File 'aids case for Kelly inquest'
Published 02/03/2011 | 00:12
Fresh information about the absence of fingerprints on items found near the body of government scientist David Kelly has strengthened the case for a full inquest into his death, campaigners have told the Attorney General.
The claim comes in a new dossier of evidence handed to Dominic Grieve on Tuesday by a group of doctors who are petitioning him for the reopening of inquiries into the Iraq weapons inspector's 2003 death.
Mr Grieve is expected to announce within weeks whether he will comply with the doctors' call for him to issue a legal request - known as a "fiat" - for the High Court to order a coroner's inquest.
The new dossier - submitted after the Attorney requested further information about the doctors' case - highlights documents released by police in January, which show that no fingerprints were recovered from the knife which Dr Kelly allegedly used to slit his wrist and a pack of pills which he apparently took, or from a mobile phone, watch and water bottle found near his body.
And it highlights the fact that the lack of fingerprint evidence was not considered by the Hutton Inquiry, which concluded that Dr Kelly committed suicide amid the furious row over his role in critical reports about the Government's case for war.
"It is submitted that to properly investigate the circumstances of Dr Kelly's death, any coroner would be obliged to make enquiries as to why there were no fingerprints found, including for example seeking evidence on whether any tests were carried out to establish if anything had been used to attempt to erase fingerprint evidence," said the doctors in their new submission.
"This is particularly relevant as it was noted no gloves were found on the body or in its vicinity."
An inquest was opened days after Dr Kelly's body was found in woods near his Oxfordshire home, but unusually it was never completed, as then Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer said the Hutton Inquiry would take over.
The new dossier supplements the doctors' formal legal petition, submitted in September, and raises questions about apparent discrepancies between various witnesses' accounts of the state of Dr Kelly's body.
The new document also questions why Lord Hutton - who devoted only half a day of his 24-day inquiry to medical evidence - took no evidence from vascular surgeons or other clinicians who could have given expert evidence on whether Dr Kelly's death was caused by loss of blood, as a coroner would have done.