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Pathologist says David Kelly's death 'textbook suicide'

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« on: August 22, 2010, 06:18:42 pm »

Pathologist says David Kelly's death 'textbook suicide'

he death of Iraq weapons expert David Kelly was a "textbook case" of suicide, according to the pathologist who performed the post-mortem examination.

A group of doctors has questioned the suicide verdict by the Hutton Inquiry in 2004 and called for a full inquest.

But Nicholas Hunt said the scientist's death, after he was exposed as the source for a BBC story, was a "classic case of self-inflicted injury".

He told the Sunday Times he would, however, welcome a full inquest.

Dr Kelly's body was found in woods close to his Oxfordshire home in 2003, after it was revealed he provided the information for a story casting doubt on the government's claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction capable of being fired within 45 minutes.

Instead of a coroner's inquest, then Prime Minister Tony Blair asked Lord Hutton to conduct an investigation, which found Dr Kelly died from blood loss after slashing his wrist with a knife.
'Nothing to hide'

The details of the post-mortem examination are subject to a 70-year gagging order. Lord Hutton has said this was to avoid causing distress to Dr Kelly's family.

Mr Hunt told the Sunday Times that he found no signs of murder.

"I felt very sorry for David Kelly and the way he had been treated by the government... I had every reason to look for something untoward and would dearly love to have found something," the Home Office pathologist said.

"It was an absolute classic case of self-inflicted injury. You could illustrate a textbook with it.

"If it were anyone else and you were to suggest there's something foul about it, you would be referred for additional training. I would welcome an inquest, I've nothing to hide."

Earlier this month, a group of eight doctors who claimed Lord Hutton's conclusions were unproven wrote to the Times calling for the case to be reopened.

They argued the wound to Dr Kelly's wrist was unlikely to have been fatal.

On Sunday one of the eight, Dr Michael Powers QC, told BBC News: "Evidence needs to be tested. So far the only evidence we have heard is from Dr Hunt..

"There's been no evidence from anyone that may take a contrary view and the quality of evidence hasn't been assessed.

"In a case like this it's vitally important that evidence is properly tested."

He added: "The reason we're not satisfied is that the evidence is too thin at present."
'Much blood'

The detective who found his body said he did not see "much blood".

But Mr Hunt said: "There were big, thick clots of blood inside the sleeve, which came down over the wrist, and a lot of blood soaked into the ground.

"It was there and I noted it in my report."

Mr Hunt told the paper that two of Dr Kelly's main coronary arteries were 70-80% narrower than normal, and his heart disease was so severe that he could have "dropped dead" at any minute.

"If you have narrower arteries, your ability to withstand blood loss falls dramatically," he said.

"Your heart also becomes more vulnerable to anything that could cause it to become unstable, such as stress - which I have no doubt he was under massively."

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said: "There's a lot of concern being expressed and it's for the attorney general to decide what should happen next."

Previously, the attorney general's office said if new evidence was put to him, he would consider whether an application for a new inquest should be made to the High Court.

The Ministry of Justice said it was still considering a request to release documents relating to the post-mortem examination.
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 08:02:24 am »

Iraq war dissenter Kelly’s postmortem report remains secret

Is British Attorney-General Grieve up to the job

by Christopher King

August 22, 2010

British Attorney-General Dominic Grieve’s response to widespread calls for Dr David Kelly’s postmortem files to be released continues to indicate that the government is hiding something of importance, argues Christopher King.

Dr Kelly allegedly committed suicide when identified as the high-profile within-government dissenter from the Blair government’s lies about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction immediately prior to the Iraq war. His postmortem files are secret.

Although, when in opposition, Mr Grieve undertook to review the Kelly records, now that he is in government he declines to do so. He insists that Kenneth Clarke, the justice secretary, should make any decision to release them. He is quoted as saying,

-It’s right to say that hunches, theories are not enough – there has to be evidence. And if the evidence is available and people feel that they have the evidence, then if they send it to me it will be considered

-I have no reason to think ... and not a shred of evidence to suggest that there has been a cover up. I know that some people have put some theories forward but if you’re going to put a theory forward like that you need some evidence and as matters stand at the moment I haven’t seen.
"The onus is not on conspiracy theorists to produce evidence of a cover up. The onus is on Mr Grieve to justify keeping Dr Kelly’s postmortem records secret, away from a public inquest. We have never heard a valid reason for this."
One can only ask: "Is Mr Grieve up to the job?" This is nonsense and obfuscation of the most puerile sort. The onus is not on conspiracy theorists to produce evidence of a cover up. The onus is on Mr Grieve to justify keeping Dr Kelly’s postmortem records secret, away from a public inquest. We have never heard a valid reason for this.

Mr Grieve has said: "I have been given no evidence to suggest an alternative cause of death." That is because Mr Grieve will not release the postmortem report for independent examination and establishment of the facts. That is where such evidence will be if it exists.

As for evidence of a cover up, it lies on his desk. A group of doctors has written to him to say that Dr Kelly could not possibly have died from cutting the matchstick-sized ulnar artery given by Lord Hutton as his means of suicide. Perhaps Mr Grieve does not understand that this means that other causes of Dr Kelly’s death should be considered. Conceivably, he has not realized that the doctors have introduced an element of suspicion into Dr Kelly’s death. He shows no curiosity himself about the matter, which begs the question whether he is the man to hold the post of the government’s highest legal officer.

