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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dr David Kelly Mystery - No need for inquest on Dr Kelly says PM, leading to anger as Cameron appears to pre-judge review - 19th May 2011

David Cameron has said that he didn’t believe a full inquest into the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly was necessary.

The Prime Minister – apparently pre-empting the findings of an official review of the Kelly file by the Attorney General – said he did not think it was ‘necessary to take that case forward’.

His comments were criticised by doctors campaigning for a proper inquest into Dr Kelly’s apparent suicide.

Dr Michael Powers, QC, said: ‘The opinion of David Cameron on whether there should be a fresh inquest into the death of Dr Kelly is irrelevant. It is not a political matter. It is a question of law.’

If Attorney General Dominic Grieve decides against holding an inquest, the doctors could mount a legal challenge to the decision, on the grounds that Mr Cameron has pre-judged the outcome.

Dr Kelly is said to have killed himself in woods near his Oxfordshire home in July 2003 after being named as the prime source of a BBC report accusing the Labour government of lying to take Britain into war in Iraq.

Uniquely for a suspicious death, no coroner’s inquest has been held. Instead, the public inquiry into his death chaired by Lord Hutton found he committed suicide by taking painkillers and cutting his wrist with a blunt knife.

Dr Kelly had made plans to see friends the following week and, on the morning of his death, booked a return ticket to Iraq in connection with his work.

In Opposition, Mr Grieve told at least two fellow MPs that he had misgivings about the case.

Last June, after the Coalition was formed, he asked anyone with new information to send it to him. Over the past nine months he has been told of several pieces of material evidence which were not raised at the Hutton Inquiry.

Mr Grieve’s decision on whether to hold an inquest is due within weeks. Yesterday, at Prime Minister’s Questions, Tory MP Sir Peter Tapsell asked Mr Cameron: ‘Now that there is to be a full investigation into the abduction or murder of Madeleine McCann, isn’t there a much stronger case for a full investigation into the suicide or murder of Dr David Kelly?’

Mr Cameron replied: ‘Firstly, on the issue of Madeleine McCann, I think it is welcome that the Metropolitan Police have decided to review the case and review the paperwork.

‘On the issue of Dr David Kelly, I thought the results of the inquest [the Hutton Inquiry] that’s been carried out and the report into it were fairly clear and I don’t think it’s necessary to take that case forward.’ Read More