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The Hutton Report is a cover-up of the causes of David Kelly's Death:

Suicide or Murder? The Dr. David Kelly Affair

by Steve Moore

Global Outlook, Issue 6, Winter 2004
www.globalresearch.ca   January 2004

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MOO401A.html

Dr. David Kelly was found dead on July 18, 2003 just three days after testifying at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament regarding Tony Blair’s fabricated intelligence "spin" concerning Iraq’s nuclear capabilities. The Hutton Commission Report is a not only a Whitewash, which allows Tony Blair to demand apologies, it is a cover-up on the causes of David Kelly's death.

The Hutton Report concludes that

"In the light of the evidence which I have heard I am satisfied that Dr Kelly took his own life in the wood at Harrowdown Hill at a time between 4.15pm on 17 July and 1.15am on 18 July 2003... I am satisfied that no other person was involved in the death of Dr Kelly for the following reasons:

(1) A very careful and lengthy examination of the area where his body was found by police officers and by a forensic biologist found no traces whatever of a struggle or of any involvement by a third party or third parties and a very careful and detailed post mortem examination by Dr Hunt, together with the examination of specimens from the body by a forensic toxicologist, Dr Allan, found no traces or indications whatever of violence or force inflicted on Dr Kelly by a third party or third parties either at the place where his body was found or elsewhere.

(2) The wounds to his wrist were inflicted by a knife which came from Dr Kelly's desk in his study in his home, and which had belonged to him from boyhood.

(3) It is highly unlikely that a third party or third parties could have forced Dr Kelly to swallow a large number of Coproxamol tablets.

These conclusions are strongly supported by the evidence of Professor Hawton, Dr Hunt and Assistant Chief Constable Page.

158.  I am further satisfied from the evidence of Professor Hawton that Dr Kelly was not suffering from any significant mental illness at the time he took his own life."

According to David Broucher, Britain’s Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, in testimony to the Hutton Inquiry, in late February, 2003, he had asked Kelly "What do you think will happen if Iraq is invaded?" Kelly answered, "I will probably be found dead in the woods."13 In this statement, Kelly implied, according to Broucher, that his death would be by some one else’s hands, not his own.

The article below was published in Global Outlook,  No 6, Winter 2004. Steve Moore's concludes his detailed article, suggesting that that "governments and their security agencies have the technology to induce suicide or severe behavior modifications in selected victims. He also suggests that Kelly’s death was designed to intimidate all those who work for defense intelligence agencies in the US and the UK.

Global Research Editor, 30 January 2004


Before Parliament, Kelly denied almost all his previous WMD comments to the BBC. Why did Dr. Kelly criticize and then, under pressure, totally accept Blair’s September 2003 pro-war-‘45 minutes’ spin on Iraqi’s so called weapons of mass destruction? More importantly: why and how did Dr. David Kelly die?

Kelly had expressed his earlier (more limited) assessments to three BBC reporters and raised specific criticisms of the ‘spin doctors’ (especially Alastair Campbell) at the Prime Minister’s office who were insisting Iraq was a ‘clear and present’ danger. Kelly expressed the view that there was only a 30% chance that Iraq had any weapons of mass destruction and certainly none that posed an immediate threat to the UK or Iraq’s neighbours. And certainly none that could be launched in 45 minutes.

What Dr. Kelly Told The BBC

It was almost a month after the end of the war, on May 29, 2003, that Andrew Gilligan made the following report on BBC’s Radio 4’s Today program:

"What we’ve been told by one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up that dossier [Blair’s September 2002 speech justifying war on Iraq] was that, actually, the government probably knew that the 45 minute figure was wrong, even before it decided to put it in. What this person [their secret source – Dr. Kelly] says is that, a week before the publication date of the dossier, it was actually rather a bland production . . . Downing Street, our source says, ordered (before publication) for it to be ‘sexed up’, to be made more exciting, and ordered more facts to be discovered ... and essentially, the 45 minute point was probably the most important thing that was added ..."1

Then, on June 2 and June 4, 2003 Newsnight BBC, Susan Watts quoted from the same source (later revealed to be Dr. Kelly) as follows:

