The title of today's email to the Attorney General's Office was,
David Kelly(3rd appln): Simulating "aterial rain" - need for urgent expert review
The text of the email was as follows:
I am writing to you as part of the Third Application to the Attorney General seeking, in the context of Section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988, an inquest into the suspicious death of Dr. David Kelly.
I write to draw to the attention of the Attorney General's Office important new evidence casting doubt on the credibility of the evidence of the forensic biologist Mr. Roy Green. This new evidence demonstrates, in my view, serious "insufficiency of inquiry" with respect to a pivotal part of the evidence supporting the "suicide hypothesis".
I ask you to draw this matter urgently to the attention of the Attorney General and Solicitor General in view of its fundamental implications for the safety of Lord Hutton's "suicide" conclusion of January 2004.
As you are aware the report of Mr. Green was kept secret, at the request of Lord Hutton, from 2003 until 9th June 2011. Thus it is only now that it is possible to subject Mr. Green's report to independent scrutiny.
Taken at face value (and Lord Hutton failed to looked deeper) Mr. Green's evidence seemed to create a seemingly indisputable scenario of bleeding at Harrowdown Hill.
Importantly, Mr. Green failed to disclose that simulation of arterial rain is possible and, moreover, failed to disclose that simulation of arterial rain is a fairly straightforward task.
In other words Mr. Green failed to disclose that it would be possible for a "Scene Setter" ( http://chilcotscheatingus.blogspot.com/2011/06/death-of-david-kelly-blood-distribution.html ) to fabricate a seemingly credible scenario of bleeding at Harrowdown Hill when no such bleeding had taken place.
Simulation of arterial rain is so straightforward that, in at least some centres, forensic science trainees routinely use simulation of arterial rain during their training. See the references in my blog post entitled, "The Death of David Kelly - Simulating arterial rain" located at http://chilcotscheatingus.blogspot.com/2011/08/death-of-david-kelly-simulating.html.
I do not attempt here to elucidate whether Mr. Green's failure to disclose the possibility of simulation is due to dishonesty, ignorance, oversight or some other factor. The most material issue is the implication of that failure with respect to the safety of Lord Hutton's conclusion.
The technically fairly straightforward task of simulating arterial rain casts fundamental doubt on the safety of Mr. Green's evidence with respect to the supposed bleeding taking place at Harrowdown Hill.
In turn that calls into question the safety of Lord Hutton's "suicide" conclusion.
I do not expect any member of the Attorney General's Office to have detailed technical knowledge of this matter. Having seen the visible inadequacies of the correspondence from the Attorney General's Office to, for example, Dr. Richard Shepherd I am taking the liberty to formulate some relevant questions - for Mr. Green, for an independent forensic expert and for Lord Hutton.
It seems to me that an honest Attorney General would wish to take steps similar to seeking such clarification.
In the interests of transparency I suggest that all such correspondence from the Attorney General's Office be disclosed publicly. The replies should similarly be publicly disclosed, I believe.
Questions for Mr. Green
1. Can you confirm that you did not disclose the possibility of simulation of "arterial rain" in your written and oral evidence to the Hutton Inquiry?
2. Prior to compiling your statement of 27th September 2003 did you consider the possibility of the supposed "arterial rain" at Harrowdown Hill having been simulated?
3. On 18th July 2003 and 27th July 2003 were you aware of the concept of simulation of arterial rain?
4. Did you disclose to or discuss with the forensic pathologist Dr. Nicholas Hunt the possibility that the supposed "arterial rain" had been simulated?
5. Do you accept, in principle, that it is possible to simulate arterial rain?
6. Do you believe that it was possible to differentiate the supposed "arterial rain" on the nettles at Harrowdown Hill from simulated arterial rain?
7. What steps, if any, did you carry out to distinguish whether the supposed "arterial rain" at Harrowdown Hill was genuine or simulated?
8. On reflection, can you now state whether you believe that beyond reasonable doubt the blood on the nettles at Harrowdown Hill could only have been caused by bleeding at the scene? If you believe so, then please provide a detailed account of the evidence and logic which you consider to justify such an opinion.
Many other possible questions exist. The foregoing should be capable of casting useful light on the matter, assuming honest answers to the questions.
Questions for an independent forensic expert
The following questions assume that all relevant forensic evidence is disclosed to the chosen expert.
It may also be worth disclosing explicitly to the expert that the possibility of Judicial Review may be in prospect.
1. Are you able to identify any evidence to suggest that Mr. Green disclosed the possibility of simulation of "arterial rain" in his written or oral evidence to the Hutton Inquiry?
2. Do you accept, in principle, that it is possible to simulate arterial rain?
3. What is your assessment of the technical difficulty (or ease) of simulating arterial rain? Please answer with respect to the general case and the specific circumstances found at Harrowdown Hill.
4. Do you believe that it was possible to differentiate the supposed "arterial rain" on the nettles at Harrowdown Hill from simulated arterial rain? If so, please provide a detailed account of how you believe that could reliably be done.
5. What steps, if any, could Mr. Green have carried out to distinguish whether the supposed "arterial rain" at Harrowdown Hill was genuine or simulated?
6. Did he carry out any such investigations? What is your assessment of the adequacy of any such investigations?
7. On the available evidence is it possible that the supposed "arterial rain" on the nettles at Harrowdown Hill was simulated?
8. Can you state, beyond reasonable doubt, that the blood on the nettles at Harrowdown Hill could only have been caused by bleeding at the scene? If you believe so, then please provide a detailed account of the evidence and logic which you consider to justify such an opinion and thereby exclude the possibility of simulated arterial rain.
Questions for Lord Hutton
I suggest that Lord Hutton is best approached on this matter following receipt of answers from the independent forensic expert.
If the supposed "arterial rain" may have been simulated it seems to me that the "suicide hypothesis" is fatally holed below the waterline.
1. In light of the new information from Mr. Green and an independent forensic expert do you accept that your conclusion of January 2004 that Dr. David Kelly committed suicide is now unsafe?
2. If the answer to question 1. is in the negative, please provide a justification or explanation for that assessment.
Mr. McGinty, you may be aware that today's Daily Mail contains an article indicating the prospect of Judicial Review of Mr. Grieve's (in my mind dishonest) decision of 9th June 2011. See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2030663/Doctors-unleash-legal-challenge-inquest-Dr-David-Kelly-had.html
It seems to me likely that matters such as this which further demonstrate "insufficiency of inquiry" on the part of Lord Hutton (and, indeed, on the part of the Attorney General) may be of interest to those contemplating Judicial Review.
The Duggan case seems to indicate that the Attorney General may ex proprio motu decide to review his own decision. I urge Mr. Grieve to consider whether now is the time to throw in the towel with respect to his dishonest decision and statement of 9th June 2011. It was nonsense on 9th June and increasing evidence is emerging to demonstrate that it was nonsense.
On 12th June 2011 I invited Dominic Grieve QC MP and Edward Garnier QC MP to resign in view of the dishonest decision and statement to the House of Commons. See "The Death of David Kelly - I invite the Attorney General and Solicitor General to resign" ( http://chilcotscheatingus.blogspot.com/2011/06/death-of-david-kelly-i-invite-attorney.html )
I repeat here the invitation to Mr. Grieve and Mr. Garnier to resign in view of the demonstrably unsound decision announced on 9th June 2011.
In the interests of transparency a copy of this email is to be found on my "Chilcot's Cheating Us" blog at
I would be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt of this communication and confirm that it will be considered as part of a future assessment of this matter by the Attorney General of the time.
(Dr) Andrew Watt