David Kelly - The Conspiracy Files - Part 2 of 2

David Kelly - The Conspiracy Files - Part 2 of 2
David Kelly - The Conspiracy Files - Part 2 of 2


David Kelly: The Conspiracy Files
For many the sudden death of the government scientist and weapons inspector, Dr David Kelly, remains suspicious.

Dr David Kelly
David Kelly: The Conspiracy Files
Sunday 25 February, 2007
Programme preview

Kelly death not suicide, says MP
Q&A: What really happened
Timeline: David Kelly

The official verdict was suicide. But a public inquest was never completed.

The Conspiracy Files explores the questions that still surround Dr Kelly's death in July 2003, when the controversy about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was at its height.

Doctors, lawyers, bloggers and politicians, question the official account; and the programme investigates what really happened when David Kelly walked up Harrowdown Hill.



Harrowdown Hill Oxfordshire.

In July 2003, the body of Dr David Kelly – Britain’s leading weapons
inspector, was found here.

The tragic death of the man caught in the crossfire of a prolonged and
bitter battle between the Government and the BBC over why Britain
went to war in Iraq.
The official account says that under pressure he took his own life by
cutting his wrist.
Thames Valley Police spokesman:
There is no indication at this stage of any other party being involved
But the method it’s said he used was so unusual that many people
now doubt the official version
John Scurr, Consultant Vascular Surgeon:
The question really is does it seem reasonable that he could have died
from this injury alone, and I don't think he could.
The official version says he also took an overdose of pills. But is there
another story?
Rowena Thursby:
They were intent on not only killing him but making it look like-like suicide.
They didn't want to know-people to know that he was being murdered.
Lord Hutton’s inquiry into David Kelly’s death had far less legal
powers than an inquest.
Dr Michael Powers QC:
They didn't have to give evidence under oath. A witness lying to Lord
Hutton could not be prosecuted for perjury
Some say it could be more sinister than suicide.
Richard Spertzel, UN Weapons Inspector in Iraq 1994-1998:
David Kelly did not commit suicide. He was assassinated
After a six month inquiry Lord Hutton concluded there was no
evidence at all of any foul play.
There was no involvement by a third person in Dr Kelly’s death
But could there have been a conspiracy by intelligence agencies to
murder Dr David Kelly?
Norman Baker MP:
He told me it was a wet disposal which means killed in a hurry
What led this man to a tragic death on this lonely hillside?

Dr David Kelly was Britain’s leading expert on biological weapons,
and a key UN Inspector in the hunt for Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of
Mass Destruction.
Richard Spertzel, UN Weapons Inspector in Iraq 1994-1998:
Well there's no question that David was an extremely good inspector A
hardworking dedicated honest servant to what he believed in.
Doctor Kelly did not seek out the harsh light at the centre of the
political stage. A private man, he found the Oxfordshire countryside a
respite from his involvement in the tense build up to the controversial
war in Iraq.
The Government said that Iraq posed an imminent threat in a dossier
of intelligence about the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Tony Blair September 2002:
He has existing and active plans for the use of chemical and biological
weapons which could be activated within 45 minutes.
The 45 minute claim changed the reputation of the Government, the
BBC, and David Kelly forever.
After Iraq was invaded, no Weapons of Mass Destruction were found.

When the BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan reported that a secret source
told him that the Government probably knew the 45 minute claim was
wrong, the Government’s credibility was on the line.
Journalist’s question to Tony Blair:
Did you mislead parliament Prime Minister?
The stakes got higher and higher as the Prime Ministers integrity was
questioned around the world
News reporter:
British Prime Minister Tony Blair is facing a barrage of accusations that he
exaggerated intelligence about deadly weapons..

Blair is being characterised as a political Pinocchio in cartoons. An
influential magazine spells Blair: ‘Bliar.’.
As Andrew Gilligan’s secret source, David Kelly had unwittingly
become the key to the biggest and fiercest row ever between the
Government and the BBC in which neither side would back down.
Alastair Campbell, Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman 1997-2003:
Until the BBC acknowledge that is a lie I will keep banging on that
correspondence file will get thicker,and they’d better issue an apology pretty
A witch hunt for the whistleblower gripped the corridors of power for
six weeks.
Dr Kelly volunteered his name internally to the Ministry of Defence,
hoping he’d be protected, but the government revealed details about
his identity before finally confirming his name.
He and his wife had just ten minutes notice to flee their home to
escape a rat-pack of reporters hot on his tail.
Alastair Hay, Professor of Toxicology Leeds University:
This pressure was extraordinary I don’t know what point somebody has to
reach before it becomes too much.
The Inspector became the inspected.
Andrew Mackinlay MP:
This is the High Court of Parliament and I want you to tell the committee
who you met.
Three days after this questioning, Dr Kelly was found dead a few miles
from his home in Oxfordshire, on Harrow down Hill. Thames Valley
Police read out a statement from his family.
Kelly Family Statement:
Events over recent weeks have made David’s life intolerable and all of
those involved should reflect long and hard on this fact.
The end of David Kelly’s life was the beginning of a mystery. What
really happened on Harrowdown Hill?
Lord Hutton said the BBC was at fault in broadcasting unfounded
allegations and Andrew Gilligan had admitted mistakes in his