"The 45 minute point was a statement that was made and it got out of all proportion. They were desperate for information; they were pushing hard for information which could be released. That was one that popped up and it was seized on and it’s unfortunate that it was. That’s why there is the argument between the intelligence services and the Cabinet Office/Number 10 because they picked up on it and once they’ve picked up on it, you can’t pull it back from them."2

Blair’s WMD Story Is Challenged

Hence, the Blair September 2002 justification for war was contradicted by many in his own intelligence services, including David Kelly. Even Blair’s Chief of Staff Jonathan Powell wrote to Blair on September 17, 2002, just a week before Blair’s Speech, saying "We need to make it clear in launching the document that we do not claim we have evidence that (Saddam) is an imminent threat." Yet, on September 24, 2002, Blair told the British Public "(Saddam) has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes."3 To top it off, the Guardian newspaper also learned that Blair’s ‘45 minute claim’ was based on hearsay information. The revelation that the claim is second hand appears in an internal foreign office document released by the (Hutton) inquiry."4

Kelly’s Public Interrogation and Confession

Under tremendous pressure from the British government, Dr. David Kelly was essentially instructed to "shut up". He completely reversed his previous statements to the BBC when he testified before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament on Tuesday, July 15, 2003.

Kelly could no longer remember naming Alastair Campbell (or the Number 10 press office) as the source of the 45 minute spin (even though he had named Campbell and the Number 10 press office to BBC’s Andrew Gilligan and to Susan Watts on audio tape played before the Hutton Inquiry). Specifically Kelly was asked, "Do you believe that the document [Blair’s September, 2002 speech] was transformed…by Alastair Campbell?" Kelly answered "I do not believe that at all." Kelly was asked (in Question 101) by Andrew MacKinlay: "So you made no comments about the veracity [ie: honesty, accuracy, truth] of that document [Blair’s September speech] at all to Gilligan. You did not say it was exaggerated, embellished, probably over-egged?"

Dr. Kelly answered in a very low voice (hard to hear): "No I had no doubt that the veracity of it was absolute." (Note the perhaps tongue-in-cheek use of the word ‘absolute’. Certainly ‘absolute’ truth is not the common language used by scientists). Question 144 by Chairman Donald Anderson was: "What lessons have you learned from this episode?" Kelly responded, "Never to talk to a journalist again, I think." (Note: it was the proper response – in terms of insuring future corporate state control of ‘spin’ at all times) In question 131, Richard Ottaway asked if he said the words (‘45 minutes’) to Susan Watts (BBC) quoted earlier in this article. The question was "[Do] you deny that those are your words?" Kelly answered ‘Yes’. (Remember these words and others were on an audiotape taken by Susan Watts and given to the Hutton Inquiry) Question 141 Richard Ottaway again asked, "My final question is what sort of threat do you feel Iraq posed to the rest of the world in September, 2002?" Kelly answered, "I think I would quote the dossier, that it was a ‘serious and current threat.’" (Note Kelly’s reference to the dossier was as if quoting chapter and verse from scripture.)

Question 159 Sir John Stanley going for real blood asked, "Why did you go along with [this very Parliamentary Committee]. You were being exploited, were you not?" Dr. Kelly: "I would not say I was being exploited." Sir John Stanley did not let up in Question 160. He asked: "Why did you feel it was incumbent upon you to go along with the request that clearly had been made to you to be thrown to the wolves not only to the media, but also, to this committee?" Kelly responded, "I think that is a line of questioning you will have to ask the Ministry of Defense. I am sorry." (Note Kelly suggested the reasons why he agreed to appear were not his own but those of the Ministry of Defense, clearly indicating a strong degree of external control by the Ministry of Defense. ‘I am sorry’, was a simple comment perhaps saying I wish I could answer that question but I cannot right now.)

