Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Death of David Kelly - Unreliability of Janice Kelly's evidence for 9th July 2003

In the preceding post, The Death of David Kelly - The Unreliability of Janice Kelly's evidence, I briefly summarised some longstanding concerns about the reliability of the evidence of Janice Kelly.

In this post I draw attention to new evidence showing that, at least with respect of the evening of 9th July 2003, the evidence of Janice Kelly is not to be believed.

The following quote relating to the evening of 9th July 2003 is from the oral evidence given to the Hutton Inquiry on the morning of Monday 1st September 2003 (pages 21 to 27).

I've given a long quote to demonstrate that this was not some minor slip-up on Janice Kelly's part. In my view, the story for the evening of 9th July 2003 given in oral testimony to the Hutton Inquiry by Janice Kelly is unreliable since in several material particulars it's untrue.

16 Q. Did you have any visitors that day?
17 A. Yes, we did in the evening.
18 Q. What time did you have a visitor?
19 A. Not absolutely certain. It was something like 7.30 or
20 something like that.
21 Q. Who was that visitor?
22 A. It turned out to be Nick Rufford.
23 Q. Where was Dr Kelly?
24 A. We had both been sitting out having our coffee in the
25 garden after dinner that evening. I was watering the

1 plants and David went to put some tools away he had been
2 using during the day which involved him going into the
3 yard which lay between our house and the main road
4 outside.
5 Q. And were you aware that anyone else was there?
6 A. I suddenly looked up and there was David talking to
7 somebody. I had not got my glasses on so I moved
8 a little bit closer with the hosepipe to see who it was
9 and I recognised it as Nick Rufford. Nick had been to
10 our house before but only by arrangement, he never just
11 turned up before this. No journalist just turned up
12 before this, so I was extremely alarmed about that.
13 Q. Do you know what was said between Mr Rufford and
14 Dr Kelly?
15 A. To be absolutely fair I am not sure now what I heard.
16 David confirmed what I thought I had heard afterwards.
17 I heard him say -- I heard Nick say, I think,
18 "Rupert Murdoch" and I heard David say, "Please leave
19 now". The conversation only took place over about four
20 or five minutes maximum.
21 Q. And did you speak with Dr Kelly after the conversation?
22 A. Yes, I did. He came over to me and said that Nick had
23 said that Murdoch had offered hotel accommodation for
24 both of us away from the media spotlight in return for
25 an article by David. He, David, was to be named that

1 night and that the press were on their way in droves.
2 That was the language David used, I am not sure Nick
3 used that. He also added -- he was very upset and his
4 voice had a break in it at this stage. He got the
5 impression from Nick that the gloves were off now, that
6 Nick would use David's name in any article that he wrote
7 and he was extremely upset.
8 Q. Had you spoken with Dr Kelly at all during the day about
9 his reaction to the news the night before?
10 A. Yes, I had. He said several times over coffee, over
11 lunch, over afternoon tea that he felt totally let down
12 and betrayed. It seemed to me that this was all part of
13 what might have happened anyway because it seemed to
14 have been a very loose arrangement with the MoD, they
15 did not seem to take a lot of account of his time.
16 There was a lot of wasting of his time.
17 I just felt that this must have been very
18 frustrating for him. David often said: they are not
19 using me properly. He felt that the MoD were not quite
20 sure how to use his expertise at times, although I have
21 later seen his manager's reports on his staff appraisals
22 where he obviously did warrant his or respect his
23 expertise. But that is not the impression that I got.
24 Q. You say, I think, that he had felt totally let down and
25 betrayed. Who did he say that of?

1 A. He did not say in so many terms but I believed he meant
2 the MoD because they were the ones that had effectively
3 let his name be known in the public domain.
4 Q. And did you get the impression that he was happy or
5 unhappy that this press statement had been made?
6 A. Well, he did not know about it until after it had
7 happened. So he was -- I think initially he had been
8 led to believe that it would not go into the public
9 domain. He had received assurances and that is why he
10 was so very upset about it.
11 Q. What, he did not know that the press statement saying an
12 unnamed source had come forward would be made?
13 A. Not until after the event.
14 LORD HUTTON: Did he say from whom he had received
15 assurances Mrs Kelly?
16 A. From his line manager, from all their seniors and from
17 the people he had been interviewed by.
18 MR DINGEMANS: And his reaction on hearing the news, you
19 said he had seemed slightly reluctant to watch the news
20 that night.
21 A. Yes, indeed.
22 Q. Was that because he had seen an earlier news, do you
23 think, or because he knew something might be coming up?
24 A. I think it was probably trepidation that this was the
25 moment. He was not quite sure when it would actually

