The Government's most senior law officer has signalled he was prepared to intervene over the controversy surrounding the death of David Kelly in order to "give the public reassurance".
Dominic Grieve said those concerned that Lord Hutton's inquiry into the death of the government weapons inspector left unanswered questions "may have a valid point". But Mr Grieve told the Daily Telegraph he would need to see new evidence before considering applying for a full inquest into Dr Kelly's death.
Dr Kelly's body was found in woods near his Oxfordshire home in July 2003 after he was identified as the source of a BBC story claiming the Government "sexed up" its now notorious dossier on Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction.
In the outcry that followed, Tony Blair appointed Lord Hutton to head a public inquiry into his death. Unusually, the then lord chancellor, Lord Falconer, ruled it should also act as an inquest.
Lord Hutton concluded Dr Kelly took his own life and that the principal cause of death was "bleeding from incised wounds to his left wrist which Dr Kelly had inflicted on himself with the knife found beside his body".
He also found the scientist took an overdose of co-proxamol tablets - a painkiller commonly used for arthritis - and that he was suffering from an undiagnosed heart condition.
But there have been a number of calls for another examination of the case, most recently from a group of eight experts who wrote to The Times claiming Lord Hutton's conclusions were unsafe and former Tory leader Lord Howard.
Mr Grieve told the Daily Telegraph: "We would like to resolve this in a way that can give the public reassurance."
He added: "People who have expressed concerns about why Lord Hutton did not tie up every loose end may have a valid point."
But he said he could not apply to the High Court for an inquest on a "hunch" and would have to take account of the feelings of the scientist's close family, who have not asked for a new investigation into his death.