Lord Hutton concluded Dr Kelly killed himself. He found public
exposure very stressful, feared he’d lose his job, felt unable to share
his problems and was gripped by a profound sense of hopelessness.
Lord Hutton:
The major factor was a severe loss of self esteem resulting from his feeling
that people had lost trust in him and from his dismay at being exposed to
the media.
Lord Hutton also gave the official account of how Dr Kelly died: by
completely severing an artery in his wrist and taking an overdose of
Lord Hutton:
Dr Kelly took his own life by cutting his left wrist, and that his death was
hastened by taking co-proxamol tablets I’m further satisfied that there was
no involvement by a third person in Dr Kelly’s death.
So, officially it’s a suicide and the case is closed.
But the Conspiracy Files series commissioned an opinion poll of a
thousand people in Britain. The telephone poll found that almost one
in four people questioned believed Dr Kelly did not commit suicide.
So despite a two and a half million pound judicial inquiry. There
remain many unanswered questions… and secrecy breeds
A group of doctors and consultants have written a number of
published letters saying that they don’t accept the cause of death
given by Lord Hutton. Their letters have made them front page news,
but have not drawn an official response from the Government.
The letters by the doctors are co-ordinated by Rowena Thursby. She
has set up a website called “The Kelly Investigation Group” to look
into Dr Kelly’s death
Rowena Thursby:
People are very very interested in the death of Dr Kelly and they don't
necessarily believe the official line which is that he took his own life. They
find the whole thing rather suspicious and they write to me telling me that
I'm doing, me that I'm doing very important work and that they that they are
encouraging me to continue.
David Kelly’s body was found by two volunteer searchers Paul
Chapman and Louise Holmes with the help of their dog. They said
they took care not to disturb the scene or get too close to the body,
and contacted the Police as soon as they found him. Their description
was of a body “slumped” or “sitting … up against a tree”.
Rowena Thursby:
The first two search volunteers who found the body clearly report-reported
that his body was sitting up against a tree,
The searchers told a police officer DC Graham Coe how to find the
body, and he stayed alone with it for thirty minutes. DC Coe said he
only observed the scene and never got close to the body and stayed
about 7 or 8 feet away.
Rowena Thursby:
When the other people came along, the paramedics, the policemen, the
detective, the forensic pathologist - all those people subsequently said that
the body was flat on its back, not touching the tree at all. So completely
horizontal on his back, so, which indicates to me, to anybody sensible, that
the body was moved.
But if the body was moved, who would have moved it and why?
Rowena Thursby believes that DC Coe should have been questioned
by Lord Hutton about what happened when he was alone with the
Rowena Thursby:
To find out why-what he-what he was doing for half an hour by the body, to
question directly on whether he'd actually moved the body and put it to him
that-that these witnesses say one thing and these witnesses say another.
How do you explain that? You were with the body for the half an hour on
your own, did you move the body?
Lord Hutton says that such discrepancies in eye witness accounts are
quite normal and do not disturb him. He saw photographs of the body
that he believes are consistent with all the descriptions given.
But discrepancies did trouble the Paramedics. Eleven months after
Lord Hutton’s final report, they took the unprecedented step of calling
a press conference. Dave Bartlett and Vanessa Hunt had attended
dozens of suicide attempts in which someone has cut a wrist. But they
found the scene of David Kelly’s death unusually free of bloodstains.
Dave Bartlett:
I suppose everyone was surprised at the outcome. Like I say we’re not
medical experts, all we commented on was the amount of blood over the
Vanessa Hunt:
We can only say what we saw on that morning and there just didn’t appear
to be a substantial amount of blood loss either onto the clothing or around
the area.
Rowena Thursby:
The paramedics who attended the body they were very very shocked to find
that there was very little blood around. In fact they they attend, they had
attended attempted suicides and actual suicides, in about over a period of
about 15 years and there was always masses and masses of blood all over
the place So they didn't feel that he he could have died in that way.
The Hutton Report had different witness accounts. Some saw more
The pathologist said there was a “significant volume of blood” and
the forensic biologist, said that there was “a fair bit of blood”
consistent with a severed artery, and some had soaked into the
ground. Neither of them would speak to this programme to clarify
exactly what they meant.
One of the group of doctors and consultants who have published
letters questioning the official cause of death is vascular surgeon
John Scurr, a specialist in veins and arteries.
John Scurr, Consultant Vascular Surgeon:
I personally I don't think I've ever seen anybody die from wrist injuries. I
have seen a lot of wrist injuries. It is a very common cry for help type thing.
Attempt at suicide rather than a genuine attempt at killing themselves.
John Scurr believes that if Dr Kelly had really meant to kill himself, he
cut the wrong artery in the wrong way.
John Scurr, Consultant Vascular Surgeon:
Frankly I don't believe that simply cutting an ulnar artery will cause death.
The radial artery runs down here and the ulnar artery runs down this side of
the wrist. The ulnar artery is relatively deep and to get the ulnar artery you
would need to cut in that sort of direction, which is an unusual way of
holding a knife.
The body has a lot of self defensive mechanisms. As you know if you take a
knife and cut your finger you don't bleed to death. And the reason you don't
bleed to death is you produce all sorts of clever things that seal the
circulation and the bleeding stops. If you cut a large artery then you may not
be able to stop the bleeding. The thing we know about the ulnar artery is it's
quite small and so if Dr Kelly had cut it clean it would have gone into spasm
and it would have, you know, probably oozed for a little while trickled. He
might have lost a few hundred mills of blood. And then it would have
Officially, David Kelly’s death was not only caused by haemorrhaging
from a wrist wound. Lord Hutton says that an overdose of the
painkiller co-proxamol probably also played a part. Packaging found
with the body meant that up to twenty nine co-proxamol tablets were
available to Dr Kelly.
But the toxicologist who gave evidence to the Hutton Inquiry could
not be definitive about how many tablets were taken.

