Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Grieve decision on Thursday?

Doctors will launch court fight if Dr David Kelly inquest demand is turned down

By Miles Goslett and James Slack

Last updated at 12:41 PM on 7th June 2011

A group of doctors is preparing to mount a legal challenge if the Attorney General this week refuses an inquest into the death of weapons inspector Dr David Kelly.

Dominic Grieve, who has spent nine months considering the case for a new inquiry, is expected to announce his decision on Thursday.

Campaigners are braced for him to deliver a ‘No’ verdict after Prime Minister David Cameron said last month he did not want the Kelly files re-opened.

If this happens, the doctors – who have unearthed mountains of evidence which casts doubt on the Hutton Inquiry verdict of suicide – will lodge an immediate judicial review. The Attorney General would then have to justify his decision in the High Court.

Last night Dr Stephen Frost said: ‘We doctors and lawyers are unanimous in our view that the case for an inquest into Dr Kelly’s death as presented by us to the Attorney General is unanswerable in law.

‘It would therefore be very surprising if the Attorney General decided that no inquest was necessary. If he were to say no we would vigorously contest his decision in the courts through judicial review.

‘A proper inquest into the death of any British citizen is required by the laws of this country. Everyone now knows that the Hutton Inquiry, which purported to fulfil the coronial requirement, was a woefully inadequate instrument for investigating Dr Kelly’s death.’

Dr Michael Powers QC, representing the doctors, added: ‘The doctors have become the voice of all those members of the public who have disquiet about both the form and the adequacy of Lord Hutton’s inquiry.’

Dr Kelly is said to have killed himself in July 2003 after being named as the prime source of a BBC report accusing the Labour government of lying to take Britain into war in Iraq.

Uniquely for a suspicious death, no coroner’s inquest has been held. Instead, the public inquiry into his death chaired by Lord Hutton found he committed suicide by taking painkillers and cutting his left wrist with a blunt knife.

The doctors say a string of unanswered questions include whether Dr Kelly could have lost a fatal amount of blood through the severed ulnar artery in his wrist.

There are also questions over whether he could have cut his wrist in the way described by the Hutton Report. Dr Mai Pedersen, a close friend, says an injury to his right arm had left Dr Kelly unable to cut even steak with it, and he had to do this clumsily with his left hand.


Post a Comment

<< Home