Question 161 Chairman Donald Anderson, wanting to make clear the witness had not been mistreated in any way asked, "Do you feel any concern at the way the Ministry of Defense responded after your volunteered your admission?" Dr. Kelly: "I accept what happened." Question 167 without mercy, Andrew Mackinlay asked: "Have you ever felt like a fall-guy? You have been set up, have you not?" Dr. Kelly: "That is not a question I can answer." Question 168 Andrew Mackinlay: "But you feel that?" Dr. Kelly, "No, not at all, I accept the process that is going on." Question 169 Chairman: "I’m sorry, you accept…[what]?" Dr. Kelly: "I accept the process that is happening." Question 174 Mr. Oliver: "Did you suggest to anyone at all that the intelligence and security services were unhappy about the September dossier?" Dr. Kelly: "Unhappy? I do not think they were unhappy. I think they had confidence in the information that was provided in that dossier."5

Yes, everyone was happy and confident that Saddam had lots of weapons of mass destruction that are ready to launch in 45 minutes. Yes, everyone was happy and convinced and confident of the wisdom of Tony Blair’s and Alastair Campbell’s September 2002 speech and the subsequent war. The Ministry of Defense, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell and now Dr. David Kelly all agreed, and yet, the problem remained simply because the truth remained, regardless of who lined up with whom.

NBC News reported on September 17, 2003, just two months after Kelly’s death that "After more than five months of searching, no weapons of mass destruction have been found by the [US] Iraq Survey Group, which consists of about 1,500 experts."6 The same NBC News report claimed, "Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix now believes Iraq destroyed it’s weapons of mass destruction and that intelligence agencies were wrong in their weapons assessments that led to war."7

So much for the ‘absolute’ veracity (honesty, accuracy, truth) of Blair’s September speech. And on Friday, August 30, 2003, Alastair Campbell, the man who was "heavily involved in producing the September dossier" and the man who "suggested leaking Dr. Kelly’s name to a journalist," resigned his job as Tony Blair’s Director of Communications.8 Would Alastair Campbell have resigned if David Kelly had not died and the British anti-war public had not demanded answers and the BBC was like the CNN? Not very likely.

Kelly’s Testimony Before Parliament Revisited

Kelly was only a year away from his pension and had a wife, Janice, and three daughters. Without a doubt, Kelly wanted to provide some security for his family. Kelly also wanted to avoid any police charges and court trials for any security breach. In his testimony before Parliament, Kelly stated, "I think it has been agreed by the Ministry of Defense there was no security breach involved in the interactions I had."9

It reports suggest that the Ministry of Defense ‘de-briefings’ were brutal. Kelly was ‘debriefed’ in a ‘safe house’, (a bungalow near Southend, Essex) for several days in complete isolation from his family and the world. According to the Guardian, "The Kelly family has complained about the biologist’s treatment at the hand of the Ministry of Defense."10 The widow of Dr. Kelly even called Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon to her home to lay out her complaint.

Alastair Campbell, Blair’s Communication Chief, told the Hutton inquiry that Hoon’s first response to Kelly’s actions was that it was "a serious disciplinary matter and had clearly caused the government difficulty and embarrassment."11 In other words, "serious disciplinary matters" were in the works and Kelly’s fears were no doubt increased by the day and night ‘de-briefings’. The latter apparently went so well for the government that on July 7, 2003, Prime Minister Blair was able to tell "the BBC Chairman that the scientist [Kelly] was likely to deny Gilligan’s story."12

Kelly’s State Of Mind

According to David Broucher, Britain’s Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, in testimony to the Hutton Inquiry, in late February, 2003, he had asked Kelly "What do you think will happen if Iraq is invaded?" Kelly answered, "I will probably be found dead in the woods."13 In this statement, Kelly implied, according to Broucher, that his death would be by some one else’s hands, not his own.

According to Janice Kelly, his wife, "I had never known him to be as unhappy as he was then . . . he had a broken heart. He had shrunk into himself, but I had no idea of what he might do later." According to Kelly’s 30 year-old-daughter her father was "very, very deeply traumatized." But interestingly, he was not in a typical passive depressed state. He was, as Janice testified, also ‘angry’ about his House of Commons Committee testimony being televised. According to Janice, "He went ballistic, he just did not like that idea at all."14 Kelly also felt ‘betrayed’ by his bosses for revealing his name to the media.