Tests he carried out suggested it was an overdose. That Dr Kelly had
ten times more than a normal medical dose of co-proxamol. But he
also said that Dr Kelly had less is usually fatal.
Rowena Thursby :
The forensic toxicologist to the Hutton Inquiry said that there was only a
third of what’s normally a fatal amount in his blood. That’s an area which
does need proper exploration by people who have expertise in toxicology
and that could only be done at an inquest.
One of Dr Kelly’s close friends, who is himself an eminent toxicologist
was concerned about the way this evidence was dealt with by the
Hutton Inquiry.
Alastair Hay, Professor of Toxicology Leeds University:
Well if I comment on the toxicology which is the assessment of the drugs
that were present in David. I thought it was incredibly superficial very
superficial. You need to know something about the behaviour of the drug,
there are concerns about where you take the blood sample from.
Concentrations vary at different sites of the body. And might there be
changes in the blood levels after somebody dies with these drugs. These
are all important factors that you need to know when you’re interpreting a
blood level after somebody dies. And that inquiry didn't go ahead.
It is not only the medical causes of Dr Kelly’s death that are disputed.

People also question whether there was evidence that he intended to
commit suicide.
The Hutton Report says that Dr Kelly became suicidal because he felt
humiliated and that his self esteem, his integrity and his job were

To find out if Dr Kelly really reached that point you need to know who
he was.
David Kelly:
Hello and welcome to the Defence and microbiology division… lead to the
procurement of defensive equipment against biological warfare
His job required a balance between the open world of briefing the
media about the risks posed by germ warfare and the secret world of
intelligence. Dr Kelly had the highest level of security clearance and
briefed the Defence Intelligence Staff, MI6 and the CIA.
Dr Kelly was involved in the preparation of the dossier that formed the
basis of the Governments case for war against Iraq. After the war,
when no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, Dr Kelly
talked to a number of journalists about the dossier, and came under
suspicion of being Andrew Gilligan’s secret source. As rumours
swirled around David Kelly volunteered his name to the MoD…
BBC Ten O’Clock News George Alagiah:
The ministry of defence has announced that one of its employees has
volunteered he met the BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan in an unauthorised
The Government held off naming Dr Kelly initially. But they revealed
details of his identity which enabled the media to identify him.
Something which has angered a former Deputy Chief of Defence
John Morrison, Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence 1995 – 1999 :
I think if they decided that they didn't want the name to come out, they could
have protected him. They just left so many clues, that they all pointed to
poor old Dr. Kelly.
When the Government finally confirmed Dr Kelly’s name to the media,
he was subjected to public scrutiny by a televised Parliamentary
After two interviews by his employers and public exposure in the
media, Dr Kelly had been under a lot of strain.
But he spent many years doing a very difficult job in a hostile
environment, making 37 visits to Iraq. Would someone like that really
buckle and kill himself during a period of stress? Not according to one
of his closest colleagues.
Richard Spertzel, UN Weapons Inspector in Iraq 1994-1998:
One of the reasons I didn’t accept the suicide story from the beginning is I
would not consider David a person that would become suicidal. We all
have depressions. There are some of us and David is included in those that
would endure and find other ways out
On the last day of his life, Dr Kelly was telling friends that he would
continue with the job that was so important to him. He was replying to
messages from friends and colleagues that he would soon be back in
Baghdad. His daughter was due to get married in a couple of months
Richard Spertzel, UN Weapons Inspector in Iraq 1994-1998:
I would feel it most unlikely that he would want to essentially abandon his
family and end his life prematurely. He certainly could have looked forward
to many more years of happy life.
But amongst the e-mails on that last day, there was one sinister
message. It doesn’t appear to show that Dr Kelly was a threat to
himself, but that he felt threatened by others. He told his friend,
journalist Judith Miller that there were “many dark actors playing
When David Kelly’s body was found the Prime Minister had just
arrived in Japan and faced some difficult moments.
Journalist’s question to Tony Blair in Japan :
Have you got blood on your hands Prime Minister?
But he did say that Lord Hutton’s Inquiry would follow established
legal procedures.
Tony Blair in Japan:
I think what is important now is that there is some due process and the
reason for having an inquiry and I think people would have expected us to
have one because of the tragedy that’s occurred is so that the facts can be
But was the Hutton Inquiry fit for purpose?
Dr Michael Powers QC is an expert in the law relating to inquests, and
has sat as a coroner, he points out that the Hutton Inquiry had less
legal powers than a Coroner has at an inquest
Dr Michael Powers QC:
In Lord Hutton's inquiry, they didn't have to give evidence under oath. And
we all know, whatever one - one's view might be upon people giving
evidence under oath, that if evidence is given under oath, it has to be
truthful. If it can be shown not to be truthful, the persons giving out untruthful
evidence can be prosecuted for perjury. A witness lying to Lord Hutton
could not be prosecuted for perjury
The law that allowed the Hutton Inquiry to replace the inquest has
only been used on three other occasions, when it could prevent
unnecessary repetition of inquests in cases of multiple deaths from
the same cause.
Dr Michael Powers QC:
This procedure of adjourning for a public inquiry is really still with major
disasters. People die multiple deaths in a train accident or boating accident
of that kind. So far as I'm aware, this is the first and only time when it has
been used to investigate the death of a single person.
Lord Hutton’s report was strongly criticised but there was some
praise too. At the time few questioned the report’s conclusion that
David Kelly took his own life. Lord Hutton says he decided fairly on
the basis of the evidence most of which he published.
Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker is renowned for asking difficult
question of the Government. He has committed a whole year to
investigating Dr Kelly’s death, which he believes was not properly
examined by the Hutton Inquiry.
Norman Baker MP:
The Hutton Inquiry singularly failed to pursue any points of interest. As soon
as anyone starts to say anything interesting the Hutton Inquiry moved onto
something else. The Hutton Inquiry seemed to be there to shut down
matters rather than to open them up.
It's extraordinary that the, the rigour and the legal defence and legal
protection for the Hutton Inquiry was less than a normal court inquiry, less
than a normal. And yet this is what was set up by the Prime Minister. So
that's very odd.
Defenders of Lord Hutton’s inquiry say it was not impeded by the
absence of statutory powers, as the huge public interest in the inquiry
ensured that it had the full co-operation of all the witnesses needed.
They also praise its detail and rigour.
Would an inquest have been a better way to answer the questions
about the death of David Kelly? The MP Norman Baker thinks so.
He’s come to a school in Nottingham to talk to pupils about the way
that Dr Kelly’s death was officially investigated.
Norman Baker MP:
People who meet violent deaths always have a proper inquest it’s
extraordinary that there hasn’t been one on this occasion and we ought to
have one some of the evidence would then come out properly
An inquest was opened in Oxford, but the Lord Chancellor told the
Oxfordshire Coroner to adjourn it as the Hutton Inquiry would take
The coroner wrote to the Lord Chancellor of his concern at the Hutton
inquiry’s lack of legal powers when compared to those of an inquest
“as you will know, a coroner has power to compel the attendance of
witnesses. There are no such powers attached to a Public Inquiry”.
Just after that Mr Gardiner attended a private meeting at the
Department of Constitutional Affairs.
Norman Baker MP:
So how did this happen? Why did he have that meeting with DCA officials
and what happened in that meeting?
The Lord Chancellor, Charles Falconer, accepted the Coroner’s need
to have one further hearing but in an unusual intervention, he told the
coroner to “keep the proceedings as short as possible and, so far as
the Coroner’s Rules allow, take the evidence in writing”.

