David Kelly ‘was too weak to have killed himself’
New claims cast doubt on the official account of whistleblower's death
A friend of former weapons inspector Dr David Kelly, said to have committed suicide in 2003, has cast doubt on the official explanation of his death and called for an independent review of the case.
US Air Force officer Mai Pedersen, who worked with Dr Kelly in Iraq in the 1990s, claims that the 59-year-old could not have killed himself as he was too weak to cut his own wrists and would have struggled to swallow 29 painkillers.
She has written to Attorney General Dominic Grieve after he admitted that he was "concerned" about the case and was considering revisiting the issue.
Dr Kelly (above) was found dead in woodland near his home in Oxfordshire in 2003 after he was exposed as the source of a BBC report that questioned the government's case for war in Iraq. He was forced to appear before two House of Commons committees where he was cross examined about what he had told BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan.
There has always been an air of mystery around the circumstances of his death and no inquest was ever completed. The day before his death he said in an email to a friend that there were "many dark actors playing games". But in 2008 the Hutton Inquiry into the events surrounding Dr Kelly's death ruled that he had killed himself by swallowing 29 painkillers and slitting his left wrist. Its findings were rejected by many.
Now Pedersen claims that Kelly would have been too weak to slit his wrist as an arm injury meant he even "had difficulty cutting his own steak". She also says that the 59-year-old had difficulty swallowing pills.
The Daily Mail says that in her letter to Grieve she wrote: "Given the absence of any coroner's inquest and the perpetual secrecy surrounding the post-mortem examination, it is painfully obvious that this matter continues to cry out for a formal, independent and complete review."
Although Grieve cannot order a public inquiry, he can apply for an inquest if there is evidence to support it. ·
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