Doctors cast doubt on Kelly suicide

By politics.co.uk staff

A team of campaigning doctors have cast serious doubt on the suicide of Dr David Kelly, the weapons inspector whose death prompted an independent inquiry.

The group has produced a report arguing that the earlier finding that his death was the result of suicide was flawed and calling for a formal inquest.

The Hutton inquiry, conducted at the request of then prime minister Tony Blair, found the 59-year-old had killed himself by cutting his wrists.

The 13 specialist medics who composed today’s report said the cut was highly unlikely to have caused sufficient bleeding to end Dr Kelly’s life.

The 12-page dossier concludes: “The bleeding from Dr Kelly’s ulnar artery is highly unlikely to have been so voluminous and rapid that it was the cause of death.

“We advise the instructing solicitors to obtain the autopsy reports so that the concerns of a group of properly interested medical specialists can be answered.”

David Halpin, a retired consultant in orthopaedic and trauma surgery, described the previous examinations as flawed.
“Due process has been subverted,” he said.
 
“The group that I am part of is not prepared to let that go. There is evidence of a cover-up.

“He was a very prominent germ and chemical warfare expert. That is relevant because of his knowledge of the biology of death.

“He had spent ten years at Porton Down [a government laboratory] and he knew everything about killing things,” he continued.

“So to take what was said to be a blunt knife and what was alleged to be his wife’s co-proxamol tablets to try to kill himself is extraordinary.

“I think it’s highly likely he was assassinated.”

Liberal Democrat frontbencher Norman Baker, who published a book about Dr Kelly’s death, backed the doctors’ campaign.

He said: “There are three aspects of 2003 which need to be put to bed.

“There needs to be a proper inquiry into the Iraq War; there needs to be a proper inquest into Dr Kelly’s death; and there needs to be some recognition of his outstanding work.

“All we are asking for is proper legal process – we have not had it yet.”

The family has hired a solicitor, Martin Day, of Leigh Day and Co, and received advice from a barrister, Richard Hermer, QC, about how the Coroners Act might challenge Lord Falconer’s suspension of the inquest, which was jstified at the time on the grounds that the Hutton inquiry satisfied its function.

The Hutton inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death became famous for absolving the government of blame and criticising the BBC, although critics described it as a whitewash.

His body was doscovered six years ago this week.