Revealed: How a Blair fixer picked the judge for the David Kelly Inquiry just three hours after the weapons inspector's suicide
- Letter from Lord Hutton shows he was asked three hours after the death
- He had not been identified and no cause of death had been established
- Hutton was contacted by Blair's friend and former flatmate Lord falconer
- Is evidence of the extraordinary haste with which the Blair Government set up an inquiry to replace the usual coroner’s inquest
Lord Hutton was contacted just three hours after the death of the weapons inspector
A letter written by Lord Hutton, who chaired the public inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death, shows he was asked to do the job just three hours after the Iraq weapons expert was found dead.
At that point he had not been identified and no cause of death had been established.
Hutton was contacted by Lord Falconer, Tony Blair’s former flatmate who was Lord Chancellor and played a key role in the events leading up to the Iraq War, and the handling of Dr Kelly’s death.
The letter has come to light as campaigners prepare to mount a silent vigil in London on Thursday to mark the tenth anniversary of Dr Kelly’s death.
It is the latest – and most striking – evidence of the extraordinary haste with which the Blair Government set up an inquiry to replace the usual coroner’s inquest.
Dr Kelly’s body was found on the morning of July 18, 2003, in woods close to his Oxfordshire home, shortly after he was exposed as the source of a BBC news report questioning the grounds for war in Iraq.
Critics have never been satisfied with the conclusions of the Hutton Inquiry, which decided that Dr Kelly, 59, who worked for the Ministry of Defence, died from loss of blood after cutting his wrist with a blunt gardening knife.
Dr David Kelly during questioning by the Commons select comittee, in London. Dr Kelly, who worked for the Ministry of Defence, died from loss of blood after cutting his wrist with a blunt gardening knife
A decade after Dr Kelly was found dead, Mr Blair remains acutely sensitive to the accusation that he has ‘blood on his hands’ over the death.
Lord Hutton’s letter to Lib Dem MP Norman Baker states: ‘On July 18, 2003, I was telephoned to my room in the House of Lords . . . I do not remember the precise time but my recollection is that it was about noon . . . I think the Lord Chancellor [Falconer] spoke to me and asked me to come to see him in his room in the Lords [where] he asked me to conduct an inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly and I agreed to do so.’
According to police records, the 999 call to report the discovery of a body had been made barely three hours earlier, at 9.20am.
The letter that has been newly revealed shows that Hutton was asked just hours after Dr Kelly's death
They spoke between 12.10pm and 12.13pm and again between 12.20pm and 12.25pm – the time when, according to Hutton’s letter, he was being appointed by Falconer. Although the details of the conversations have not been disclosed, the timing suggests Falconer may have consulted Blair on his choice of Hutton to lead the inquiry.
Having secured Hutton, Falconer used an obscure law to replace a coroner’s inquest with the non-statutory public inquiry.
Police records show that by midday on July 18, the only medical professionals who had viewed Dr Kelly’s body on Harrowdown Hill were experienced ambulance crew members Vanessa Hunt and Dave Bartlett.
Hutton was contacted by Lord Falconer (left), Tony Blair's (right) former flatmate who was Lord Chancellor and played a key role in the handling of Dr Kelly's death
Many senior medical professionals have also argued that Dr Kelly could not have bled to death by severing the tiny artery he apparently cut with his blunt knife.
Lord Falconer was also involved in the decision to overrule warnings that the war could be illegal.
The organiser of Thursday’s protest, retired NHS worker Margaret Hindle, said: ‘I’m motivated by civic duty and respect for the law.
I’ve long felt there was something suspicious about Dr Kelly’s death and the fact there hasn’t ever been a full inquest. I want to help secure one. Anyone is welcome to join us from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday.’
Neither Lord Falconer nor Lord Hutton was available for comment.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362659/Revealed-How-Blair-fixer-picked-judge-David-Kelly-Inquiry-just-hours-weapons-inspectors-suicide.html#ixzz2ZQEltwfA
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