve" gave oral testimony to the Hutton Inquiry.

I anticipate writing separately to the Attorney General about the silencing by the Hutton Inquiry of one of the "twelve", Mai Pedersen.

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 comment:

  1. Not a useful witness for the "defence"

    Who is she?
    20 A. Gabriella Kraz-Wadsak is an officer in the German army.
    21 She worked alongside Dr Kelly in Iraq for a number of
    22 years and had been in contact with Dr Kelly in the days
    23 before his death as indeed she had been for some years
    24 before that.
    25 Q. Was she able to give any relevant evidence?

    1 A. Nothing that furthered my inquiries at all.
    2 Q. There was a document TVP/2/20 headed "Gabriella's
    3 concerns". Was she able to explain what this meant to
    4 you?
    5 A. Yes, indeed my Lord. Apparently the document refers to
    6 a conversation or conversations that she had with
    7 Dr Kelly between June 14th and the 17th, and apparently
    8 refers to Dr Kelly's assessment of the efficacy of the
    9 inspection programme in Iraq. Hence, I think there is
    10 a heading there which says "Confidence of legitimacy and
    11 deterrence effect"; and apparently around the issues
    12 that Dr Kelly has recorded there and recorded numbers
    13 along each side of, they were discussing those issues
    14 and assessing impact of the programme.