Alarming new questions about the death of Iraq weapons inspector David Kelly have been raised as a major investigation cast doubt on the official verdict that he committed suicide.
The inquiry by campaigning MP Norman Baker will spark renewed speculation about how the Government’s leading expert on weapons of mass destruction was found dead in a field in Oxfordshire three years ago.
In particular, the dossier compiled by the Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes shows that the method of suicide said to have been chosen by Dr Kelly, far from being common as was claimed at the time, was in fact unique.
Dr Kelly was the only person in the United Kingdom that year deemed to have died from severing the ulnar artery in his wrist, a particularly difficult and painful process as the artery is deep and Dr Kelly had only a blunt garden knife.
The MP reveals that the Oxfordshire coroner held an ‘unusual’ meeting with Home Office officials before he determined the cause of Dr Kelly’s death.
And he claims that a ‘cosy cabal’ of Mr Blair’s friends, including Peter Mandelson and Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, hand-picked Lord Hutton, a retired Law Lord from Northern Ireland, to lead the official investigation in 2003.
Writing exclusively in The Mail on Sunday, Mr Baker insists it is time to question the findings of the Hutton report. He says: “I challenge the conclusion on the basis that the medical evidence cannot support it, that Dr Kelly’s own behaviour and character argues strongly against it and that there were grave shortcomings in the legal and investigative processes set up to consider his death.”
Dr Kelly’s body was found shortly after he was named as the source for a BBC report which claimed Downing Street ‘sexed up’ the official dossier on Saddam Hussein’s chemical and biological arsenal.
The six-month inquiry that followed concluded that the pressure of being exposed prompted the scientist to take his own life through a combination of an overdose of painkillers and slashing his wrist.