Three for four individuals were in a boat on the Thames early in the morning of 18th July 2003 only a few hundred yards from Harrowdown Hill.
The Hutton Inquiry failed to identify or interview those individuals.
The title of the email was:
David Kelly - The failure to identify and interview the "boat people"
The text of the email was:
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, further evidence of "insufficiency of inquiry" in the meaning of Section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988.
The "boat people" to which I refer make a cameo appearances in the oral evidence of Paul Chapman, one of the two searchers who found the body at Harrowdown Hill.
These three or four unidentified individuals were, arguably, the potential witnesses closest to the scene at Harrowdown Hill during the night of 17th to 18th July 2003.
They were neither identified nor questioned at the Hutton Inquiry.
The relevant part of the oral evidence of Paul Chapman to the Hutton Inquiry is on pages 22 and 23 here:
8 Q. Did you do the rest of the pathway down to the river?
9 A. Yes, we walked all the way down the pathway, which came
10 out to a gate just by the River Thames.
11 Q. Did you see anyone on that search?
12 A. Not until we reached the river and we met the people on
13 the boat.
14 Q. How many people were on the boat?
15 A. Either three or four, I cannot remember.
16 Q. Did you speak to them?
17 A. Yes, we did.
18 Q. What did you say to them?
19 A. They enquired what we were doing. We explained a search
20 team assisting the police, looking for a missing person,
21 and gave them a rough description of his age and said if
22 they saw anything could they contact the police.
23 Q. Had they seen anything?
24 A. They had heard the helicopter and seen some police
25 officers at some point previously.
1 Q. Right. What, police officers on an earlier part of the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. But they had not seen Dr Kelly at all?
5 A. No.
Paul Chapman refers to the presence of "three or four" individuals within a few hundred yards of where David Kelly's body was found.
It seems to me that several important points arise from this aspect of Paul Chapman's testimony:
1. It is clear that three or four unidentified individuals were present in close proximity (a matter of a few hundred yards) to the place where a body was found on Harrowdown Hill.
2. The unidentified individuals had clearly been present at the location for at least several hours before they spoke to Paul Chapman at some time after 8 o'clock on 18th July 2003. They refer to hearing "the helicopter". The relevant helicopter flight in the vicinity ceased, according to the "official narrative", at 04.45.
See the following for the Thames Valley Police account of the helicopter flight referred to for flight times:
3. These three or four individuals have never been publicly identified, so far as I'm aware.
4. There is no evidence presented at the Hutton Inquiry that Thames Valley Police conducted any inquiry as to the identity of those individuals.
5. The Hutton Inquiry made no inquiries as to whether the "boat people" may have had a malign purpose in being there or whether they could usefully shed light on the disappearance of David Kelly. It is wholly inappropriate and inadequate for the Inquiry to accept at face value Paul Chapman's cursory questioning re the "boat people" seeing or not seeing David Kelly.
6. The "boat people" had seen some individuals whom they, according to Paul Chapman, designated as "police officers". According to the evidence which constitutes the "official narrative" presented at the Hutton Inquiry no police officers were present in the relevant area at the likely time(s) referred to. Who was it that the "boat people" saw and when?
7. If the "boat people" spoke to "police officers" why did not Thames Valley Police take steps at that time to identify the "boat people"? On the other hand, if those individuals that the "boat people" saw or spoke to were not, in fact, police officers who were they and what were they doing during the night of 17th to 18th July 2003 in the vicinity of Harrowdown Hill?
8. Neither Lord Hutton nor counsel to the Hutton Inquiry showed any interest in these individuals known to be close to the scene of the discovery of the body, despite hearing Paul Chapman's oral evidence.
These points serve further to illustrate the astonishing insufficiency of inquiry by Lord Hutton, James Dingemans QC and/or Peter Knox.
Paul Chapman states elsewhere in his oral evidence that he made a statement to Thames Valley Police on 18th July 2003, completing the process sometime during the afternoon.
Accordingly, Thames Valley Police should have started inquiries immediately on 18th July 2003 to identify the "boat people".
This failure to identify the "boat people" is "insufficiency of inquiry" of breathtaking degree, in my view. Whether that apparent incompetence was premeditated or not is a matter which I consider should be investigated in detail by a Police force, other than Thames Valley Police.
I would be grateful if you would confirm receipt of this email and that the information contained in it will be considered by the Attorney General.
(Dr) Andrew Watt