The coroner did just that, and a death certificate was registered
setting out the causes of death. Yet the Hutton Inquiry had only just
started taking evidence.
Norman Baker wants the Government to explain this
Norman Baker MP:
What was the point of the Hutton inquiry if the death certificate already gave
the reasons.
Harriet Harman:
Um well I think that that that it the Hutton Report obviously ranged much
more widely that is one of the reasons why there wasn’t necessary for there
to be a further inquest by the Oxfordshire coroner
Three months after the Hutton Report, the Coroner Nicholas Gardiner
formally considered whether to reopen the inquest.
And on the 14 April, 2004--I On t, David Kelly’s widow accepted that he
had taken his own life and did not want the inquest resumed, neither
did the Lord Chancellor. The coroner had additional evidence from the
Police, which he kept away from the public gaze.
Dr Michael Powers QC:
He had access to other information. The Thames Valley police report--
which, of course, we don't have access to--which, again, gave him support
for his conclusion that there was no exceptional reason to resume the
inquest. Now the difficulty, so far as the additional evidence is concerned,
is that we don't know what it was.
Thames Valley Police declined to assist this programme, but told us
they “conducted a thorough investigation into the death of Dr Kelly
and presented the evidence to Lord Hutton’s inquiry and to the
Oxfordshire coroner”.
The Lord Chancellor also declined to contribute to this programme.
But said at the time he’d checked with the Kelly family that they
preferred the Inquest to be adjourned. And he said he did so to avoid
any unnecessary distress the duplication of proceedings might cause.
The Hutton Inquiry took evidence from an official who said in a throw
away remark, David Kelly had told him that if Iraq was invaded, he’d
“probably be found dead in the woods”. Rowena Thursby thinks that
the possibility of murder should at least be investigated further.
Rowena Thursby:
Who would've wanted to murder him at that time? Well, there is the
possibility at least, that he was murdered by agents of a state. Whether that
state was, well we don't know which state it was, but it, it could have been
what's known as a hit. A professional assassination.
The Government’s denies that UK intelligence services carry out