According to the Kelly family statement "Events over recent weeks made David’s life intolerable."15 More pointedly, the conservative Economist magazine asked "Whether…officials bullied him to the point of suicide."16 Or as Labour MP Glenda Jackson suggested, "We have seen a highly respected, innocent, devoted public servant being sacrificed as the result of a quite deliberate political strategy to afford a smoke screen [for Blair’s pro-war policy]".17 In Japan, a British journalist, during a news conference, asked Blair, "Have you got blood on your hands, Prime Minster? Are you going to resign over this?" The Prime Minister appeared stunned by the question and glared in response, said nothing and walked out of the press conference.18

Did UK Officials Bully Kelly Into Suicide?

The safe house intensive Defense Department de-briefings and the televised parliamentary hearings certainly had an effect on Kelly’s state of mind. Professor Keith Hawton, who teaches psychiatry at Oxford University, testified after Kelly’s death. He said Kelly felt "publicly disgraced ... his life’s work had been, not wasted, but totally undermined." When asked directly what factors led to Kelly’s death, Professor Hawton replied, "The major factor was the severe loss of self-esteem resulting from his feeling that people had lost trust in him, and his dismay at being exposed to the media."19

Governments and their security agencies have the technology to induce suicide or severe behavior modifications in selected victims. The overall plan, as Professor Hawton suggests, is to induce a loss of self-esteem by breaking all dependable relations of trust at the work place, in public life and at home in short, create conditions of isolation, even outside the isolation techniques of safe house de-briefings. Public exposure of the victim’s hidden secrets to the media is usually part of the plan.

Clearly, we don’t know what happened in the de-briefings or whether the televised hearings and the attacks on Kelly’s self esteem were intended to destroy only his reputation and character or his physical body as well. We do know that John Reid; the cabinet’s ‘leading bruiser’ referred to the Kelly leaks as the work of ‘rogue elements’ in the intelligence services.20

If Kelly did take his own life, then surely Blair, his cabinet and the spin doctors are clearly responsible for provoking his death by their attacks, their attempts to question his character, and their isolation de-briefing techniques.

Was it Suicide or Murder?

There and indications that Dr. David Kelly could have been murdered, possibly by agents of the British or American Government. There are several reasons for thinking this. The first and obvious reason is Kelly predicted it would happen in precisely the way it did.

Remember the famous Kelly statement quoted above: "I will probably be found dead in the woods" after Iraq is invaded. Kelly also refers to ‘dark actors’ playing games in an e-mail shortly before he died.21 Also Kelly, as his wife clearly said, was still capable of anger and rage at being ‘betrayed’ by the Ministry of Defense. Kelly was not the completely depressed, passive broken man some have painted him as. Scott Ritter, who worked with Kelly as part of the UN weapons inspections team in Iraq, has commented on Kelly’s strong character as many others have. Ritter said, "While a gentle man, he had a core of steel in him. I’ve seen him interact with Iraqi governmental officials; there is no give in this man."22

So how to account for the ‘give’ of a seemingly broken man appearing before the television cameras at the parliamentary hearings humbly supporting the Blair/Campbell September, 2002 media spin? First, it’s important to read between the lines. This was just a public show put on by Kelly to release him from the unknown threats made by the Ministry of Defense. Privately in session with MPs, shortly after the televised hearings, Kelly admitted he could have used the term ‘sexier’ with Andrew Gilligan of the BBC when describing the changes the 10 Downing spin doctors required in the Blair September 2002 speech. According to The Weekly Telegram, Kelly also told the MPs during the same "private hearing that he felt it was ‘unwise’ to include in the government’s September dossier the claim that Iraq’s weapons could be ready in 45 minutes."23 Kelly was still the critical thinker, still calling a spade a spade it seems.

And Kelly had precise future plans about which he was very excited. Tom Mangold, a TV journalist and close friend of Dr. Kelly, said that he "was passionately interested in what happens in Iraq."24 And as Richard Hatfield, the Ministry of Defense’s Personnel Director has pointed out, Kelly was being "encouraged to go to Iraq."25 According to Kelly’s friend Professor Alastair Hay (who e-mailed Kelly a week before his death) Kelly said, "He wanted to get back to Baghdad, and some real work."26 So we have a man with a loving wife, three daughters, good friends, a passion to work in Iraq with the US Survey Team and an employer who’s willing to send him to Iraq. Interestingly enough, several months after Kelly’s death, the same US Survey Team reported that they had found no weapons of mass destruction.

