How sound is the evidence supporting that contention?
In my view it is fragile in the extreme (at least in terms of any evidence that has been publicly disclosed).
I have spent many hours reading the Hutton Inquiry transcripts and documents and the documents released more recently by Dominic Grieve. The "evidence" that no third parties were present is appallingly thin.
So far as I can trace the "conclusion" that no third party was present rests significantly on assertions by Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page on pages 195 and 196 of his evidence given on the afternoon of Tuesday 23rd September 2003:
16 A. Yes, certainly. Very early on in the inquiry one sets
17 up a series of hypotheses which one tries then to knock
18 down. For the sake of completeness the first of these
19 would be: was the death natural or accidental? In this
20 case it is fairly obvious that was not the case. The
21 next question is: was it murder? I think as I pointed
22 out in my last evidence, the examination of the scene
23 and the supporting forensic evidence made me confident
24 that actually there was no third party involved at the
25 scene of the crime and therefore, to all intents and
1 purposes, murder can be ruled out.
2 One is then left with the option that Dr Kelly
3 killed himself.
For the moment let's put aside that we know that ACC Page lied to the Hutton Inquiry about the matter of fingerprints on the dental records, The Death of David Kelly - Unreliability of the evidence of ACC Page regarding the dental records, and assume that ACC Page wasn't lying about this matter.
There are two pieces of supposed "evidence" that led ACC Page to his conclusion.
- The examination of the scene
- The supporting forensic evidence
The examination of the scene
In his evidence given on the morning of Tuesday 16th September 2003 (page 24), Dr Nicholas Hunt refers to "the lack of obvious signs of trampling of the undergrowth".
So we learn that there was nothing "obvious". At least nothing "obvious" to Nicholas Hunt.
However, as I demonstrated in small experiment, The Death of David Kelly - A tiny experiment in the woods the signs in vegetation of the presence of a person can be fleeting in the extreme.
The lack of "obvious" signs of trampling, at least when on grass, are of minimal or no significance.
Is there firmer evidence on this matter that slips my mind?
Of course, one should not overlook the fact that any trampling at or close to the scene by Louise Holmes, Paul Chapman, Graham Coe, Dave Bartlett, Vanessa Hunt, PC Franklin, PC Sawyer and SOCO Andrew Hodgson wasn't "obvious" to Dr. Hunt.
Any trampling by those eight individuals would have been much more recent than trampling by any "third party" at the crime scene.
The supporting forensic evidence
Is there any?
I'm not aware of any systematic analysis.
There is, implicitly, no obvious DNA evidence of a third party handling the body.
Yet, we know that Dave Bartlett and Vanessa Hunt handled the body at the scene.
But their DNA wasn't detected.
So how can we be confident that the absence of any other DNA "proves" the absence of a third party at the scene?
Answer - we can't. The "logic" of Grieve and his cover-up cronies is deeply flawed. And is, in my view, wholly unreliable.