Saturday, 5 December 2009

Dr David Kelly might get a proper inquest

Some really good news to note: six doctors (including trauma surgeon David Halpin who lives in Devon) have launched a legal action to get the inquest into the death of government scientist Dr David Kelly reopened. The inquest had in fact started soon after this tragic death but the due process was hijacked when Lord Hutton was given the responsibility of deciding how Kelly's demise came about. Hutton had no power to subpoena witnesses, didn't take evidence under oath, didn't have a jury to reach a verdict and is not a coroner. Blair's government decided that the procedure used when many deaths occur in an incident such as a bad train accident could be invoked here. That way of doing things is fair enough when you have multiple fatalities and it becomes somewhat pointless to have individual inquests for each person that died and an enquiry determines the root cause of the accident or whatever. The case of David Kelly is so obviously different - I won't mince my words here when I say that the decision to bypass the usual process of holding an inquest is one of the most disgraceful and unacceptable episodes in modern legal history.

I personally am convinced that Kelly was murdered. Now it may be that an inquest jury would not come up with a verdict of "murder by a person or persons unknown". They could well deliver an open verdict, even possibly suicide although I would doubt that if all the medical evidence is properly presented. What is certain is that Hutton didn't prove suicide "beyond reasonable doubt". We need a clear statement from the Tories now about whether they consider the inquest should be reopened. When Norman Baker's excellent book looking into the circumstances surrounding Kelly's death came out it was noticeable how the right wing bloggers ignored it. We must remember that the Tories in parliament were cheerleaders for Blair's participation in the Iraq war.

If you think the death was by Kelly's own hand I suggest that you read Rowena Thursby's blog here or pick up a copy of Mr Baker's book. Assuming that the subject is approached with an open mind I would be amazed if you didn't have any doubts about Hutton's conclusion re suicide.


PP said...

The authorities are very affective at driving people to suicide as this short video about the homophobic attitudes & practises of Devon & Cornwall Constabulary demonstrates.

The Gay VICTIM was a friend of mine!

willson said...

Interesting… I might try some of this on my blog, too. It’s quite interesting how you sometimes stop being innovative and just go for an accepted solution without actually trying to improve it… you make a couple of good points.

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