Thursday, November 03, 2011

High Court hearing next month

High Court judge will hear call for inquest on Dr David Kelly's death next month

By Miles Goslett

Last updated at 3:24 AM on 3rd November 2011

The death of Dr David Kelly is to be examined at the High Court next month after a senior judge ordered a special hearing as part of his review of the case.

Mr Justice Kenneth Parker is considering an application from retired West Country surgeon David Halpin to challenge the Government’s decision this summer not to hold a coroner’s inquest.

Weapons inspector Dr Kelly allegedly killed himself after being named as the prime source of a BBC report accusing Tony Blair’s government of lying to take Britain into the Iraq war.

His body was found in woods near his Oxfordshire home on July 18, 2003.

He is believed to be the only person in modern times found dead in suspicious circumstances whose death has not been properly investigated by a coroner.

Mr Justice Parker’s order marks the first time that matters relating to the Iraq war, Dr Kelly’s death and the Blair government’s handling of both issues will have been brought before a court rather than a public inquiry.

If successful at the hearing, on December 19, Mr Halpin may eventually succeed in securing an inquest.

Two months ago, after Attorney General Dominic Grieve ruled out an inquest saying there was ‘overwhelming evidence’ Dr Kelly committed suicide, he sought permission to judicially review this decision.

More than 800 donors from around the world - hundreds of whom are Daily Mail readers - have contributed over £40,000 to a fund covering Mr Halpin’s legal fees.

Mr Halpin, 71, from Newton Abbot, Devon, told the Mail: ‘The ex-Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer chose to set up an ad hoc public inquiry, as opposed to a coroner’s inquest, into Dr Kelly’s death before his body had even cooled.

'If our laws had been observed an inquest under the Oxfordshire coroner would have taken place. Lord Falconer made sure there was no inquest, and our law and due legal process were subverted.’


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