Married with 3 adult daughters. Bacteriologist by training. Acting head of Porton Down UK 10 years – UK's germ and chemical warfare defence research centre. Member of UNSCOM – visiting Iraq 36 times between 1991 and 1998 when the team was evacuated before the bombing in Operation Desert Fox. Top security clearance with US and UK SIS.
May 29 2003 BBC radio broadcast – Gilligan spoke of a source indicating that the 'dossier' used by Blair as a pretext for bombardment and invasion of Iraq had been enhanced.
Many citizens already knew that. The 'government' made sure that Kelly's name was identified – against all protocol for an employee of the security services (FCO and MoD). There were probably two other sources. There remains doubt as to whether Kelly was a source but there was great anger in Whitehall.
He appeared before the FAC – Foreign Affairs Committee 15 July. This was much publicized. It was concluded it was 'unlikely he was NOT the prime source'. The next day he came before the Intelligence and Security Committee – in camera. He was said to be composed. Its opinion is not on record but the transcript of the examination is on Hutton.
On the morning of 17 July he worked in his home at Southmoor near Oxford on accumulated e-mails. There were many expressions of sympathy from good friends. In one he referred to looking forward to returning to Iraq 8 days later. His flight had been booked. The Iraq Survey Group was looking for evidence of 'WMDs' under Mr David Kay. (Dr DK had been to Iraq twice since March 21 2003 – important stories attach to each). That Thursday evening he was to go for a walk with daughter Rachel to see a newborn foal.
His wife described him as being exhausted and shrunken within himself. She suffers from arthritis and went up stairs to rest on the bed. She heard him leave for a walk at about 3 pm after he had taken a telephone call. The caller's identity has not been identified. There probably was a lay search party later that day, but no member was called to the inquiry. The family informed the police at 22.45 hours that he was missing.
The police used a heat seeking helicopter to search around the house during the night but concealed exact details. A search started about 07.30 hrs with lay searchers included. A Ms Louise Holmes found a body in a wood at c. 09.00 hrs with the help of her dog. She came to within a few feet. At the Hutton Inquiry, she described 'a body slumped against the bottom of a tree' and 'he was at the base of the tree with almost his head and his shoulders just slumped back against the tree.' Her written statement corroborated this. Her male companion Chapman who got to 15-20 metres from the corpse said 'He was sitting with his back up against a tree and there was an obvious injury to his left arm.' His written statement contradicted his verbal evidence. Detective Constable Coe was the first policeman to reach the corpse, allegedly, and described - 'it was laying on its back by a large tree, the head towards the trunk of the tree.' There was a knife (image enclosed of type), wrist watch and plastic bottle of water by the corpse, and three foil packets of Co-proxamol – 29 absent, one present in a pocket of his Barbour jacket. Coe denied there was a second man with him but confessed in a newspaper article in August 2010 that there was a second man who remains unidentified to this day.
Lord Hutton, a senior judge but with no coronial experience was engaged by Lord Falconer – Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs to conduct an ad hoc inquiry on the day the corpse was found. That is no oath, no cross examination and no sub poena. Later Falconer (a pupil master to Blair) invoked Section 17A of the 1988 Coroner's Act. This had been applied 5 times previously but only to mass deaths as train crashes for which it was designed!
The inquest was opened 21 July under Mr Nicholas Gardiner, Coroner for Oxfordshire. It was re-opened 14 August, when an incomplete death certificate was issued, and it was adjourned, as directed by Falconer.
Hutton Inquiry (HI) opened 1 August 2003. Half a day for the forensic evidence, 21 days for the political/media related evidence. Closed 13 October 2003. Report published 22 January 2004. Doctors' group, of which I am one, urged the coroner to re-open the inquest. Our pleas went unanswered because we were not considered 'interested persons' by him.
Inquest re-opened 16 March 2004 for 16 minutes. S 17A required him to find an 'exceptional reason' in order to re-open the inquest. He did not find so. The inquest remains adjourned.
Our colleague Dr Michael Powers QC speaks of an 'insufficiency of evidence'. It is much worse than that. As a deputy coroner and expert in coronial law, he says 'suicide was not proved beyond reasonable doubt, nor the intent to commit it.' Many crucial pieces of evidence were held back. Records that were not revealed at the HI were closed ie locked up for 70 years in 2004 in secret.
There are many key forensic facts which were not brought to or dealt with by the HI. That the body was moved was one.
Millions of people in the UK believe the examination of the death was incomplete and that there was a cover-up. I failed 19 December 2011 in the High Court to obtain permission to achieve a judicial review of the Attorney General's refusal to facilitate a new inquest. We had submitted a 36 page Memorandum and an Addendum of 16 pages, the latter at his request. The AG relies a good deal on a report from Dr Richard Shepherd, a senior forensic pathologist, in his defence of Dr Hunt. Shepherd's evidence is risible and there is a central untruth. This will be taken to the GMC as well.