So, if Kelly were still alive, his words of caution about ‘spin’ would have been commonly realized wisdom. Perhaps, then, he would have remained quiet or maybe even counter-attacked to counteract his bad reputation as a ‘rogue’ element.

We cannot ignore the fact that nine other microbiologists, like Kelly, have died within a five-month period in late 2001 and early 2002. Several were well known to Kelly and most died under suspicious circumstances. So Kelly’s "dead in the woods" comment occurs within this context as well. (see article p. XX)

It should also be remembered that Kelly was just one year away from retirement and a pension. Lots to look forward too: A final tour or Iraq and retirement. One of his daughters was getting married in October. Kelly was looking forward to being there to celebrate the event.

Surely Kelly, with his ‘core of steel’ standing up to Iraqi military guards with guns pointed at him had the character to weather this storm. Furthermore, Dr. David Kelly had deeply held religious beliefs. He was an active member who recently converted to the Bahai faith just four years previously and the Bahai faith precludes suicide.

It is also interesting to note that there was no suicide note. If Kelly felt he was wronged or betrayed by his employers, surely a parting comment would come forth setting the record straight. Perhaps, a last defense of his position on the 45 minute spin, etc. More importantly, there was no farewell note to his wife or daughters that explained his actions or that just said good-bye to the ones he loved. Nothing on the computer or in handwritten form. Very unusual for a loving father.

Even stranger still is that very few major media outlets (and England has some wild political tabloids) have raised the question of Kelly being murdered. It was a suicide and that was that, even before a police report had been issued.

The circumstances of Kelly’s death are also questionable: Only one slit wrist gradually over many hours draining the body of its blood supply. No sudden suicide but a very gradual one in which one has many opportunities to reverse the process and stop the blood flow. Lots of time for thinking and re-thinking. The pain pills beside him were unlikely to have caused unconsciousness. On the other hand, a killer or group of killers could have placed a handkerchief containing chloroform forcefully over his mouth until he was unconscious. Then, the killers could have taken Kelly’s own knife and slit his wrist and left him there to die without any major signs of a struggle or bodily injury.

For a skillful microbiologist, the means chosen for suicide was painstakingly slow, extremely low tech and completely out of character. There are very few men on this planet with Kelly’s knowledge of the chemical and biological ingredients necessary for an immediate and relatively painless suicide and ready access to labs. Yet, we are led to believe he chose the slowest, most low tech, painful method to die.

Murder then, is the most likely possibility. And who would have a motive? Perhaps those very same members of the government that have been attacking him for months, especially those from 10 Downing Street, the Ministry of Defense and the security services (including MI-5). Tony Blair never did answer the question whether he had blood on his hands.

The present case for murder, or more precisely, political assassination rests on more than Kelly’s own prediction (6 months earlier) that he would be murdered ‘in the woods’ once the Iraqi war started. Every military-intelligence agency (CIA, MI-5) requires secrecy in the service of their political masters. Kelly violated that code of conduct in favour of exposing the truth.

Kelly’s Last Day and The Incomplete Coroner’s Inquest

Kelly sent several e-mails three hours before his final walk. He wrote to Gaeta Kingdom at Oxford University saying, "Many thanks for your thoughts and prayers. It has been a remarkably tough time. Should all blow over by early next week, then I will travel to Baghdad a week Friday…" Also an e-mail to Judith Millers saying "Judy, I will wait until the end of the week before judging many dark actors play games."27

Kelly’s decision to wait a week before making a judgement on the fallout from his parliamentary confession is absolutely clear. Again, the exact date of the future Iraq trip is firm in mind before his final walk.

