Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Death of David Kelly - Creating a Summary of why an inquest is needed

Anyone who has spent time inquiring into the death of David Kelly soon realises that the volume of information is daunting.

I'm considering creating a Summary to help ease the casual reader into why there is a need for an inquest into the death of David Kelly.

Below is some draft text about questions that should have been asked and answered by the Hutton Inquiry and/or Thames Valley Police but weren't.

The document may go to the Attorney General (hence the terms in square brackets in the draft).

If you think there are further questions to add please feel free to make suggestions via a Comment on this post.

I'd like to make the document as clear and comprehensive as possible.

The draft is rough currently but hopefully you'll get the idea of what I want to produce as one section of a Summary document.

Following the discovery of a body at Harrowdown Hill an unbiased investigation would carefully examine each of the following possibilities in the light of the available evidence:

1. Natural causes
2. Accidental death
3. Suicide
4. Murder (including, in the circumstances pertaining to Dr. Kelly, the possibility of murder dressed up as suicide).

The conclusion of the Hutton Inquiry was that Dr. David Kelly killed himself as a result of ingesting co-proxamol tablets and inflicting wounds on his left wrist which resulted in fatal haemorrhage.

Following are some questions where I believe that investigation at the Hutton Inquiry and the subsequent cursory inquest was materially deficient since it failed to provide appropriately evidenced answers to questions such as the following:

* Did David Kelly ingest any co-proxamol tablets? The answer is that we don't know (Dr. Allan, toxicologist, failed to measure dextropropoxyphene concentrations in the stomach. [INSUFFICIENCY OF INQUIRY]) Lord Hutton states that Dr. Allan made such measurements but he is incorrect.

* Did David Kelly obtain the co-proxamol tablets from his home? We don't know. Janice Kelly wasn't asked, for example, if any tablets were missing from her store of co-proxamol. [INSUFFICIENCY OF INQUIRY]

* How many co-proxamol tablets were in the blister packs when Dr. Kelly obtained them? The answer is that we don't know. No evidence is presented to resolve the uncertainty.

* Was it possible for Dr. Kelly to swallow a hypothetical 29 co-proxamol tablets with a water supply of only ??? ml? We don't know. Lord Hutton didn't address the question nor did he nor Dr. Hunt identify the water supply available to Dr. Kelly as being inadequate to swallow such a large number of co-proxamol tablets. [INSUFFICIENCY OF INQUIRY] Lord Hutton did not establish that only a maximum of ??? ml had been taken from the 500ml water bottle. That was established by recent Freedom of Information requests. [NEW EVIDENCE]

* Did Dr. Kelly ever handle the blister packs of co-proxamol tablets found in the pocket of his jacket? The evidence suggests that he did not since no fingerprints were recovered from the blister packs tested for fingerprints.

* Was Dr. Kelly physically capable of using his right arm to inflict wounds on his left wrist? There is cause to doubt this (scar on right elbow, likely evidence of past injury / operation) and oral testimony (post-Hutton) that David Kelly couldn't cut steak with his right arm [NEW EVIDENCE]. This evidence was stated as having been given to Thames Valley Police and appears to have been concealed from Lord Hutton by ACC Michael Page [IRREGULARITY OF PROCESS].

* Did Dr. Kelly hold the knife found beside his body? It seems unlikely that he did since no fingerprints were found on the knife.

* Did the knife found beside the body belong to Dr. Kelly? There is no reliable evidence that it did. The knife was never shown to, for example, a member of his family.

* Did the knife found beside the body inflict the wounds on the left wrist? No evidence is presented that it did. No forensic evidence is presented to demonstrate that the knife found was the weapon which produced the wounds. [INSUFFICIENCY OF INQUIRY]

* How much blood did Dr. Kelly lose as a result of the wounds on the left wrist? We don't know. The amount of blood lost is not recorded by Dr. Hunt or any of the forensic scientists who attented the scene. Further, no attempt was made to measure the blood loss. [INSUFFICIENCY OF INQUIRY]


  1. The police ruled out murder because there was no evidence of a third party being at the scene where Dr Kelly's body was found; this is a blatantly fallacious assumption.

    Questions need to be asked of the police as to why they did not investigate the moving of the body. Who moved it and why?

    Hutton could have cleared up the question by showing photographs of the body to the several witnesses who gave conflicting evidence regarding the position of the body and asked "was this the position the body was in when you saw it?"

    Instead Hutton obfuscated the evidence, in my view deliberately, so that the repositioning of the body was not investigated.

