MP casts doubt on Kelly suicide
Agence France-Presse | July 24, 2006
LONDON: An opposition MP has alleged that a government scientist who cast doubt on intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction may not have taken his own life.
A judicial inquiry into the death of David Kelly in July 2003 concluded that the former United Nations weapons inspector and expert on Saddam Hussein's weapons programs committed suicide.
He did so after he was named as the source of a BBC news report suggesting the Blair Government "sexed up" intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.
"Today, I challenge that conclusion," wrote Norman Baker, from the opposition Liberal Democrats, in The Mail on Sunday.
"I do so on the basis the medical evidence available simply cannot sustain it, that Dr Kelly's own behaviour and character argues against it and that there were serious shortcomings in the way the legal and investigative processes set up to consider his death were followed."
Points raised by Mr Baker, whose centre-left party opposed the Iraq war, included the fact that Dr Kelly supposedly cut his ulnary artery in his wrist, a more difficult and painful option than the radial artery. In 2003, Mr Baker said, Dr Kelly was the only person recorded to have taken his or her own life in this fashion. Mr Baker said paramedics who attended the scene where Dr Kelly's body was found in Oxfordshire said he was "incredibly unlikely" to have died from the wound they saw.
Police said 29 tablets of a painkiller were missing from a packet in his home, but all that was found in Dr Kelly's stomach was the equivalent of one-fifth of a tablet, Mr Baker said.
Despite the stress he was under in the days leading to his death, Mr Baker said contacts with friends and relatives showed no sign that Dr Kelly had suicidal thoughts.
Mr Baker said the pathologist assigned to the case was one of the least experienced in the country, and that Lord Brian Hutton, who conducted the judicial inquiry, had never conducted one before.
"Many people find it hard to accept that Dr Kelly's death was suicide", Mr Baker wrote, adding that "this episode is not going to go away".
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