But Norman Baker believes that David Kelly was murdered. And he’s
used a newspaper article to call for people who have any information
to contact him.
Norman Baker MP:
A small number of people have come forward with something to tell.
People who’ve either known David Kelly or been connected with the
Government in some way an even smaller number of people who are in the
inside connected with the security services or others who may know
something of what happened.
There’s one particular one which may well be the answer that has validity
and that is the particular one that I’m pursuing at the moment.
The Conspiracy Files has heard from a number of people who say that
David Kelly could have been assassinated.
Richard Spertzel was the USA’s most senior biological weapons
inspector. He worked alongside Dr Kelly for many years in Iraq and
believes the Iraqi regime may have pursued a vendetta against Dr
Richard Spertzel:
I believed that David was probably a victim of Iraqi Intelligence Service
because of long standing enmity of Iraq towards David.
Dr Kelly was a very effective Inspector. In 1995 he uncovered a large
amount of biological weapons agent and forced the Iraqi government
to admit that they had a secret biological weapons programme.
Kelly’s colleague Richard Spertzel discovered just how much the
weapons inspectors had annoyed Saddam Hussein.
Richard Spertzel:
A number of us were on an Iraqi hit list. I was number three, and my
understanding, David was only a couple behind that. And none of the
people on that hit list were welcome in Iraq.
Richard Spertzel:
Immediately after David's death, a number of the other inspectors and I
exchanged emails saying, 'Be careful.' He could have been murdered,
assassinated, I mean to that extent I'm involved in my own conspiracy
In June 2003, after the invasion of Iraq, UN inspectors examined the
mobile labs that were claimed as the “smoking gun” of the Iraqi
weapons programme.
Tony Blair at Evian G8 2003:
We already have according to our experts, two mobile biological weapons
facilities that were most certainly part, according to our intelligence, of a
whole set of those facilities. We have a situation where I don’t think there is
any doubt in anybody’s mind that Saddam Hussein accumulated these
But an inspection team which included Dr Kelly later revealed that
they were really devices to make hydrogen for balloons. Rowena
Thursby believes this may have provided a motive.
Rowena Thursby:
He was dangerous to the cause at that time, of, of, of getting the country to
war. And to, revealing that the, the country had been taken to war on false
pretences. And he you know he spoke offline to the Observer in the same
way that he'd spoken offline to Andrew Gilligan, so perhaps they they felt
that he had to go
Did anyone really believe that Dr Kelly ought to be silenced? Warren
Reed was an officer in the Australian Secret Intelligence Service for
ten years and thinks someone in Whitehall might have.
Warren Reed, Australian Secret Intelligence Service 1976-1985:
A key priority of some people in the political machine would have been to
shut David Kelly up once and for all.
John Scarlett the Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee- the
Government’s main intelligence advisor - had said that David Kelly
needed a “proper security style interview”
Warren Reed was trained by MI6. He knows what a security style
interview involves and believes that Dr Kelly would have felt
threatened by it.
Warren Reed, Australian Secret Intelligence Service 1976-1985:
They would have known how to ask questions that would have perhaps
needled Kelly in a certain sort of way. They were looking for pressure points
that would intimidate him.
If indeed something like this did occur I would imagine that a top British
interrogator maybe from MI6 MI5 would have been brought in under cover
perhaps something they picked out to do with say his personal life could
have been sufficiently intimidatory to have brought on either the suicide or
say a heart attack.
Could Dr Kelly have had such an intimidating interrogation in a safe
house? Norman Baker MP has found an interesting lead in the
Southend Echo
Norman Baker MP:
This looks like the period after when he admitted to the MoD that he may
have been responsible for the leak and he had spoken to Andrew Gilligan
and before he then became a public figure so I’m guessing this is probably
round about the 10th July or that sort of time and this is one part of the
sequence which so far hasn’t been identified in the story of David Kelly.
The Ministry of Defence told us that Dr Kelly was not taken to a safe
house in Southend. He was interviewed twice at the Ministry by his
line manager and the head of personnel, but they say they did not
subject Dr Kelly to particular stress.
A different explanation for Dr Kelly’s death comes from Barrister
Michael Shrimpton. He has made his own investigation at
Harrowdown Hill.
Michael Shrimpton:
Harrowdown Hill, I've visited the murder site, it's ideal.
