Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Death of David Kelly - Some extracts from the evidence of David Broucher

At the Hutton Inquiry, with a little help from Rachel Kelly (see transcript of her oral testimony on the morning of Monday 1st September 2003), Lord Hutton succeeded in dismissing the evidence of David Broucher.

David Broucher was the person who gave evidence that David Kelly had mentioned the possibility of being found dead in the woods.

David Broucher's evidence was given on the afternoon of Thursday 21st August 2003.

The conversation with David Kelly lasted about an hour:

24 Q. How long did the meeting last?
25 A. About an hour.

This was an in depth conversation about Iraq's biological weapons capabilities:

1 Q. You said you wanted to pick his brains. What were you
2 discussing?
3 A. We talked about the history of Iraq's biological weapons
4 capability, about his activities with UNSCOM, about what
5 he thought might be the current state of affairs, and we
6 talked a little about Iraq and the biological weapons
7 convention.

David Kelly revealed that the claim in the September 2002 dossier was nonsense:

8 Q. What view did Dr Kelly express about the Iraqi position
9 in terms of preparedness?
10 A. As far as I can recall, he felt that if the Iraqis had
11 any biological weapons left it would not be very much.
12 He also said that the -- I believe it is called the fill
13 for the weapons would be kept separately from the
14 munitions and that this meant that the weapons could not
15 be used quickly.

It was clear that the conversation had taken place after September 2002 since the dossier launched on 24th September 2002 by Tony Blair was discussed:

25 Q. Did you discuss the dossier at all in this conversation?

1 A. We did discuss the dossier. I raised it because I had
2 had to -- it was part of my duties to sell the dossier,
3 if you like, within the United Nations to senior
4 United Nations officials; and I told Dr Kelly that this
5 had not been easy and that they did not find it
6 convincing. He said to me that there had been a lot of
7 pressure to make the dossier as robust as possible; that
8 every judgment in it had been closely fought over; and
9 that it was the best that the JIC could do. I believe
10 that it may have been in this connection that he then
11 went on to explain the point about the readiness of
12 Iraq's biological weapons, the fact they could not use
13 them quickly, and that this was relevant to the point
14 about 45 minutes.

At the end of a long conversation David Kelly said that he would probably be found dead in the wood, in certain circumstances:

24 Q. Right. Did you have any other conversation with
25 Dr Kelly that day?

1 A. As Dr Kelly was leaving I said to him: what will happen
2 if Iraq is invaded? And his reply was, which I took at
3 the time to be a throw away remark -- he said: I will
4 probably be found dead in the woods.
5 Q. You understood it to be a throw away remark. Did you
6 report that remark at the time to anyone?
7 A. I did not report it at the time to anyone because I did
8 not attribute any particular significance to it.
9 I thought he might have meant that he was at risk of
10 being attacked by the Iraqis in some way.
11 Q. And you, at the time, considered it to be a sort of
12 general comment one might make at the end of
13 a conversation?
14 A. Indeed.

There are two possibilities that come to mind as to how to intepret the remark.

One is that David Kelly had, in February 2003, formed the intention to commit suicide if Iraq was invaded.

The second, and more credible, possibility is that David Kelly was in February 2003 already aware of a threat to his survival somehow related to the invasion of Iraq.

Was the threat from an Iraqi entity? Or from an entity much closer to home?


  1. Dr Kelly's meeting with Broucher was on the 18th Feb 2002, so Dr Kelly could not have discussed the Sept 02 dossier or 45 min with him, the events hadn't happened. Boucher says he met Dr Kelly in Feb 03, he didn't it was Feb 02 and the two only met once.

    Dr Kelly made the "dead in the woods" comment to Mai Pederson, she had provided Thames Valley Police with a 10 page statement which I am sure would have contained that quote.

    But Pederson's statement was not going to get anywhere near Hutton's inquiry, the dead in the woods statement was seen as useful to the inquiry so they needed someone else to deliver it.

    Enter Broucher a member of the Diplomatic Service who comes to the inquiry and says Dr Kelly feared he would be found dead in the woods.

    We know Boucher says that he discussed the dossier and 45 minute claim with Dr Kelly, we know this is untrue.

    I beleive the dead in the woods comment was not made to Boucher either, but Hutton wanted it aired at his inquiry so Boucher was chosen to deliver the information because of his diplomatic skills.

  2. LL,

    I have to say that I think you're wrong on a number of points here. Both of fact and interpretation.

    Your comments seem to be similar to those which Rowena Thursby made in October 2006 here: THE DAVID KELLY ‘DEAD IN THE WOODS’ PSYOP.