Kelly left for his walk at 3 p.m., on July 17. Exactly one mile down the road, Kelly met Ruth Absolm, a neighbour. Ruth claims Kelly "seemed his normal self" and left her with a ‘cheerio’ and a promise to ‘see you later’.28 Kelly’s family reported David missing at 11:45 p.m. that same evening. The following morning at 9:30 a.m., Louise Holmes, a member of the Southeast Bedfordshire Emergency Volunteer Group, found "Kelly’s body sitting up against a tree with blood on his left arm in a secluded glade about 50 yards away from a nearby path surrounded by impenetrable brambles."29 Police officers and an ambulance called to the scene told the (Hutton) inquiry, "His (Kelly’s) jeans had ridden up…and there was a patch of blood on the right knee."30 Despite these facts, the head of the search team, PC Jonathan Sawyer, later comments that, "There was no sign of a struggle" and "all the vegetation that was surrounding Dr. Kelly’s body was standing upright."31

How Kelly or Louise Holmes or the ambulance crew or (possibly) his killers got through the ‘impenetrable brambles’ without crushing some of the vegetation is unexplained. More importantly, the ‘ridden up’ condition of Kelly’s jeans and the visible blood on his right knee could indicate to signs of a struggle. This raises the possibility, yet to be established of Kelly being rendered unconscious (by an assassin) and then being dragged to a hiding place by his feet while his head was facing the ground, thereby causing his injured knee to drag on the ground and his jeans to be hiked up above his knees. (Remember only the left wrist was slit and the right knee displayed the most blood.)

Local police claim Dr. Kelly was an ‘avid walker’ and had a ‘good local knowledge’ of the many footpaths surrounding his home – not the kind of guy who would fall and hurt his knees unassisted. When the police arrived at the scene and before the body was identified as Kelly’s, Acting Superintendent Dave Purnell of the Thames Valley Police boldly stated, "We haven’t ruled anything out yet."32 Later, after Kelly was identified, Dave Purnell tempered his remarks by suggesting the case was being treated as an ‘unexplained death’.33 Finally, two weeks later, after the media was almost uniformly proclaiming suicide, the local coroner Nicholas Gardiner made it official. Kelly died from an ‘incised wound’ to the left wrist.34 Strangely enough, Mr. Gardiner, according to BBC News, "refused to reveal the results of toxicology tests until a full inquest."35 It wasn’t until a month latter, on September 3, 2003, that toxicologist Richard Allan told the Hutton Inquiry that Dr. Kelly had taken "quite a large overdose" of Coproxamol, the prescription-only drug which his wife took for her arthritis. According to Richard Allan, Kelly "took about 30 tablets…an hour…before (his) death." Allan claims he is ‘uncertain’ whether the drugs killed Kelly.36

According to medical research, Coproxamol has been used as a suicide drug but the "toxic effect may take several days before symptoms develop". Coproxamol’s "initial symptoms after taking more than the recommended dosage are often no more than mild nausea and vomiting. As liver damage develops over the following days, right abdominal pain may be experienced. If no treatment is taken to halt or reverse the liver failure" death can be the result.37 But Kelly died in hours, and Coproxamol, by itself, takes days to become lethal. Clearly Richard Allen is knowledgeable in this area and yet he remains ‘uncertain’ because other substances mixed with Coproxamol, even those as mild as alcohol, might have produced a fatal death. Richard Allen makes no mention of any other more dangerous toxic substances in Kelly’s body. Perhaps, once again, this is a matter for a final inquest.

The Home Office Decision On Kelly’s Death

It was left up to Dr. Nicholas Hunt, a Home Office Pathologist and loyal government servant, to deliver the verdict to the Hutton Inquiry. According to Dr. Nicholas Hunt, Kelly "had planned his suicide in intricate detail." (Apparently in such intricate detail that even Kelly was not aware of it when sending his morning e-mails and preparing to embark to Iraq.) The intricate details include the removal of watch and spectacles which according to Dr. Hunt "suggested a deliberate act of self-harm." (Kelly’s bloody knee and disheveled jeans were conveniently not mentioned. One also wonders how removing one’s glasses is a deliberate act of self harm.) Dr. Hunt says the main factor in Kelly’s death was "bleeding from an incised wound in his left wrist."38 Hunt also claims Kelly had coronary artery disease but this was not a major cause of death.