I'm known as a national security lawyer and it's known that I have links with
the intelligence communities in the United Kingdom and in-throughout the
western world.
I was contacted within about twenty four hours by somebody working with
David Kelly in the intelligence community and he said he'd been murdered
and I wasn't particularly surprised at that and given the source I had no
doubts whatsoever that he'd been murdered from that time.
Michael Shrimpton believes he has found clues on Harrowdown Hill
that others have missed.
Michael Shrimpton:
You could a hide a platoon or a company of men over the brow of that hill
and you wouldn’t know if they kept quiet until you were right on top of them.
As a place for an ambush it’s just frankly ideal. He was clearly assassinated
to keep him quiet there was no other motive.
Michael Shrimpton believes that the co-proxamol pain-killers found
near the body were simply a cover used by assassins
Michael Shrimpton:
The plan is to leave coproxamol by the side of the body. So they’re trying to
get co-proxamol into the stomach and they’re trying to shove co-proxamol
down into poor David Kelly he dies on them too quickly. As they’re shoving
the tablet down him, probably the first tablet, there’s vomit, and that’s the
end then he dies. And that’s the end of tablets.
Michael Shrimpton also believes that the cut wrist was really to hide
the injection marks created by a different method of death, an
injection of a fatal substance
Michael Shrimpton:
Succynol choline is still very much the favoured means of killing him
because it is so easily disguised. The wrist slash is clearly in my view
designed not just to create the impression of suicide but it’s a perfect
means of disguising the puncture wounds.
Michael Shrimpton says he knows that Dr Kelly was assassinated
because of his extensive intelligence contacts.
Michael Shrimpton:
That is the red phone if that phone goes it could be anyone from the White
House to President’s administration in Russia to the CIA to whoever. It’s not
usual for me to pick up the phone and have Henry Kissinger on the other
end but that has happened. He actually has that number but he doesn’t
have that number. That gives me a direct line through to Vice President
Dick Cheney’s Office.
Michael Shrimpton is also a fan of espionage fiction from Frederick
Forsyth to Tom Clancy
Michael Shrimpton:
He’s one of my favourite authors
One of Tom Clancy’s books, The Teeth of the Tiger concerns an “off
the books” team of US Government assassins who avoid detection by
killing their victims with succynol choline
Michael Shrimpton:
Now yes there is a reference to Succynol Choline in this book and I think
that follows the assassination of David Kelly. Tom Clancy has very good
contacts in the intelligence community.
It may be that Tom Clancy picked up a loopback from the Kelly
assassination. But if the suggestion is that I got succynol choline from a
Tom Clancy novel then sorry that won’t wash.
Norman Baker’s investigation has led to him meeting a secret contact
who has heard a sinister version of what happened to Dr Kelly.
Norman Baker MP:
He had been told by - a, a friend who was senior in the security services
that this was a quote - wet disposal and what is wet disposal I asked him,
wet disposal means that it was a hurried job and he was killed in a hurried
way, that's apparently what wet disposal means
But will Norman Baker’s interest in the security services mean that
they take an interest in him?
Norman Baker MP:
There have been a number of odd instances.
I've had e-mail traffic clearly interfered with and messages half erased.
One of those was from a former member of MI6, who also had his post
interfered with.
Norman Baker MP:
"Dear Mr Baker I'm not sure what is going on here. I wrote a full message to
you. I confirm that I did receive your letter about four weeks after you posted
it and it had been blatantly opened in the UK and forwarded in a Royal Mail
forwarding envelope. The security services are usually more subtle when
they intercept mail".
When Norman Baker and Rowena Thursby meet they avoid talking
anywhere they might be monitored.
Rownena Thursby:
Well, I, I tend to assume that I'm being, being bugged. I, I mean I don't
know. But I imagine, the arms of government GCHQ they would probably
need to keep an eye on um, who was doing what in connection with this
case. They're bound to want to know what this group is about. And where
we're taking it and whether it can be a further threat to the government.
Norman Baker has come to Radio Oxford to publicise his personal
inquiry into David Kelly’s death and has to confront the label of
conspiracy theorist.
BBC Radio Oxford:
I’ve been talking to Norman Baker MP .Well the Hutton Inquiry found that Dr
Kelly had committed suicide. But some have their doubts and conspiracy
theories abound. So where to we go from here? Are you claiming that there
are major dark forces and spooks operating out there?

