A team of leading medical experts in the UK has broken through the media silence to challenge the official verdict about the death of Dr David Kelly.
DR KELLY - EXPERTS CHALLENGE SUICIDE VERDICT
Dr Kelly, a top weapons expert in British intelligence, was found dead in the woods near his home a few days after telling the media that the government deliberately deceived the public about WMD to justify the war on Iraq.
A coroner opened an inquest to investigate Dr Kelly's death, in accordance with standard procedure. But the inquest was suddenly cancelled when the government asked Lord Hutton, a retired Law Lord knighted for his loyalty to the Establishment, to conduct a special inquiry instead.
The Hutton inquiry has the authority to reach a verdict on the cause of death. However, this question has been overshadowed by a lengthy public debate about the case for war and the conniving way in which Dr Kelly's name was deliberately leaked. The government, the intelligence services, and the BBC, who are all part of the British Establishment, just blamed each other for the whole mess. We all watched like the audience at a puppet show, enthusiastically debating which mischievous puppet to blame, while the puppeteer laughed at us behind the curtain.
Hutton announced his conclusions today, and the curtain went down and the show was over. It seems that the government and the intelligence services in the UK escaped any criticism. What a surprise. Meanwhile, the questions over Dr Kelly's death remain unanswered.
The public are beginning to hear the truth at last, thanks to a vigorous campaign led by Rowena Thursby harnessing the power of the Internet and email, involving a network alternative news outlets including The Insider.
The Guardian (UK), "Our doubts about Dr Kelly's suicide", 27 January 2004.
[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,3604,1131833,00.html ]
As specialist medical professionals, we do not consider the evidence given at the Hutton inquiry has demonstrated that Dr David Kelly committed suicide.
Dr Nicholas Hunt, the forensic pathologist at the Hutton inquiry, concluded that Dr Kelly bled to death from a self-inflicted wound to his left wrist. We view this as highly improbable. Arteries in the wrist are of matchstick thickness and severing them does not lead to life-threatening blood loss. Dr Hunt stated that the only artery that had been cut - the ulnar artery - had been completely transected. Complete transection causes the artery to quickly retract and close down, and this promotes clotting of the blood.
The ambulance team reported that the quantity of blood at the scene was minimal and surprisingly small. It is extremely difficult to lose significant amounts of blood at a pressure below 50-60 systolic in a subject who is compensating by vasoconstricting. To have died from haemorrhage, Dr Kelly would have had to lose about five pints of blood - it is unlikely that he would have lost more than a pint.
Alexander Allan, the forensic toxicologist at the inquiry, considered the amount ingested of Co-Proxamol insufficient to have caused death. Allan could not show that Dr Kelly had ingested the 29 tablets said to be missing from the packets found. Only a fifth of one tablet was found in his stomach. Although levels of Co-Proxamol in the blood were higher than therapeutic levels, Allan conceded that the blood level of each of the drug's two components was less than a third of what would normally be found in a fatal overdose.
We dispute that Dr Kelly could have died from haemorrhage or from Co-Proxamol ingestion or from both. The coroner, Nicholas Gardiner, has spoken recently of resuming the inquest into his death. If it re-opens, as in our opinion it should, a clear need exists to scrutinise more closely Dr Hunt's conclusions as to the cause of death.
David Halpin, Specialist in trauma and orthopaedic surgery
C Stephen Frost, Specialist in diagnostic radiology
Searle Sennett, Specialist in anaesthesiology
Contact: Rowena Thursby, firstname.lastname@example.org
ITV News (UK), "Experts question Kelly 'suicide'", 27 January 2004.
[ http://www.itv.com/news/429586.html ]
On the day the Hutton Report was delivered to Downing Street amid tight security, doubt among medical experts is growing over whether David Kelly killed himself.
The experts have questioned whether the weapons expert committed suicide after they detailed flaws in the pathologist's explanation for his death.
In a letter to The Guardian, they said the cause of death as presented to the Hutton Inquiry was "improbable" although they said they were not accusing anyone of murder.
The specialists, including a trauma consultant and an anaesthetist, believed Dr Kelly could not have died from cutting his wrist and taking an overdose of painkillers as set out in the inquiry.
Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner, who is considering holding a full inquest into the death, has received numerous letters questioning the account given to the inquiry.
Consultant surgeon David Halpin said he was not accusing anyone of murder but the cut to Dr Kelly's wrist was unlikely to have been fatal.
"The picture is not a happy one. We would like the inquest reopened in this very important case." One of Dr Kelly's closest friends said he had received death threats.
Lord Hutton will deliver a "substantial summary" of the report at 12.30pm tomorrow.
The actual document will then be formally published at 1.30pm, ensuring that it is his statement which will set the tone for the ensuing media coverage.
The Speaker, Michael Martin, will interrupt Commons business at around 2pm so that Mr Blair can make a statement in the House on the report. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, will make a statement in the Lords.
The widow of Dr David Kelly's also got a copy along with other key players in the inquiry. The Lords will debate the Hutton report next Wednesday.
This is expected to be opened by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton and takes place on the same day as the Commons' debate on the issue.
Dr Kelly was found dead near his home last July after being named as the source of a BBC report claiming the Government "sexed up" a dossier on the threat from Iraq.
BBC News, "Kelly inquest may be reopened", 27 January 2003.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3145120.stm ]
The inquest into the death Dr David Kelly may have to be reopened because some witnesses have refused to allow their statements to be passed to the Hutton inquiry.
The original inquest was adjourned under a section in the Coroners Act which allows a public inquiry conducted by a judge to fulfil the function of an inquest.
But Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner said he may ask Thames Valley Police to hand over the evidence if he is not satisfied with Lord Hutton's findings.
BBC News, "Full Dr Kelly inquest may be held", 22 January 2004.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3420537.stm ]
The original inquest into his death was adjourned last year, but Mr Gardiner confirmed he was now considering holding a full inquest.
Evening Standard (UK), "Was Dr Kelly murdered?", 27 January 2004.
[ http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/8833326 ]
Medical experts today raised the possibility that weapons expert David Kelly did not kill himself.
Three senior specialists said they could not accept the evidence of how Dr Kelly died presented to the Hutton Inquiry.
They believe that the cause of death as told to the inquiry was "improbable" and called for a full inquest, raising the theory that Dr Kelly was murdered.
Their dramatic intervention comes the day before publication of Lord Hutton's report into the circumstances surrounding Dr Kelly's death.
And at the weekend one of Dr Kelly's closest friends said she did not believe he had committed suicide and claimed he had received death threats.
Dr Kelly was found dead near his Oxfordshire home last July after being named as the source of a BBC report claiming the Government "sexed up" a dossier on the threat from Iraq.
Femail (UK), "Dr Kelly 'may have been murdered'", 18 January 2004.
[ http://www.femail.co.uk/pages/standard/article.html?in_article_id=206880 ]
Three doctors yesterday cast grave doubts on Dr David Kelly's suicide and suggested he may have been murdered.
They wrote an open letter claiming the weapons expert could not have taken his own life in the way that has been suggested.
They alleged that the description outlined to the Hutton Inquiry was "improbable" and insisted Dr Kelly did not die by slashing his wrist and taking an overdose of painkillers.
The three doctors - retired surgeon David Halpin, diagnostic radiologist Stephen Frost and Searle Sennett, a retired specialist in anaesthesiology - wrote to yesterday's Guardian newspaper expressing their doubts.
They questioned forensic pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt's view that Dr Kelly bled to death from a self-inflicted wound to the left wrist.
The letter says he could not have died from such a small wound and with such a small amount of painkillers in his bloodstream.
Propaganda Matrix, "Three Doctors Dispute How David Kelly Died", 28 January 2004.
[ http://www.propagandamatrix.com/260104doctorsdispute.html ]
"When an artery is completely divided, the highly elastic quality of its wall causes it to retract into the tissues, thereby diminishing the calibre of the vessel and promoting clotting."
- A Textbook of Surgery by Christopher, Fourth Edition, 1945, p210
Femail (UK), "Dr Kelly 'did not kill himself' ", 26 January 2004.
[ http://www.femail.co.uk/pages/standard/article.html?in_article_id=206680 ]
An American confidante of David Kelly has cast doubt on whether his death was suicide.