    If you have a copy of Norman Baker's book have a look at pages 354-355 to see some new information which became available in 2007. Broucher met Kelly twice. Remember Hutton happened in a rush in the holiday season. Broucher later cross-checked and confirmed that he met Kelly in 2002 and in 2003.

    My view is that Hutton wanted to discredit the "I'll be found dead in the woods" statement and that's one reason he accepted Rachel Kelly's intervention without re-examining Broucher.

    I'll try in the next day or two to put up a post on this issue, since it needs more detailed explanation or justification (with references) than I can reasonably put in a comment.

  3. I have to admit I have not read Mr Baker's book. Nor Rowena's comments if comes to that.

    I went off Mr Boucher's evidence that he met Dr Kelly only once, Dr Kelly's diary records that as

    "A. Yes. The diary was in my father's study --
    Q. It is FAM/1/1. If we look at the entry for February, what does it tell us?
    A. It mentions specifically a meeting with David Broucher on 18th February 2002, and the interesting thing with my father's diaries is he tended to write entries in them after the event and this would have been a meeting that he actually had because it is in his diary.
    Q. It does not look like we have been able to get the diary on the screen, but if I look at the diary that I have in front of me, it says: "Monday 18th February 2002, 9.30, David Broucher, US mis."
    A. Yes, US mission.
    Q. It gives details of his flights into Geneva the day before.
    A.Yes, the day before.
    Q. And out of Geneva on 20th February; is that right?
    A. Yes, that is correct, on the 20th.
    Q. And that is February 2002?
    A. It is a year earlier than the date that David Broucher gave as being this year, the conversation he had with my father.
    Q. And I think Mr Broucher told us he had only had one meeting with your father.
    A. Yes, that is what made me look at it. I actually thought that was the case."

    If Mr Broucher amended his evidence I have not seen that, but in his evidence to Hutton he said

    Q. Right. And in the course of that did you have any contact with Dr Kelly?
    A. Yes. I met Dr Kelly once in connection with my duties. To the best of my knowledge this meeting took place on 27th September, but there has been some difficulty confirming this because I was definitely in Geneva on that day and according to the Foreign Office travel records Dr Kelly was in New York. But we managed to establish this morning that he did not attend a meeting in Baltimore on 28th February that he was due to attend, so my feeling is that he probably returned to Geneva -- to Europe early and that he came to Geneva, because I did see him there.
    Q. So the effect of all that is, doing the best you can, you think you met him on what day?
    A. On 27th February.
    Q. Of this year?
    4 A. Of this year.

    Broucher actually met Dr Kelly on 18th Feb 2002 but Broucher thought it was on 27th Sept 2002 (immediately after the dossier) but Dr Kelly's travel records show this is not possible, the only possible date they might have had a second meeting was 27th Feb 2003 (in Geneva airport transition lounge?

    “But we managed to establish this morning that he did not attend a meeting in Baltimore on 28th February that he was due to attend, so my feeling is that he probably returned to Geneva -- to Europe early and that he came to Geneva, because I did see him there.”

    Who's we? and why were they trying to establish Dr K wasn't at a meeting in Baltimore in Feb 03 on the morning Broucher gave evidence at Hutton's fantasy world? They had better stuff to do. Or were they frantically attempting to cover their bottoms?

    I think Dr Kelly was getting some R&R in Baltimore.

    Broucher’s not telling the truth or he is not a very reliable witness.

  4. The Kelly diary which suddenly popped up at the Hutton Inquiry is heavily redacted at the end of February 2003 into early March 2003.

  5. Baltimore also crops up in Mrs Kelly's examination at the Hutton Inquiry - she says Dr Kelly gave a lecture at Johns Hopkins University (she thinks) around mid June 2003.(Wells says he is in New York on the 16th and the diary shows travel on the 15th).

    Fort Detrick (at Frederick Maryland), a main centre of US Anthrax research is not far from Baltimore, somewhere Dr Kelly would I imagine be quite familiar with.

    The UN security council meeting started 25 Feb, ended on 27 February. There is a suggestion then that the FCO was covering for Dr Kelly being elsewhere than New York.
    The UNMOVIC College of Commissioners held its twelfth regular plenary session at United Nations Headquarters on 24 and 25 February which puts Bryan Wells firmly there on those days. The next session was on 28 and 29 May: Patrick Lamb says Dr Kelly was there from 26-29th.

    I can find no web trace of any lecture at Johns Hopkins University by Dr Kelly.