1 happen but since Nick had come it was going to be a big
2 problem. He knew that.
3 Q. Right. You also said that he had the impression he was
4 not being used properly; by whom? Who was not using him
5 properly?
6 A. The MoD, yes. He never said that about the Foreign
7 Office when he worked there or for UNSCOM in those days
8 either.
9 Q. And in what sense did he feel he was not being used
10 properly?
11 A. Well, he often found that he was doing perhaps slightly
12 lower order jobs than he might be doing. He was filling
13 his time giving briefings, giving speeches, key note
14 speeches and others when perhaps he might have been more
15 involved in perhaps higher level policy making. There
16 was a letter I came up with where it was suggested that
17 David should be used in policy making rather more than
18 he was being.
19 Q. Going back to Mr Rufford, did David speak to you after
20 he had spoken to Mr Rufford?
21 A. Yes, he did. He came across and told me what Nick had
22 said.
23 Q. He mentioned this proposed deal; is that right?
24 A. That is right. That is right.
25 Q. And what had been Dr Kelly's reaction to that?

1 A. Extremely upset at two levels. One that he was being --
2 you know, the press were on their way in droves, as Nick
3 had put it, and also that his friendship with Nick --
4 because he always used to work so hard, because he was
5 a workaholic to all intents, most of his friendships, in
6 fact his close friendships were all with people he
7 worked with on a regular basis, so if he gave a regular
8 briefing to someone, very often it would become not
9 a close friendship but a friendship nevertheless. He
10 felt that friendship was now at an end.
11 Q. Having heard that the press were on their way in droves,
12 what did you do?
13 A. We hovered a bit. I said I knew a house that was
14 available to us, if we needed it, down in the south-west
15 of England, and he did not pick up on that initially.
16 Q. Did you remind him of that?
17 A. Yes, I did. The phone rang inside the house and he went
18 in to answer it, came out and he said: I think we will
19 be needing that house after all. The MoD press office
20 have just rung to say we ought to leave the house and
21 quickly so that we would not be followed by the press.
22 Q. So the phone call was from the Ministry of Defence?
23 A. It was the Ministry of Defence press office.
24 Q. And they said you ought to leave?
25 A. Yes. Whether he had offered anything else in the

1 interim I do not know, that was never mentioned.
2 Q. Right. But you decided to go down to this place that
3 you knew --
4 A. Indeed. We immediately went into the house and packed
5 and within about 10 minutes we had left the house.
6 Q. Had you done any prepacking?
7 A. No, no, no.
8 Q. Where did you drive to?
9 A. We headed along the road towards the M4 and got to --
10 about 9.30, 9.45 we got as far as Weston-Super-Mare and
11 decided to pull in at a hotel there for the night.

So, if Janice Kelly's evidence were true, David and Janice packed hurriedly and drove to Weston super Mare to escape hordes of press people.

All very dramatic, undoubtedly.

But true? That's a separate question.

On the Hutton Inquiry site, buried among the hundreds of documents, is this little gem: Email Ward/Jones 22/07/03 TVP/3/0100.

That document lists several people that David Kelly was, seemingly, playing cribbage with on the evening of 9th July 2003.

Which is true?

During the evening of 9th July 2003 was David Kelly "cutting and running" en route to Weston super Mare?

Or was he happily playing cribbage in the Hind's Head pub?

A document released by the Attorney General on 9th June 2011 clarifies the position.

In the Schedule of responses to issues raised released on 9th June 2011 by the Attorney General at Point 47 we read:

Dr Kelly was a member of the Hinds Head crib team. He last played
for them on the 9th July 2003. Every other member of that team was
interviewed by officers from the investigation team. Nigel Cox was
amongst these.