Mr Grieve speaks of theories. Let us consider the theory held by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons. A theory that Saddam had such weapons, a nuclear programme and mobile chemical factories was presented as fact to the United Nations by the American secretary of state in the presence of Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary, who willingly accepted it.

"Dominic Grieve ... voted in favour of this murderous, illegal war [on Iraq] without examining the baseless theories proposed for it. He clearly had no curiosity about facts at that time and still seems to be disinterested in them."
Britain and the United States devastated Iraq, killed and made millions refugees on the basis of these theories – which were proven false, absolutely groundless, without a shred of truth. It was a war justified by speculation and supposition.

Dominic Grieve himself voted in favour of this murderous, illegal war without examining the baseless theories proposed for it. He clearly had no curiosity about facts at that time and still seems to be disinterested in them.

Dr David Kelly was a man of facts. His death was the result of conflict between facts of which he had personal knowledge as a weapons inspector and the manufactured theories and suppositions, even lies, peddled by Anthony Blair and swallowed whole by members of parliament who were too lazy, stupid or lacking in morality to accept the factual reports from the weapons inspectors, of whom Dr Kelly was one. His death is an integral part of this war of deceit and the facts about it need to be made known. The doctors who have requested sight of Dr Kelly’s postmortem papers are showing the sort of curiosity and spirit of inquiry as to facts that Mr Grieve should have shown before voting for the Iraq war.

Dominic Grieve has learned nothing from the Iraq war. At least Kenneth Clarke, the justice secretary, voted against it. He made a good speech at that time and an excellent one in favour of a judicial enquiry into the war – which parliament failed to approve. Let us turn our backs on Dominic Grieve in disgust and look to Kenneth Clarke to release these papers. Mr Clarke is one of very few politicians of principle and good sense. We live at a time when such men are desperately needed.

"The Kelly files are clearly a hot potato and [Dominic Grieve] does not want the responsibility of dealing with them."
Theorists and conspiracy theorists, such as myself, who wish to know the truth about Dr Kelly’s death are not inventing conspiracy theories. We are investigating the genuine, proven conspiracy of the war that the Blair-Brown government peddled to this country and Europe and inflicted on the Iraqi people.

If Dr Kelly did not commit suicide then he was assassinated. Let us use terms carefully. Assassination is not merely murder. It implies targeted, planned killing by professional murderers. It has always been considered a despicable crime for this reason, although our government now carries it out in Afghanistan in collusion with American practice.

Dominic Grieve’s professed solicitousness for the feelings of Dr Kelly’s family will apparently influence him in dealing with Dr Kelly’s papers. It is unprecedented for family feelings to influence an investigation involving suspicion of foul play. That suspicion now exists. I can only say that if a member of my family were to die in suspicious circumstances I would move heaven and earth to determine the truth. Who would not? Mr Grieve’s mock solicitousness is contemptible.

The truth is surely that Mr Grieve recognizes the position and does not like it. The Kelly files are clearly a hot potato and he does not want the responsibility of dealing with them. His nonsensical response and reluctance to release them, when he could easily do so and put an end to speculation, increases the probability that there is something to hide.

Quick anatomy briefing

This might be of interest to readers who have noted comments from forensic pathologists who disagree with anatomical statements made by the "clinicians" who have asked for Dr Kelly’s postmortem files. This unnecessary dispute is either a medical turf clash or the pathologists support the government for reasons other than professional accuracy and thoroughness. A pathologist has said in The Times that the ulnar artery is larger than the radial artery and that the ulnar is of greater diameter than "matchstick thickness". From brief research, it appears that the "clinicians" are correct:

The ulnar artery is normally smaller than the radial, although not always.
The ulnar artery can reasonably be described as of "matchstick diameter", here found to average 2.3 mm +/- 0.5 mm, i.e. 1.8 to 2.8 mm across.

None of this alters the necessity for the government to make the Kelly files available to independent scrutiny.

Dissection of arteries of the forearm

Click on top picture for diagram. Ulnar is on the little finger side; radial on thumb side

Relative size: ulnar and radial arteries

"The mean diameter of the radial artery was 28 per cent larger than that of the ulnar artery in the right arm (p < 0.001) and 26 per cent larger in the left arm (p < 0.001). In the right arm the radial artery was dominant in 20 of 24 cadavers (83 per cent ), the ulnar artery in 3 of 24 (13 per cent ), and the arteries were equal in 1 of 24 (4 per cent ). In the left arm the figures were 17 of 24 cadavers (71 per cent ), 3 of 24 (13 per cent ), and 4 of 24 (17 per cent ), respectively.

"In view of the present investigation the radial artery should be considered the larger forearm artery of the hand in most patients

Diameter of ulnar and radial arteries
"The patient demographics are listed in Table 1T1T1. The sex ratio was 2.2:1. The mean of the average radial artery sizes was 2.45 ± 0.54 mm, and the mean ulnar artery size was 2.3 ± 0.5 mm. The factors found to positively affect the size of the radial artery included sex, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia (Table 2T2T2). Diabetes mellitus and age were found to negatively affect the size. Race, renal failure, and smoking did not significantly influence the size of the radial artery (Table 2T2T2). The radial artery was significantly larger than the ulnar artery (p < 0.0001).

Read more
Pathologist says David Kelly's death "textbook suicide"

Attorney General refuses to open David Kelly files: Papers hold key to fresh inquest

The Kelly Affair: Anatomy of a conspiracy theory 


Christopher King is a retired consultant and lecturer in management and marketing. He lives in London, UK

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