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August 25 - 31 2010 No. 996
THE WEEKLY WORLD EDITION OF The Daily Telegraph AND The Sunday Telegraph telegraph.co.uk/expat
TAX-FREE CARS How to save money by exporting a vehicle from the UK
:: EXPAT LIFE PAGES 29-31
Never in the field of human conflict . . .
A Spitfire (front) and a Hurricane prepare to fly over the rooftops of London once again. Thousands gathered last Friday to commemorate 70 years since the Battle of Britain, among them former fighter pilots and families of war heroes
By Christopher Hope Whitehall Editor THE Attorney General has signalled that he is prepared to intervene in the controversy over the death of Dr David Kelly, admitting that those who doubted his suicide “may have a valid point”.
Dominic Grieve said he hoped to settle any concerns about the government scientist’s death to “give the public reassurance”.
His remarks raise the prospect that a full inquest, which could see Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell and other senior Labour figures questioned in public, could finally be held. But the
Attorney General said that before he applied for such a hearing he would need convincing evidence that the weapons expert had not committed suicide.
Dr Kelly’s body was found in a wood near his home in Oxfordshire in July 2003, shortly after he had been exposed as the source of a BBC report which said the government had exaggerated the grounds for the war in Iraq.
Rather than the usual inquest, his death led to an inquiry by Lord Hutton which concluded that he had killed himself, using a knife to cut his wrist and taking an overdose of painkillers.
But conspiracy theorists have suggested there may be more to his death, particularly as Lord Hutton ordered that the results of the post mortem examination remain secret for 70 years. Senior politicians and doctors have now called for a full inquest to examine in public how the scientist came to die.
Mr Grieve said: “We would like to resolve this in a way that can give the public reassurance. People who have expressed concerns about why Lord Hutton did not tie up every loose end may have a valid point.”
Concerns over Dr Kelly’s death intensified this month, when a group of doctors
Dr David Kelly’s body was found shortly after he was identified as the source of a BBC report critical of the Government signed a letter stating that the official explanation was “extremely unlikely”.
The principal cause was given as bleeding from a severed ulnar artery, a finding which the group argued was unsafe. Det Con Graham Coe, who found the body, also said earlier this month that there had not been much blood at the scene. Calls for an inquest have come from senior politicians, including the former Labour defence minister Peter Kilfoyle and the Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker. Last weekend, Lord Howard of Lympne, the former Conservative leader, added his voice.
Dr Andrew Davison, a Home Office pathologist, responded by saying that the circumstances of Dr Kelly’s death were “not a game of Cluedo” and should be left to the experts.
Because a full inquest was never carried out, Mr Grieve is able to apply to the High Court for one as the most senior legal officer in England and Wales, under Section 13 of the 1988 Coroners’ Act. Normally, this is done on behalf of the deceased’s family. However, Mr Grieve said he could not apply on a “hunch” and had to take account of the feelings of Dr Kelly’s close family, who have not called for a fresh investigation.
A High Court judge would only agree to order an inquest if Mr Grieve could prove such a course was in the interests of justice.
“I have been given no evidence to suggest an alternative cause of death,”
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