The British government is facing a legal challenge over its decision not to allow a new inquest into the death of UN weapons expert David Kelly in 2003.
A group of doctors have questioned the official version of events that Kelly committed suicide, and accuse the authorities of a major cover-up.
Following his unmasking as the source of a report saying Tony Blair’s government knew Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction before Britain invaded the country, Kelly was found dead in woods near his home.
A verdict of suicide was recorded despite what many see as conflicting evidence. No one has ever answered questions under oath about Kelly’s death, and all medical and scientific reports relating to it have been classified secret – something which has never been legally explained. But the issue has not gone away, and this week Dr. David Halpin is demanding that the question of holding an inquest be reopened.
He is challenging a decision by Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who ruled out holding a coroner’s inquest in June, citing what he called overwhelming evidence that the UN weapons inspector had committed a suicide.
But David Halpin and a group of other doctors are distinctly underwhelmed by the evidence. Kelly is supposed to have overdosed on painkillers and slashed his own wrist, but irregularities found by the doctors include the absence of fingerprints on either the knife or package of pills.
“[The] main cause of death, the first cause of death was bleeding from this one artery on the wrist, cut across,” he told RT. “Vessels like that do not cause fatal hemorrhage, and another surgeon joined this who felt the same. The police, they withheld at least eight items of evidence.”
David Halpin points out that the speed of authorities’ further actions proves his point.
“Lord Falconer, who was the Lord Chancellor [and Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs], he ordered Lord Hutton, requested Lord Hutton to chair an inquiry on the July 18. So while Dr. Kelly’s body had yet to cool completely, that man ordered an inquiry,” he said. “Can you understand me? The alacrity, the speed of it was extraordinary. And that’s another reason. And of course what they wanted to do was to contain the inquiry and make sure that the answers were as they wanted.”
The campaign has popular support. Readers of the Daily Mail newspaper have donated around US$56,000 in just a week to help finance the appeal. Halpin and his fellow campaigners hope this will lead to a full inquest into Kelly’s death. Many suspect foul play and a subsequent governmental cover-up.
For Dr David Kelly's Inquest Fund website click here.