    The police didn't investigate the re-positioning of the body, Hutton didn't investigate and the Attorney General is preventing a Coroner from investigating.

    This isn't so much an insufficiency of inquiry but a refusal to inquire which in my view constitutes a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice

  2. Thanks LancashireLad,

    I agree that the evidence suggests that a number of Thames Valley Police officers acted or failed to act with the effect that perversion of the course of justice seems to me to have occurred.

    I know that this matter has been drawn to the attention of current Chief Officers of Thames Valley Police.

    To the best of my understanding Thames Valley Police has failed to take any action to investigate the prima facie evidence that Thames Valley Police officers acted in 2003 in such ways as to pervert the course of justice.

  3. P.S. I enjoyed reading your comment here in resonse to the routinely vacuous John Rentoul.

  4. Sorry Andrew, off topic slightly but here is an email I sent to my MP this evening 23/02


    I have written to you previously regarding my concern that the death of Dr David Kelly (17 or 18 July 2003) was not investigated properly.

    Before the election I read reports that Dominic Grieve shared some of my concerns and promised that if elected into office he would review the matter.

    The election took place on the 6th May and by the 2nd Sept there was a report in the press from a spokeswoman for the Attorney General that the papers regarding the Dr Kelly affair had arrived in his office.

    Lord Hutton was appointed to inquire into the death of Dr Kelly the day after he was found dead. Lord Hutton began his inquiry (taking verbal evidence) on 1st Aug 2003 and the hearings closed on the 13 Oct, Lord Hutton delivering his “verdict” on the 28th Jan 2004.

    Mr Grieve has indicated that he has employed medical and legal experts to trawl through the evidence in order for him to make a decision on whether or not to send an application to the High Court for them to consider if it is appropriate to order a new inquest.

    It is commendable that Mr Grieve is taking so much care with his decision but it is unfortunate that it appears, to me at least, that he is attempting to prejudge any High Court judgement regarding this matter.

    You have copied me a letter from Mr Grieve to you, dated 25th Nov 2010 where he responds to my concerns which you relayed to him; he insisted that I should be patient for his decision.

    Mr Grieve has taken longer than Lord Hutton to come to a conclusion. Lord Hutton’s job was to report on the circumstances surrounding Dr Kelly’s death; Mr Grieve’s job is to endorse an application to the High Court requesting them to make a judgement.

    I cannot help but think that the delay in the Attorney General’s decision is based in politics and not the law. I ask you, again, to press the Attorney General to cease procrastinating and endorse the application to the High Court, his failure to do so thus far has put the government’s commitment to justice in a poor light and comparisons to the last administration regarding openness and honesty are becoming more stark.

    Yours Sincerely

  5. LL,

    I'd be very interested to see the correspondence you refer to.

    I can be emailed as described here; A contact email address for Chilcot's Cheating Us.

  6. LL,

    The Attorney General has (in my view anyway) a very difficult decision to make.

    The evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of an inquest being needed.

    But if the AG "goes with the law" he is, at a minimum calling into question the behaviour of a former Law Lord (Hutton) and a former Lord Chancellor (Falconer).

    He has to be totally sure that he is on sound legal ground to risk the flak that he will get on the basis of calling into question the judgement of such senior figures in the legal establishment.

  7. In this video clip where Mr Grieve appeals for evidence of cover up

    Mr Grieve says "my role as Attorney General I have to act as a guardian of the public interest irrespective of what the political advantages or disadvantages might be to any particular person or group."

    You're right Dominic Grieve has a very difficult decision to make but I think that is a political decision not a legal one. The legal issue, in my mind, (I'm not a lawyer) is simple.

    Mr Grieve has to satisfy himself that evidence exists that calls into doubt the findings of the original inquest;

    "(whether by reason of fraud, rejection of evidence, irregularity of proceedings, insufficiency of inquiry, the discovery of new facts or evidence or otherwise) it is necessary or desirable in the interests of justice that another inquest should be held"

    If there is reasonable doubt then it is the duty of the Attorney General to pass this to the High Court and let them examine the facts and evidence to enable them to make a ruling.

    The political ramifications of an inquest could be huge, there are several possible outcomes, suicide being one of them (however unlikely) the tricky area is if police officers attend the inquest and they reveal that they were under orders to lie at the Hutton inquiry, to cover up actual events.

    Certainly the inquest would have to establish if the body was moved, if so, who moved the body and why. The answer to this point could ruin a few careers, rock the establishment and put some senior figures in the dock whilst destroying all public trust in the police, legal system, politicians and civil servants. Mr Grieve has to decide what is in both the public interst and the interests of justice.