The official verdict that Dr David Kelly committed suicide has been overwhelmingly rejected by the public.
According to an exclusive Mail opinion poll, only one in five people accepts the Hutton Inquiry’s finding that the government weapons inspector took his own life.
The survey also reveals that eight out of ten people want a full inquest. With senior MPs making the same demand, the Coalition is under strong pressure to act.
It comes as a medical report says it was ‘impossible’ that Dr Kelly bled to death in the way described by the inquiry.
The study, whose authors include vascular and trauma surgeons, deals with the Hutton report’s finding that Dr Kelly died from loss of blood after cutting a small artery in his wrist.
The doctors say that, based on Dr Kelly’s weight and size, he would have had to lose 2,700ml of blood to threaten his life.
Their report, which has been submitted to Attorney General Dominic Grieve, says: ‘It was impossible for 2,700ml of blood to have been lost through this small artery. ‘Indeed, to lose 500ml through it would have been unlikely.’
Last week a separate group of nine doctors wrote an open letter to the Government saying they did not believe Dr Kelly died from loss of blood. Mr Grieve says he remains ‘ concerned’ by the case and is reviewing the papers.
Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke is considering a separate request to release Dr Kelly’s medical files, which are due to be kept secret for 70 years on the instructions of Lord Hutton.
Both men [Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke and former Tory Home Secretary and leader Michael Howard] are worried that the public should not lose faith in the legal system. Their fears will be heightened by today’s opinion poll, conducted by Harris, which shows widespread concern about the Kelly case.
Some 77 per cent of the public say there should be a full inquest into Dr Kelly’s death, and 78 per cent say the medical evidence should be made public as soon as possible. Significantly, only 20 per cent of those surveyed agreed that Dr Kelly committed suicide.
Some 24 per cent disagreed, with the remainder not sure. Yesterday, former Tory Home Secretary Michael Howard put himself at the head of a powerful all-party campaign to force a new inquiry.
He said: ‘In view of the growing number of relevant questions that have arisen and cast doubt on the conclusions reached by Lord Hutton, I believe it would now be entirely appropriate for a full inquest to be held.’
Dr Kelly died in July 2003, shortly after he was exposed as the source of a BBC report saying the Government ‘sexed-up’ the grounds for war in Iraq. No coroner’s inquest has ever been held into the Ministry of Defence expert’s death.
The only official verdict came from the Hutton Inquiry, a non-statutory public inquiry at which witnesses did not give evidence under oath. The inquiry, commissioned by an embattled Tony Blair, concluded that Dr Kelly, 59, died from loss of blood after cutting his left wrist with a blunt gardening knife and taking an overdose of co-proxamol, a painkiller commonly used for arthritis.
Critics regarded the report as a ‘whitewash’. It has led to MPs from all parties demanding an inquest. Former Labour defence minister Peter Kilfoyle said: ‘Politicians who know nothing about medicine have no right to gainsay senior physicians who say the cause of death in the Hutton Report does not stack up.
An inquest must be approved.’ Tory MP Adam Holloway, an Army captain in the Gulf War, said: ‘We need to establish the true cause of Dr Kelly’s death.’ Meanwhile, a string of doctors have revealed their concerns about the suicide verdict.
Dr Neville Davis, a consultant forensic physician, said: ‘When you get a situation of a cause of death which doesn’t add up, it’s going to give rise to speculation.’ Dr Jason Payne- James, also a consultant forensic physician, said: ‘If I were to cut through my ulnar artery I wouldn’t expect to die from loss of blood.
This is simple physiology of how the body responds to particular trauma.’
Source: Daily Mail, August 16, 2010
The Telegraph is still trying to hold back the tide, by having Andrew Gilligan, the reporter who broke the "sexed-up" dossier story, argue that he thinks Dr. Kelly "probably" took his own life. A look at the comments there shows how people just aren't buying that horse manure.
Update: It was never suicide, says Dr Kelly's cousin as family finally breaks silence. Read more