Days before Lord Hutton's report into his death is published, Mai Pederson claimed the Government scientist received death threats because of his work in Iraq.
She said she was surprised that he had apparently taken 20 painkillers before slashing his wrist in remote woodland - because he had an aversion to swallowing tablets.
Mrs Pederson, a United States Air Force translator who worked alongside Dr Kelly in Iraq, refused to give evidence to Lord Hutton's inquiry.
But in a statement to police she said Dr Kelly had told her he would "never" commit suicide and that he feared he would be found "dead in the woods".
Evening Standard, "Determined widow prepares to fight back", .
[ http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/8843279 ]
As leaked reports of Lord Hutton's inquiry depict Dr David Kelly as a difficult and erratic man, prone to depression, his widow Janice is set to launch a ferocious attack on the Government's treatment of him.
With queues forming today outside the Royal Courts of Justice for the very first - legitimate - Hutton report, Mrs Kelly, with her three daughters, watched with outrage the deliberately selective leaks.
Although determined to avoid the spotlight Mrs Kelly, who remains under police guard, has told friends all along that if she was unhappy with any aspect of the findings she would speak out.
Yesterday, late into the night, with the telephone switched to answering machine, she based herself in her small sitting room and pored over her copy of Lord Hutton's findings.
She is being closely advised by her daughters, Sian, 32, and twins Ellen and Rachel, 30.
Still furious with the manner in which government spin doctors sought to blacken her husband's name, she is said to be determined to fight to the last to defend a man now being portrayed as emotionally unstable.
Even so, friends say they have observed something of a subtle change in her in recent weeks. They are adamant that, now she has the Hutton Report in her hands, she fully intends to put her side of the story.
The Scotsman (UK), "Doctors question how Kelly died", 27 January 2004.
[ http://news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=105012004 ]
THREE medical specialists yesterday questioned the findings of the pathologist who examined Dr David Kelly’s body.
Nicholas Gardiner, the Oxfordshire coroner, said in August that the main cause of death was the number of incisions in Dr Kelly’s wrist.
But the three specialists, David Halpin, Stephen Frost and Searle Sennett, wrote to the Guardian newspaper to suggest that it was unlikely that Dr Kelly could have died from a cut wrist.
They described that cause of death as highly improbable and called for the inquest to be reopened.
The Scotsman, "Kelly Death of Cut Wrist 'Improbable' Specialists", 27 January 2004.
[ http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2459679 ]
Three medical specialists today raised doubts about the cause of weapons expert David Kelly’s death.
They said it was “improbable” that the scientist could have died from a self-inflicted wound to his wrist.
The men have written to Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner, who opened the inquest into Dr Kelly’s death.
“What I and my colleagues are saying is we think it unlikely he died from a cut wrist,” he said.
The Scotsman (UK), "Friend Questions Fresh Doubts over Dr Kelly's Death", 28 January 2004.
[ http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2461906 ]
A friend of weapons expert David Kelly today questioned the fresh doubts raised over the scientist’s apparent suicide.
Three medical specialists yesterday said it was “improbable” that Dr Kelly could have died from a self-inflicted wound to his wrist.
But Professor Alastair Hay of Leeds University – one of the last people to hear from Dr Kelly – said the death would have been scrutinised carefully.
Professor Hay told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Dr Kelly had always seemed in control and on top of his work. He had also seemed positive in the e-mail he sent him.
New Zealand Herald, "Doctors question Kelly 'suicide'", 29 January 2004.
[ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3546211 ]
Fresh doubts about the death of Dr David Kelly, the British weapons expert, were raised yesterday by three doctors who questioned whether he took his own life.
The doctors suggested that the former United Nations weapons inspector could not have committed suicide in the way described to the inquiry chaired by Lord Brian Hutton.
Kelly was found dead in a copse near his Oxfordshire home in July after being named as the source of a BBC report claiming that the Government had sexed up an intelligence dossier on the threat from Iraq.
"The Insider" mailing list article, 28 January 2004.
Tags: Dr, David Kelly, weapons, expert, suicide, Dr Kelly, evidence, medical, experts, murder, assassination, killed, assassinated, died, Hutton, inquiry, report, WMD, Iraq, , conspiracy theories.