The shade of Dr Kelly

THE GHOST of Dr Kelly stalks Parliament as demands grow for an inquest into the mysterious death in 2003 of the man at the heart of the “dodgy dossier” scandal. A group of prominent experts have now joined a number of politicians, including Labour’s Diane Abbott and former Tory leader Michael Howard, in demanding a full inquest into the death of the biological weapons expert in July 2003.

Dr David Kelly was named as the possible source of BBC reports that alleged that the Blair government’s claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction were false. He was found dead in the woods near his home shortly after a grilling by a parliamentary sub-committee. His wrist was cut and he had apparently swallowed 29 painkillers.

The police believe he killed himself. So did the Hutton inquiry, which was a whitewash that never properly investigated Dr Kelly’s death. Two paramedics who saw the corpse said the small amount of blood around the body was inconsistent with the cut on his wrist being the cause of death. Now senior doctors, former coroners and a professor of intensive care medicine have joined the chorus calling for a full inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death.

Why did the last Labour government impose an unprecedented 70-year embargo on releasing Dr Kelly’s medical records, including the results of the post-mortem examination?

We now know that the BBC revelations were true and that the Anglo-American justification for the imperialist invasion of Iraq was based on lies. In the Arab world it’s generally assumed that Dr Kelly was silenced. A growing number of people in this country now also believe that that foul play cannot be ruled out. Only a full inquest can end the controversy one way or another. It needs to be held now.