Norman Baker MP:
Well I’m not using the phrase dark forces, I’m not using the word spooks nor
am I by the way using the phrase conspiracy theory which is a very lazy
way or journalists in national newspapers to dismiss anyone who questions
the official version of events. A conspiracy is two or more people coming
together for a common purpose no more no less. You might argue that
George Bush and Tony Blair had a conspiracy to invade Iraq.

BBC Radio Oxford:
And what’s your best suggestion of an alternative explanation.

Norman Baker MP:
I’ve had leads to do with individuals who were connected with David Kelly
and who had particular reasons to wish him not to be there.

BBC Radio Oxford:
Basil in Northmoor rang in on that one he says it seems a bit like the death
of Princess Diana and it’ll never be solved and it makes him think there
could indeed be major dark forces at work. Well if you want to get through to
the programme it’s your time of day to get things off your chest.
Dr Kelly’s friend Alastair Hay believes that it’s because of a lack of
confidence in the Hutton Inquiry that questions are still raised about
the death of his friend.
Alastair Hay, Professor of Toxicology Leeds University:
It's correct that these uncertainties are raised about things. And I think that
this is a message for coroners in general. And it's a message for anybody
who conducts an investigation like this. That you need to inquire you need
to have some precision in terms of the information that is provided to the
court. Because there are these uncertainties and unless these
uncertainties are dealt with at the time then all sorts of speculation will
occur. And it's perfectly reasonable for that speculation to occur
Professor Peter Tyrer is a clinical psychiatrist and the editor of the
British Journal of Psychiatry. He sees conspiracy theories as an
inevitable consequence of political news management and spin
Prof Peter Tyrer, Professor of Psychiatry Imperial College London:
We've recently published a paper in the British Journal of Psychiatry that
shows that the ordinary population doesn't trust the Government and
institutions when they provide information erm a majority feel they are right
to mistrust that at least in the first instance. I think this is really a
consequence of the Governments excessive reliance on spin
It’s difficult to be conclusive about the conspiracy theories which have
grown up about Dr Kelly’s death.
Thames Valley Police have never commented publicly on the theories.
They say they “found no evidence of any third party involvement in Dr
Kelly’s death.”
And forensic evidence to the Hutton Inquiry showed no force or
violence inflicted by another person.
We spoke to a former deputy chief of defence intelligence. John
Morrison has worked with MI5 and MI6. We asked him about Richard
Spertzel’s theory.
Richard Spertzel, UN Weapons Inspector in Iraq 1994-1998:
I think David was probably a victim of the Iraqi intelligence service
John Morrisson, Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence 1995 - 1999:
Let's use a little bit of common sense here. If Iraqi intelligence had wanted
to get rid of David Kelly, where would they have done it? Iraq or the UK.
He could have had an accident at any time in Iraq. Very hard to prove it
wasn't an accident. Would they really track him down?
Others have suggested that Dr Kelly might have been the victim of
assassins much closer to home. Are there British agents licensed to
John Morrisson, Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence 1995 - 1999:
It is indeed complete fantasy that there are agents that are licensed to kill.
There are intelligence agencies around the world who do engage in
assassinations, there's no doubt about that. Some of them not very nice
people at all. But we have never had a policy of assassination to my
knowledge in the history of the UK intelligence agencies. And certainly not
in the last few decades.
John Morrison also rejects the use of the term wet disposal
John Morrison, Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence 1995 - 1999:
Right. I, I've seen the words wet disposal used in fiction to cover
assassinations. I've never heard them in my entire professional career
except perhaps as a joke.
John Morrison, Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence 1995 - 1999:
I can't conceive of anybody or organisation having any motive whatsoever,
to kill Dr. Kelly. In a crime such as this you need, traditionally, motive,
method, and opportunity. Since there's no motive, this is the rock on which
all conspiracy theories founder.
Some doctors have raised important medical questions about Dr
Kelly’s death that remain unanswered. The Coroner, The Pathologist
and the toxicologist to the Hutton Inquiry declined our invitation to
speak to this programme. So what do other forensic experts make of
those doubts?
Dr Allen Anscombe is the President of the British Association in
Forensic Medicine. A forensic pathologist with over 20 years
experience, who has performed several thousand autopsies. We put
to him the point made by vascular surgeon John Scurr
Dr Allen Anscombe, President British Association in Forensic Medicine:
I don’t believe that simply cutting an ulnar artery will cause death
Dr Allen Anscombe, President British Association in Forensic Medicine:
Forensic pathologists are biased in terms of seeing what people actually
die from, clinicians by and large, the vast majority of their patients don't die.
So again, we approach things from a different way and actually see what
people really die from. You might argue we don't see what people survive.
So I'm quite happy to accept that often severed small to medium sized
arteries such as ulnar artery are not fatal, but severings of such an artery
can and is occasionally fatal. And if you combine that with somebody who
is deceased then you tend to put two and two together
The Paramedics say they didn’t see much blood at the scene. Is there
any way to establish if Dr Kelly had lost enough blood to
have died from haemorrhaging?
Dr Allen Anscombe, President British Association in Forensic Medicine:
The actual volume of blood given that the person is deceased...um...is
likely to be fatal, whatever that volume happens to be. There is not a simple
volume which is always fatal and a simple volume which is not. It depends
on the rate of bleeding, it depends on your physical condition whilst...before
you're bleeding and whilst you're bleeding, depends on a number of factors
It’s also suggested that up to five pints of blood need to be lost in
order to cause death, and the pathologist who conducted the post–
mortem on Dr Kelly in Oxford should have measured the amount of
blood lost or the amount remaining.
Dr Allen Anscombe, President British Association in Forensic Medicine:
There's no simple test to measure the remaining amount of blood in the
circulation in, in a dead body. It would be nice if it was possible but
unfortunately it's not
Sceptics suggest that co-proxamol couldn’t have been a factor in Dr
Kelly’s death because the toxicologist to the Hutton inquiry said that
the concentrations of co-proxamol found in Dr Kelly were less than is
usually fatal.
Rowena Thursby:
There was a third of what’s usually a fatal amount in his blood
Professor Alastair Hay believes the evidence of toxicologist at the
Hutton Inquiry wasn’t as detailed as it could have been.
Alastair Hay, Professor of Toxicology Leeds Universityy:
I think it would have helped if he had said that if you look at deaths
involving coproxamol that there is a range of concentrations that you will
find in people. Ranging from about a quarter of the value that was found in
David to in the case of the one drug propoxyphene, almost forty times as
much as as in David. And so you've got that range and David would sit in
that range but all be it at the lower end. But it would still give you a