The Coroner’s Final Inquest Never Happened

Dr. Hunt’s comments were not the result of a final inquest. In a strange irony, the Hutton Inquiry actually prevented a final Corner’s Inquest. In fact, "the inquest was adjourned under Section 17A of the 1988 Coroner’s Act which allows a public inquiry conducted by a judge to fulfil the function of an inquest."39 So it appears that the Hutton Inquiry dedicated to finding the facts behind Kelly’s death actually becomes a mechanism for a cover-up. Mr. Gardiner, the Oxford Coroner, was not happy about the "pre-mature death" to his coroner’s inquest because five key witnesses refused to let their inquest statements be passed on to the Hutton Inquiry. In fact, fewer than 70 out of 300 witness statements taken by the police were given to Lord Hutton. Why were the majority of witness statements excluded, including those of Mai Pederson, the American military intelligence spy who was Kelly’s translator in Iraq and became his close friend? Mai actually refused to make a statement to police, even though she was in the top 12 of Kelly’s friends to be interviewed. As a result of this, Coroner Gardiner had envisaged re-starting the final inquest and hearing all the witnesses denied to Hutton.40 One would expect that if Gardiner values his life and career, he will be under governmental pressure not to proceed. Hence, a final inquest may never happen into the death of Dr. David Kelly.

As suggested by the Mail on Sunday, (September 7, 2003), Mai Pederson may "hold the key to the lonely, mysterious death of Dr. David Kelly." Dr. Kelly first met Mai Pederson in Iraq in December 1998 during a UN weapon’s inspection tour. She was an Arabic-speaking United States Air Force Sergeant trained as a spy. According to the Mail report, an expert had claimed, "the CIA was desperate to get information out of inspectors" and there was a policy of teaming up "alongside some of the more uncooperative weapons inspectors" like David Kelly presumably. Mai Pederson also introduced Kelly into the Bahai faith and took him to Monterey, California to take his religious vows. It is not clear whether Kelly and Pederson were lovers, although her husband suggests that her spying style might involve a sexual dimension. Her husband, US Air Force Sergeant Jim Pederson described his wife as invaluable in that she doesn’t look like military intelligence because she’s tiny and beautiful and flirts with sources in a manner designed to gain intelligence. But interestingly enough, she’s also proficient with a gun and basic unarmed combat. Even more interesting, Mai phoned her friend John VonBerg at the Bahai headquarters in California on the day Kelly’s body was found. She told him, "It wasn’t suicide. There will be more coming out of this." John VonBerg, her Bahai leader and friend, claims she also said, "Don’t believe what you read in the newspapers." John VonBerg, an obvious apolitical spiritual seeker, commented, "I do not know where she was coming from. It’s very mysterious to us."41

Unfortunately, not a peep has been heard from Mai since then. She is currently being held in isolation from all media at Maxwell-Gunter US Air Force base near Montgomery, Alabama, where she is stationed. According to the Mail on Sunday (UK), on September 7, 2003, a Pentagon spokesman said, "I can tellyou emphatically that we are not hiding her." A US Air Force spokesman said that her work number is still located in the Pentagon’s internal phone book but her extension is not working. Her last known home phone number in a Washington suburb has been reassigned. The secretive Mai Pederson will probably remain silent, unless she is willing to accept the terrible fate of Dr. David Kelly.

The Real Motive

Kelly’s death was designed to intimidate all those who work for defense intelligence agencies in the US and the UK. The lesson is simple: You talk, you die. If Kelly had been permitted to go to Iraq and play a leadership role in the 1,500 person US Iraq Survey Team, the lesson would have been: You talk, you walk, you live on and retire with a nice pension. In short, you tell the truth, talk to the press and you can continue doing your job. But that is not the kind of example that the CIA or the MI-5 would like to see paraded before their 1,500 intelligence officials in Iraq or anywhere else for that matter. This, then, is the key motive for the political assassination of Dr. David Kelly.

Finally who are those ‘dark actors’ playing games? According to Time onLine, there was an unopened letter in Kelly’s study from Richard Hatfield, the Minister of Defense Personnel Director. Dr. Kelly’s fingerprints were not on the letter. The letter "warned that disciplinary action could follow if new material came to light."42 Kelly, or members of his household, were obviously not interested in hearing from his employer. Kelly took a walk instead, a walk where the ultimate ‘disciplinary action’ took place.


