Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Death of David Kelly - Was Professor Hawton's evidence sworn testimony?

If one takes the Hutton Inquiry transcripts at face value the evidence given by Professor Keith Hawton was sworn testimony.

The relevant text is from the afternoon of Tuesday 2nd September 2003 at page 94:

7 MR DINGEMANS: Professor Hawton, please.
9 Examined by MR DINGEMANS
10 Q. Can you tell his Lordship your full name?
11 A. Keith Edward Hawton.

Is this simply an error by the stenographer?

Or is Professor Hawton uniquely liable to perjury charges should, hypothetically, his evidence to the Hutton Inquiry be demonstrated to be untrue in some material respect(s)?


  1. Andrew, at his second appearance on 24 September, the transcript reads PROFESSOR KEITH EDWARD HAWTON (called).
    Still rather curious.

  2. I can't really believe that the stenographer made an error. It wasn't a case of mishearing a word or two surely, if a witness was swearing an oath I think it would be very self evident to the stenographer!

  3. Mai Pedersons's evidence would have been extremely useful in establishing Dr Kelly's state of mind (and a couple of physical irregularities)

    She spoke with Dr Kelly after he had been outed as the "source", they discussed his wellbeing. She had previously discussed Dr Kelly's attitude to suicide, she had also taken courses in suicide prevention which included identifying the signs.

    Ms Pederson backs up Mrs Kelly's assessment of Dr Kelly mood

    "17th July is a Thursday. What time did you get up that day?
    A. About half past 8. It is rather later than normal. We were both tired.
    Q. How did he seem?
    A. Tired, subdued, but not depressed. I have no idea. He had never seemed depressed in all of this, but he was very tired and very subdued."

    Police officers flew to America and afer two days of interviews she handed over her final 10 page statement to Thames Valley Police on 1st September 2003.

    ACC Page at the Hutton inquiry said

    "Yes, we interviewed Mia Pedersen. She declined to give a statement as such but I have a record of the interviews that took place.
    Q. Were you able to obtain any relevant evidence from her?
    A. The conversation with Mia Pedersen added nothing that was of relevance to my inquiry at all.”

    I guessing this allows Mr Grieve to tick most of the boxes (fraud {gaining an advantage by deception}, rejection of evidence, irregularity of proceedings, insufficiency of inquiry, the discovery of new facts or evidence or otherwise)

  4. Link to Mai Pederson's evidence

  5. LL,

    For the convenience of others I've made the link into a working one: David Kelly's closest female confidante on why he COULDN'T have killed himself.

    It's an important inconsistency. Mai Pedersen tells the press that she provided a statement. ACC Page leads the Hutton Inquiry to conclude that she refused to provide one.

    BTW where did you get the information that the Mai Pederson statement in 2003 was 10 pages long?

  6. Andrew

    10 pages appears in the Mail piece, paragraph surrounding the photo of red rose on Dr Kelly's grave.

    It's hard to believe that in all 10 pages nothing was relevant to ACC Pages inquiry.

    ACC Page may have taken the view that the statement was not relevant to his inquiry (Just what were the terms of reference of Page's inquiry) but it was for Hutton to decide what evidence was made available to his inquiry.

    Why did Hutton not want Pederson's evidence submitted to his inquiry?

  7. LL,


    I anticipate that ACC Page's conduct at the Hutton Inquiry may well come under increasing scrutiny.

  8. Andrew

    Mr Pages 2nd appearance at the Hutton inquiry ends with a puzzling statement, after confirming there was no 3rd party involvement in the death and stating he was pretty clear that Dr Kelly died where he was found there was this exchange

    "Q. Having carried out all your investigations, is there any evidence of the involvement of third parties in Dr Kelly's death?
    A. I still have a few lines of inquiry to complete, although I should stress that I do not anticipate that those lines of inquiry will reveal anything of an earth shattering nature; and I can say that based upon the inquiries we have made at the moment, further to my statement, that I do not believe that there was any third party involvement at the scene of Dr Kelly's death. I am reasonably satisfied that there was no third party involvement or criminal dimension to Dr Kelly's death in the wider dimension."

    So there you have it ACC Page had not been able to rule out 3rd party involvement completely because he had not completed his inquiry.

    And "there was no third party involvement or criminal dimension to Dr Kelly's death in the wider dimension."

    I suppose "in the wider dimension" means if police officers have committed criminal acts in the certain knowledge that they won't be prosecuted then, in the wider dimension, a crime hasn't been committed because you only become guilty of a crime when you are convicted.

  9. LL,

    I knew the quote but hadn't fully digested its potential significance.

    In other words, the TVP inquiries are NOT complete at the time that ACC Page gave evidence for the second time.

    Whatever the flaws of ACC Page's evidence, it is indecent (and, I think, improper) haste on Lord Hutton's part not to wait for the inquiries to be completed!

  10. I do like the phrase nothing earth shattering of which Mick Page is confident will emerge from his enquiries,using his crystal ball. ACC talks in opposites, e.g. nothing of relevant = highly relevant. One gets the feeling that something earth shattering was covered up here.

    That was a sizeable briefcase Dr Kelly was carrying to the FAC (Daily Mail article comment at 11.56). I didn't see its contents spilling out onto the table at the Foreign Affairs Committee. Perhaps it contained his overnight things for the safe house. It resembles a black Dansette record player.(what are those wires and straps around the handle?)