measure of reassurance that this sort of level is what you would find in
people who have committed suicide.
Professor Robert Forrest is Britain’s leading Forensic toxicologist and
the president of the Forensic Science Society. He points out that Co-
proxamol has been used in many suicides.
Prof Robert Forrest, President The Forensic Science Society:
At one stage it was accounting for about ten percent of the cases of fatal
overdose that we saw. The numbers have dropped off dramatically in the
last few years and this is because it has been decided that it will no longer
be a licensed preparation available on prescription.
The Hutton Inquiry’s toxicologist said that the concentrations of co-
proxamol found in Dr Kelly’s blood were lower than the levels that are
usually fatal
Prof Robert Forrest, President The Forensic Science Society:
The concentrations in Dr Kelly's blood are on the low side. We normally
see higher concentrations than that in a person who has died of an
overdose of Co-Proxamol. But if you've got heart disease - and if there is
something else going on like blood loss, then all three of those are going to
act together.
The overdose of Co-Proxamol, the heart disease and the blood loss
I've got no doubt that the - cause of Dr Kelly's death was a combination of
blood loss, heart disease and overdose of Co-Proxamol. Not necessarily in
that order. If I was going to put it in order I'd put the overdose of Co-
Proxamol first. But it's important that all of them had interacted to lead to the
The key to whether David Kelly was really suicidal was his state of
mind. The Hutton Inquiry heard that David Kelly told a colleague he
felt “thrown” when the committee asked him about another BBC
reporter, Susan Watts.
Richard Ottaway, Foreign Affairs Committee 2003:
You have confirmed that you have spoken to Susan Watts. Can I take you
through the quote again "The 45 minute point was a statement that was
made and it got out of all proportion…..
David Kelly had told the MoD that he’d met Susan Watts but hadn’t
spoken to her about the 45 minute claim. He was told that if new
evidence came to light which called into question his account, he
might face disciplinary action. The committee twice read out what a
source had told her.
Richard Ottaway, Foreign Affairs Committee2003:
Now there are many people who think that you are the source of that quote.
What’s your reaction to that suggestion? I find it very difficult it doesn’t
sound like my form of words, it doesn’t sound like a quote from me. You
deny that those are your words. Do you deny you were the source of that?
David Kelly was the source and must have realised if there was a
transcript there might well be a tape, and if there was a tape, that
would prove he was the source and he would be exposed as
Prof Peter Tyrer, Professor of Psychiatry Imperial College London:
He was a man who was a stickler for accuracy and it this comes over time
and time again and he was also very concerned about being honest and I
think he was concerned that this extra information which was tape recorded
presumably without his knowledge might have implied that he was a liar
and not to be trusted that must have been incredibly damaging for
someone of his personality structure
When Dr Kelly’s friend Alastair Hay saw him face tough questioning
alone in front of the Foreign Affairs Committee, he was very
Andrew Mackinlay MP: You’re under an obligation to reply
Alastair Hay, Professor of Toxicology Leeds University:
I'd never seen David in a situation where he didn't seem in control and I
watched his face - I don't know there was just a look about it that worried me
and his hands I was watching his hands too and the way he was holding
them and clasping them. This was a very different David that I was seeing
and so, um, that made me worried really. You just have to imagine how you
would feel under those circumstances where everything that you had done
your whole career which you are immensely proud of, and absolutely
justifiably because it was a fan- an enormously brilliant record that he had,
to think that this might all be in peril.
The Government’s treatment of Dr Kelly has angered John Morrison.
John Morrison, Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence 1995 - 1999:
Well, speaking personally, I think Dr. Kelly was treated abominably by
number ten and my old ministry, the ministry of defence. I think they owed
him a duty of care, they could have protected him. They did not only not
protect him, they hung him out to dry. And I think that was despicable.
On his last morning alive, Dr Kelly sent e-mails to friends saying he’d
soon be back in Baghdad. Is that really the action of someone
considering suicide? Professor Peter Tyrer has studied Dr Kelly’s
Prof Peter Tyrer, Professor of Psychiatry Imperial College London:
It looked as though the ones on the morning of the 17th were rather
stereotyped whereas the earlier emails that he sent in July were much more
informative and erm more sort of warmth coming through them and I think
that there was a certain detachment of those emails on the morning of the
17th of July which made me think that he'd already decided that he was
going to take his own life when he was writing those
As well as sending e-mails David Kelly was receiving them. One was
about an MP who had asked a parliamentary question about what
disciplinary action the MoD was going to take against him.
He took a knife he’d had since childhood on his last walk towards
Harrowdown Hill
Prof Peter Tyrer, Professor of Psychiatry Imperial College London:
He was a person who liked to be in control and it was clear from the last few
days of his life that he felt he was losing control. The uncertainty for
someone who is highly meticulous the uncertainty of what might happen it’s
almost worse than the certainty of something terrible happening. He didn’t
actually know how it was going to pan out and I think that must have been
extremely alarming for him. So I think it’s that combination that really led to
the suicide.
“He had a broken heart. He had shrunk into himself”. Mrs Kelly told
the Hutton Inquiry. She hasn’t spoken to this programme but she told
Rowena Thursby she has no doubts that her husband took his own
Rowena Thursby:
I spoke to Mrs Kelly on the phone. And, and she felt that her husband had in
fact, committed suicide. But that, that was her strong belief. But you know,
people can believe things very strongly but it doesn't mean to say that
they're actually true.
So I feel that we have to pursue we have to find out what happened to David
Norman Baker is also determined to continue and will not be deterred
when he is labelled a conspiracy theorist.
Norman Baker MP:
I fully expected to be attacked in a careless and undefined way, which is
what that is. But I think in politics if politics is to mean anything at all you
have to do what you think is right. If you’re going to go through politics
upsetting nobody achieving nothing playing safe and getting your MBE at
the end or your seat in the house of lords what is the point of being in
politics you’ve got to take some difficult decisions you’ve got to do what you
think is right.
David Kelly’s friends want him to be remembered for the enormous
contribution he made with his career.
Alastair Hay, Professor of Toxicology Leeds University:
I would hope conspiracy theories don't get in the way of us remembering
David. For me he was an outstanding scientist, he was somebody at the
peak of his profession. I don't know of a biological warfare expert in the
world who was better than David. So he's made the world a much safer
place because he's told us what countries can do if they set their minds to it
and what you need to do to protect yourself. So for me he was a good
friend, he was an absolute professional, ah, and he was someone that we
owe a great debt to, and that's how he should be remembered

505 vues 5 ans
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