1. Complete text of BBC interview, Globe and Mail, July 22, 2003 p. A12.

2. BBC News, July 23, 2003, p. 1.

3. Sarah Hall, "No. 10 Knew Iraq Posed No Threat" Guardian Weekly, Aug. 21-27, 2003 p. 1.

4.Ibid., p. 1.

5. Dr. David Kelly,"Oral Evidence Foreign Affairs Committee" UK Parliament, July 15, 2003.

6. NBC News, Sept. 17, 2003, p. 1.

7. Ibid., p 2-3.

8. Carol Byrne, "Campbell Steps Down as Blair Aide" Globe and Mail Aug. 30, 2003, p. A8.

9 Op. Cit., Dr. David Kelly, "Oral Evidence…"

10. "Dr. Kelly Inquiry Gets Under Way" Guardian Weekly, July 31-Aug. 6, 2003, p. 6.

11.Caroline Byrne, "Blair, Insider Denies Charge He ‘Sexed Up’ Iraq Dossier" Globe and Mail, Aug. 20, 2003, p. A11.

12."Widow Contradicts Key White Hall Claims" Guardian Weekly September 4-10, 2003, p. 9.

13 Ibid., p. A8.

14 Ed Johnson,"Weapons Adviser Kelly Felt Betrayed by Bosses, Widow Says" Vancouver Sun, Sept. 2, 2003,p. A4.

15. "Kelly Family’s Statement: Full Text" BBC News July 19, 2003, p. 1.

16. "Fatal Words, The Hutton Inquiry" The Economist Aug. 23, 2003, p. 45.

17. Christine Boyd "Scientists Demise Stalks Blair" Globe and

Mail July 21, 2003, p. A6.

18. Ibid., p. A6.

19. Jim Home "How Political Spin Turns into Tragedy", Times Colonist, Sept. 2003, p. D4.

20. "Death of a Scientist" The Economist, July 26, 2003, p. 52.

21. Ibid. p. 53.

22. "Gentle Man with Core of Steel" BBC News July 19, 2003 p. 1.

23. Sandra Laville, "Kelly Admitted He Might Have Used Word

‘Sexier’" The Weekly Telegraph, Sept. 17-23, 2003, p. 13.

24. 31. Op. Cit., "Gentle man…" p. 1.

25. 32. Op. Cit., "Kelly’s Pension…" p. 1.

26. Op. Cit., Nigel Fountain and Sara A. Smith, p. 2.

27. Helena Smith, "Blix Lashes Out at Critics, Bastards Who Thwarted Work" Globe and Mail, June 11, 2003, p. A13.

28. Ben Russell, "Kelly Told Neighbor ‘See You Later’" New Zealand Herald, Oct. 1, 2003, p. l.

29. Ibid., p. 2.

30. Ibid., p. 2.

31. Ibid., p. 2.

32. "Body Found in Iraq Search" BBC News, July 18, 2003, p. 2.

33. "Body ‘Matches’ Iraq Expert, BBC News, July 18, 2003, p. 1.

34. "Kelly Funeral Date Announced" BBC News, July 31, 2003, p. 1.

35. Ibid., p. 1.

36. "Kelly’s Final E-mails revealed" BBC News, Sept. 3, 2003, p.1.

37. Zakyeya Atcha and Azeem Majeed "Paracetamol Related Deaths, in England and Wales, 1993-97", Health Statistics Quarterly, autumn, 2000, p. 6 (Coproxamol is even less lethal than its close cousin Paracetanol).

38. Charles Reiss, "Kelly Death Details Revealed" Evening Standard (UK) Aug. 1, 2003, p. 1.

39. Laura Peek, "Oxford Coroner May Open Kelly Inquest" Times on Line (UK) Sept. 27, p. 1.

40. Ibid., p. 1.

41. "American was Kelly’s Spiritual Mentor" The Times (UK), Sept. 1, 2003.

42. David Charter and Laura Peek "Kelly’s Mentor Refused to Give Statement, Times on Line, Sept. 24, 2003, p. 1.


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Steve Moore is a researcher and retired American History teacher living in British Columbia. He is a frequent contributor to Global Outlook and the CRG. Copyright belongs to the author. All rights reserved.

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