Could he have been playing cribbage during the day on 9th July 2003? Not according to Janice Kelly's evidence:

7 Q. On the 9th July, do you know where he was?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did he go to London?
10 A. Yes, he was supposed to be going to London so I was
11 quite surprised when he said he was going to work in the
12 garden all day. Again he got on to his vegetable patch
13 and was working in a rather lacklustre way that
14 particular day but he did receive and make some phone
15 calls as well.

So, Janice Kelly's evidence has David Kelly working in the garden all day on 9th July 2003.

The statements of several witnesses to the Police has David Kelly playing cribbage in a friendly match.

Notice that the cribbage match was a friendly yet, despite the drama created in Janice Kelly's imaginative account, David Kelly found time to relax with his friends at the Hind's Head and play cribbage.

Why is this important?

First, it demonstrates that Janice Kelly's evidence yet again is not to be taken at face value.

Second, given that her narrative continues seemingly seamlessly into supposed events in Cornwall from 10th to 13th July 2003, it raises questions about the supposed events that Janice Kelly describes on those days too.

And, perhaps most important of all, it demonstrates further reason for Professor Hawton to have treated Janice Kelly's evidence about David Kelly's supposed behaviour at lunchtime on 17th July 2003 with very great caution.

Professor Hawton's failure to exercise appropriate caution about Janice Kelly's evidence for 17th July 2003 is one reason that the "suicide hypothesis" gained public and, in my view, undeserved traction.


  1. Mr Dingemans gets it wrong (bottom of P24). Mrs Kelly's reference to her husband's reluctance to watch the news refers to her testimony for the previous day (8 July)

  2. There is another problem lurking in the evidence of Professor Roger Avery, p.123:
    " I will just have to check the date to make sure I have the correct date -- Thursday 10th. Thursday 10th July, as I was about to leave my office at about 5.15 [22.15hrs BST] ... I did immediately call Dr Kelly on his mobile phone. I vaguely remembered that he told me he was hoping to go back to Iraq. So when he answered I said, "Where are you?" thinking he would say "In Iraq", and he said, "I am at Weston-Super-Mare".

    This puts Dr Kelly in Weston-super-Mare the day after Mrs Kelly describes, and when she says they are both in Cornwall. I don't think it is an error on Avery's part: he double checks, and neither Lord Hutton nor Mr Dingemans correct him.

  3. Thanks, Felix,

    I'd forgotten about that one.

    If Roger Avery is correct (and I think he is) then Janice Kelly's evidence about the supposed events in Cornwall also comes into question.

  4. So he could have both played cribbage and gone to Weston-super-Mare (for whatever reason).
    That also calls into question the evidence of Olivia Bosch, who was speaking to him every day from the 7th to 15th July.

    There is no mention of Weston-super-Mare or Cornwall anywhere in Dr Bosch's evidence, despite being perhaps his closest friend. Certainly there is no visible evidence that anyone else called him daily.

    It was Bosch who said Dr Kelly "had cut and run" that evening, 9 July 2003.
    "I am not sure if he was in a car or a train but he was moving, yes. He was on the road or whatever, yes"

    This is totally unsatisfactory and unbelievable. COM/4/0084 prewarns of the evening phone call between the two.

  5. Felix,

    As far as time is concerned Olivia Bosch's oral evidence is a tangled mess. It jumps around all over the place.

    Her evidence to Hutton reads like that of some scatty old woman.

    Yet, somewhere there is a video of Olivia Bosch on TV and she's sharp as a razor.

    Can anyone remember where the video is online?

  6. It's here, Andrew. A brain which could boil an egg.

  7. Bosch also submitted the following detailed and clear written evidence to the FAC in June 2003.

  8. Olivia Bosch interviewed by CNN from London on 19 Jan 2003 and again here on 26 Jan 2003 (transcripts)

    Also on 9 November 2002 when the dossier was being compiled and again on 2 December 2002 after the dossier was published. Quite in demand!

  9. interesting, that at the end of this week, 11 July 2003, the US withdrew the claim that Saddam Hussein was procuring Uranium from Niger, intelligence which had come from the UK.
    officially withdrawn by George Tenet of the CIA at 3.09pm (10.09am London time) Friday 11 July 2003.

  10. CBS report from 10 july 2003 here, Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False by David Martin