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A new book investigating the death of Dr David Kelly – the Iraq weapons inspector who let slip that Tony Blair’s claim in the lead-up to the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein could deploy weapons of mass destruction in just 45 minutes was at best ‘dubious’, and that Blair’s ‘dodgy dossier’ had been ‘sexed up’ – has claimed that the former Prime Minister Blair blocked a coroner’s inquest into Mr Kelly’s death ‘within minutes’ of his body being found.
The claim that the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein could launch Weapons of Mass Destruction in just 45 minutes was a key plank to Blair’s argument for war, and the death of Mr Kelly just days after essentially rubbishing the argument has sparked numerous conspiracy theories in the past decade.
But now, explosive new claims that Blair and the then Lord Chancellor Charles Falconer ‘established an inquiry’ into Mr Kelly’s death – a much ‘less rigorous form of investigation’ than a coroner’s inquest – ‘within minutes’ of Mr Kelly’s death have been made in a new book entitled An Inconvenient Death – How The Establishment Covered Up The David Kelly Affair, written by award -winning investigative journalist Miles Goslett, and due to be released on April 5th.
In the book Goslett writes:
“At the time [of Dr Kelly’s death] the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was on a plane travelling between Washington DC and Tokyo.
“The Lord Chancellor, Charles Falconer, who was in London, rang Blair on the aircraft’s phone within minutes of the body being found and in a surprisingly brief call was instructed to set in motion a full-blown public inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death.
“Falconer established this inquiry several hours before any exact cause of Dr Kelly’s death had been determined officially – and, indeed, before the body found that morning had been formally identified.”
“What could possibly have led Falconer and Blair, the two most senior political figures of the day, to take this unusual step on the basis of what, according to contemporaneous police reports, appeared to be a tragic case of a professional man ending his own life?
“Why were they even involved at such an early stage in what was essentially an incident that was local to Oxfordshire?
“What was it about the death of David Kelly that had disturbed Falconer and Blair so much that they went on to interrupt and ultimately derail the coroner’s inquest, which had been opened routinely?
“And why were they content to replace that inquest with a less rigorous form of investigation into Dr Kelly’s death?
“These questions preoccupied me as a journalist for years. They pointed to powerful forces working against the proper investigation of an unexpected event – in this case, a death mired in mystery.”
A coroner’s inquest usually takes months or, in complex cases such as Mr Kelly’s, could even take years to complete – whereas the Hutton inquiry set up to investigate Mr Kelly’s death was began in August 2003 – just 24 days after his body was found – and closed just over a month later in September, returning a conclusion that Mr Kelly had taken his own life.
However, since the closing of the Hutton inquiry, there has been widespread criticism of the way the public inquiry circumvented the usual process for investigating unexplained deaths – criticism that ultimately led to Mr Kelly’s body being exhumed just last year by his family who were reportedly worried that campaigners calling for an inquest may interfere with the grave.
Following the exhumation, Mr Kelly’s body is now thought to have been cremated.
Numerous experts have cast severe doubt over the Hutton Inquiry’s verdict into Mr Kelly’s death, with one group of 8 experts labelling the official cause of death – that Mr Kelly died due to blood loss after cutting his wrists with a blunt gardening knife – as ‘extremely unlikely’ and called for a coroners inquiry.
Goslett concludes the findings in his book by listing numerous questions which he claims still remain unanswered surrounding Dr Kelly’s death following the public inquiry, such as:
*Why all medical records and photographs of Dr Kelly were classified for 70 years and witness statements for 30 years from the end of the inquiry?
*Why no fingerprints were found on any of Dr Kelly’s possessions, including the knife and empty pill packets, when he wore no gloves?
*Why Dr Kelly’s dental records apparently went missing from, and were then returned to, his dental practice in Abingdon, around the time of his death?
*Why a police helicopter with thermal imaging camera which earlier flew over the site found no trace of the body?
Goslett also claimed that 22 relevant witnesses had not given evidence during the inquiry, and added that:
“It is clear that the Hutton Inquiry was an inadequate substitute for a coroner’s inquest into Dr Kelly’s death.
“It raised more questions than it answered.”
Goslett goes on to say that only a full coroner’s inquest would be able to get to the bottom of these unanswered questions, before going on to conclude that:
“As a result of Tony Blair’s decision to set up the Hutton Inquiry, the British public is required to accept that Dr Kelly took his own life.
“But, based on the available evidence, there are too many inconsistencies attached to the official finding of suicide to accept it wholeheartedly.
“I still believe for a multitude of reasons that a coroner’s inquest is the only way that the full truth about his death will ever be known.”
In response to the latest explosive claims, The Express reported that Lord Falconer had told them that ‘there was no need for an inquest into the death, as the Hutton Inquiry had already reached a verdict.’
Lord Falconer also added that: “These sort of allegations have been made for a long time and I have dealt with them before.” and when asked if he thought ‘the air of suspicion over Dr Kelly’s death would persist‘, Falconer reportedly said he ‘felt it [suspicion] had already gone away.’