Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Death of Dr. David Kelly - Concealment of information on computers at his home

In the Evidence section of the Hutton Inquiry web site there is a page labelled Files retrieved from Dr Kelly's home computer.

Superficially, that seems to be openness on the part of the Hutton Inquiry.

However, the evidence page just referred to seems to be files retrieved from one computer.

However, there were at least five computers retrieved from David Kelly's home.

In this document Email Williams/Purnell 18/0703 we learn that two tower computers, three laptop computers and one PDA were removed from Dr. Kelly's home.

In addition to the computers there was an external zip drive, together with multiple CDs, floppy disks and zip disks.

[Notice, in passing, that it is to Superintendent Dave Purnell that the email is sent from Terry Williams, although so the Hutton narrative goes DCI Young is the police officer in charge of the investigation.]

There are five computers listed by Terry Williams.

The Hutton Inquiry web site seems to contain information from one of the five computers.

What information was contained on the other four computers?

So far as I can ascertain we are not told.


  1. And, so far as I'm aware, we don't know what proportion of the information on that single computer is on the Hutton Inquiry web site.

  2. And of course there is a huge amount of information that is concealed from public examination.

    For example the following documents:

    List of files created between 01/05/03 and 19/07/03 - not for release - Police operational information TVP/7/0139 - 0144
    List of files last written between 01/05/03 and 19/07/03 - not for release - Police operational information TVP/7/0145 - 0148
    List of files last accessed between 01/05/03 and 19/07/03 - not for release - Police operational information

  3. Andrew, DCI Young was not in charge of the investigation into Dr Kelly's death. ACC Page never mentioned him, but did say he had appointed Inspector Smith to act for him. Young was in fact in charge of Operation Mason, which was purported to be the investigation into Dr Kelly's death. However, since that Operation was terminated just 10 minutes after the finding of Dr Kelly's body was reported to TVP headquarters, that seems a little improbable. The couple of references to Young by two PCs simply means that no Plod is going to argue with a detective of that rank, whatever his formal position was. Young was also the police reporting officer for the Hutton Inquiry, which is another thing all together.

  4. Geoaunnes,

    In his postmortem report Nicholas Hunt refers to DCI Young as senior investigating officer.

    "Fact of Death
    Having met with the Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Young, I then proceeded to examine the body itself for the purposes of verifying the fact of his death."

  5. TVP/7/0121 puts DCI Young in the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit at Long Hanborough. Incidentally, he was one of the policing advisers to the Inspector Banks novels of Peter Robinson.
    Long Hanborough was probably a special incident room for the Kelly affair/Op Mason. Listed at TVP/17/0001. A DS Kevin McGuire was also attached there,along with a PC Slyfield: PC Sawyer identified them searching Dr Kelly's house very shortly after he was found, seizing items,in the company of Special Branch (very quickly on the scene!). Some incident.
    Long Hanborough has also (since 2003?) a Covert Operations Room for Kidnap operations - see p.54. Hence Long Hanborough being almost silent on the web.

  6. Felix,

    A fascinating "coincidence".

    Presumably the intended thought is that Long Hanborough is a covert operations room for solving kidnappings.

    Would the covert nature of Long Hanborough control room also fit Long Hanborough as being a suitable control room for carrying out kidnappings?

    Not such a silly question as it might appear, given the nature of Operation Mason that some hypothesise!

  7. Andrew,
    Dr Hunt is not a very reliable source of police information. The evidence of ACC Page is absolutely unequivocal:

    A. I called out Detective Inspector Smith, who was the area detective inspector, to begin inquiries for me.

    He says not a single word about Young. The only mentions of Young in evidence are as follows:

    PC Franklin
    A. It was searched. At 12.50 hours the same day I had a request from DCI Young to fingertip search the common approach path and either side.

    PC Sawyer

    Q. The senior investigating officer was?
    A. DCI Young.

    Mr Green

    A. Sorry, there were some other people. DCI Alan Young;

    But during that time I will have gone back to
    the original tent, the changing tent, to report what I was seeing to DCI Young.

    If Young was indeed in charge, it is a very strange omission for Page to fail to give evidence to that effect. It's in the same league as his failure to mention DC Coe.

  8. Geoaunnes,

    Your second comment was treated as "spam" by the automated Blogger commuents screening system. I happened to check and found it so it's now visible above.

    If it happens again you can contact me on the email address given in this post: A contact email address for Chilcot's Cheating Us.

    I agree that Nicholas Hunt's evidence routinely needs careful appraisal.

    I cannot agree that ACC Page's evidence is "absolutely unequivocal".

    The reference to Inspector Smith relates to the middle of the night.

    The reference to appointing a senior investigating office is to the period after the body is found.

    Lots of room for Inspector Smith and the senior investigating office being different individuals.

  9. Andrew:

    True enough. But it does not help our case to take unauthorised comments as incontrovertible fact. One of the greatest defects in Hutton was the way in which matters which should have been absolutely uncontroversial were not asserted by those people in a position to know them to be true. The official identity of the Senior Investigating Officer is one. There could be no conceivable reason for ACC Page failing to say it was Young if indeed it was. Just as there can be no conceivable reason for Page to fail to mention DC Coe if indeed he had been part of the official police searchers. Just as Page could have said that the masts were present for police communications, if indeed they were. But in fact no member of the police ever spoke a single word about those masts. Just as there could have been no reason for failing to ask Mrs Kelly, Rachel Kelly or Mrs Pape to say that Dr Kelly was right-handed. In fact it was James Dingemans QC who first said:
    And we know that Dr Kelly was right handed.

    To which he received the immortal reply:

    A. I was not aware of that, but yes.

    That does not mean that Dr Kelly was in fact left handed, but it beggars belief that such question was not asked of someone competent to give the proper answer.

  10. Geoaunnes,

    You correctly identify one of the major defects of the examination of witnesses at the Hutton Inquiry - that those in a position to know about an issue are not asked.

    There is only one piece of evidence on the Hutton web site relating to Dr. Kelly supposedly being right handed. It's in this document: Statement from Thames Valley Police TVP/16/001.

    Karen Lesley Roberts asserts on 2nd January 2004 that she had been told in July 2003 by Sian Kelly that David Kelly was right handed.

    Given the timing (2nd January 2004) I interpret that as Lord Hutton as suddenly realising "Oh **** we don't even know if Kelly was right-handed." just as his report was being finalised.

  11. Andrew,

    Mrs Kelly says she subsequently learned that there were no fewer than SEVEN lap-tops in Dr Kelly's study. Where did she get that information, assuming is not pretending that she had not counted them herself.

    Q. And how many laptops did he have?
    A. I do not know. I heard later there were seven